DevonThink is a powerful information management application that can help you manage, store, archive and organize your documents. Although a DevonThink file is called a database, it is more like a container for practically any kind of document. Using DevonThink databases, you can keep all of your data in one place.
Tons of File Types
You can import file types such as: Microsoft Office documents, Pages documents, Keynote documents, Numbers documents, plain or .rtf (rich text format) text documents, most graphic files, movie files, audio files, OpenOffice documents, and more. To import external documents into DevonThink, choose File ➪ Import ➪ Files and Folders from the menu, navigate to the folder that contains the files you want to import, choose which files to import and then click Open.
Storing Your Documents
Once you have imported files into DevonThink, you can store them in folders, which are called Groups* in DevonThink. You create groups by clicking on the Group icon or by pressing the ⌘ + Shift + N keyboard combination. You can easily move items from one group to another or rearrange items within a group by clicking and dragging. Additional options include duplicating items, replicating items, adding color labels to items, marking an item as Flagged, as Locked or Unread, and changing the file time of an item.
Creating New Documents
In addition to importing documents into DevonThink, you can also create new documents within your database. Choose Data ➪ New and then choose the desired file type. Available file types include:
- Rich Text
- Plain Text
- Formatted Note
- HTML Page
- Markdown Text
You can format your font, color, style, alignment and spacing text from the Format menu. Additionally, you can insert links into your documents from here. Linked web pages will display right in your DevonThink database.
DevonThink Pro Office makes it a snap to import e-mail messages from Apple Mail, a favorite feature for many people. But in order to do so, you first need to install the Apple Mail plug-in. You are prompted to install various plug-ins, including the Apple Mail one, when you install or update DevonThink Pro Office. You can also click the DevonThink Pro Office menu item and then click Install Add-on as shown below.
Once you’ve installed the plug-in, you’ll want to set DevonThink’s e-mail preferences to set how you want to view and import your messages.
Once you are ready, you can then import your messages by choosing File ➪ Import ➪ E-mail from the menu to display the Apple Mail import window. Select the folder that you want to import and the click Import icon on top of the screen.
Import from Evernote
In addition to importing your e-mail, you can also import your Evernote notes into DevonThink. This is an excellent way to archive your notes or to ensure that you have a separate copy of your notes in more than one locations. Importing notes from Evernote works the same way as importing e-mail: Choose File ➪ Import ➪ Notes from Evernote. Then, choose the notebooks you want to import. A new folder named Evernote will now display in your database, with the same folder structure as your Evernote notebooks.
Exporting from DevonThink
The ability to easily get your data out of DevonThink and into a variety of different formats is one of the features that makes this application stand out from others. Select the file you want to export, choose File ➪ Export from the menu and then choose the desired export format.
Which version to choose?
There are three different versions of DevonThink tailored to specific needs – DevonThink Pro Office, DevonThink Pro and DevonThink Personal, each with different features. To view a comparison of each edition, you can visit the Devon Technolgies Search Page. I personally use DevonThink Pro Office because it include ScanSnap support as well as Scanning and OCR. If your workflow doesn’t include scanning documents, then the Pro version might well meet your needs.
I’ve been a happy DevonThink customer for many years and DevonThink Pro Office is still part of my daily workflow. While many people prefer Evernote for document storage and organizing, I find separate uses for both applications. If your workflow includes exporting, scanning, and archiving data, you might want to give DevonThink a serious look. You can check out their website HERE.
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