Curio vs Devonthink Pro Office

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mork, Jul 28, 2013.

  1. Mork macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #1
    I've read other posts here about the merits of both DevonThink Pro Office and Curio, but am considering adding Devonthink to my workflow.

    I use Curio every day and find it an excellent note taking program. So much in fact, I'm not sure how Devonthink could even approach that. I've read postings where people say to think of Devonthink is a "document management" system, so perhaps I could use it to track other project aspects. Not sure.

    Just wondering if these applications are essentially redundant or so close, I really would never miss Devonthink. Again, not sure.

    One thing I haven't figured out is how to keep what's in my trial version of Devonthink in sync with the file system (on the local mac) from which I imported it. Related to this, if files change on the local file system (new, deleted, modified), do I need to re-import them into DT?

    The "sync" features of Devonthink seem to be aimed at keeping Devonthink DBs in sync, but I could be wrong about that.

    Look forward to hearing how others use both Curio and Devonthink and in particular if people find Devonthink really useful in day to day work.

    Thanks in advance.

    -m
     
  2. flynz4, Jul 28, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013

    flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    I do not use Curio, so I really cannot comment about it. I can clarify a few things about DevonThink Pro Office (DTPO)

    DTPO is designed to use with data in its own database. I do not use it to manage any data outside of the database... and quite frankly, I do not think it does that at all.

    I have DTPO set up to delete items that I import into the database... so there is nothing in common between DTPO and my OSX file system to keep in sync.

    Regarding the sync functions: I do keep a "parallel" DTPO database on my wife's iMac... and DTPO keeps our two databases in perfect sync. Either of us can search our local copy of the DTPO database, add new items to it, use it's AI to file things away, etc... and the other machine will keep itself in sync. I have it set up to do once per hour... and it happens instantaneously (maybe a second).

    I am one of the guys who uses DTPO as a document management system. Everything that we have that is paper gets scanned and inserted into DTPO. Everything that we get electronically that we want to keep gets pushed into DTPO. Even though DTPO will archive email... I choose to NOT import all of my email into DTPO. Instead, a "copy" of every email that I ever receive gets forwarded to an Gmail "archive account". I could (and maybe I should) use DTPO instead... but to date, I don't.

    One way to think about it is... I have a bunch of databases that keep my data organized:

    iTunes - Music and Movies
    Aperture - Photos
    Gmail - Email archive
    DevonThink - Documents (both paper and electronic)

    /Jim
     
  3. Mork, Jul 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2013

    Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for your reply.

    Actually, I found out from the company that if you choose "Index" instead of "Import" anything you change in DT will also change the file in the file system, but I really think its intended use matches how you're using it.

    However, I use FileMaker Pro (a "real" DBMS) for the things you're using DT for.

    With Spotlight's ability to find basically any file (and other search tools like HoudaSpot and DataLore), the ability with PDF Pen Pro to OCR PDFs and paper, I am having a difficult time making the case for DT. Being able to import all the email and keep importing it sounds cool, but I can always search the email directly when needed, which is not often.

    Playing around with DT's "AI" capabilities never showed me anything of interest, but perhaps I didn't understand what I was looking it. Definitely possible.

    Having said all this, DT is a very cool program and I may still get it.

    Curio is the coolest project "notebook" type of program I could imagine and with very little overlap with DT. (And Curio's developer, George, is always helpful and looking for ways to improve the product.). I use Curio every day to document and track everything related to my work projects. Text, Graphics, Lists, MindMaps, etc.. It's an AMAZING product!

    Thanks very much for your reply.
     
  4. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #4
    I use both Curio and DTPO - Curio for managing writing (and other) projects, and DT as database. I like that you can throw nearly any kind of file at DT. I use a mix of import and indexing of documents, depending on my needs and what kind of projects I'm working on. There's a looong discussion going on over at the DT user forums on indexing versus import, the short answer (for me, anyway) is that it comes down to your specific situation and user preferences.
     
  5. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #5
    Appreciate your reply.

    I'm assuming you can choose to index some files/folders (if you want the file system files/folders to stay in sync with DT) and import others you don't care about being "disconnected" from the file system.

    Thanks,

    -m
     
  6. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #6
    To me, one of the absolute best features is DT's ability to import an entire Web site.

    DT is an amazing product. The more I use it, the better it seems!

    Thanks for the replies.

    - m
     
  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Based on my previous reply... it was obvious that I didn't even know about indexed files... I've only ever used it for files actually imported into the database.

    I was talking to my daughter/SIL this weekend who also use DTPO for their "digital depository". They just scan and leave everything in a heap. I do not think they have created a single folder or tag within DTPO. Instead they just use search.

    Personally, I file things away. I tend to scan a few months work of crap into the inbox, and then view in "3 pane mode" using the "magic hat". It is actually enjoyable (in a techie way) to see how uncanny it can be in determining where things should be filed. The larger your database get... the better the "magic hat" can work.

    I think (but I am not sure) that you can also let DTPO "auto-file"... but once again... I've never tried that.

    I absolutely love the product, but I also know that I am only using a very small percentage of what it is capable of.

    /Jim

    ----------

    Mork... you are a quick study. 0-60 in two days. I'm impressed. ;)

    /Jim
     
  8. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #8
    ------

    Thanks again. :)
     
  9. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #9
    I think it's brilliant, and I'm not even using half of its capacities.

    The only thing that makes me not use it as my primary note taking tool (as opposed to a repository/data base) is that it doesn't have any cross platform capabilities. There is an iPad version, but syncing is a pain compared to e.g. Evernote. They've promised a new and completely rebuilt version, though, which I think/hope will be much improved in that area. I do keep all my academic literature notes in there (as DT links directly to my Bookends database), but export a copy to Evernote via Apple Script.
     
  10. Mork thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #10
    I'm just using it as a (really) intelligent document repository. Everything related to my project just goes right in to DT. I haven't learned about the bookmarking capabilities. I'll look into that.

    Regarding note taking, IMHO Curio is so much better in just about every way from a project perspective. It has graphical .... EVERYTHING. You can doodle, add lists, mind maps, etc.. Add text and graphics and move them anywhere on the "idea space" you want. To me, note taking for a real project is so much more than just text. Therefore, I really can't use DT for note taking.

    Each product has its strength. Admittedly there is a bit of overlap.

    The ability to narrow down and find documents with traditional wildcards as well as NEAR, BEFORE, and AFTER that DT offers, makes it an amazing program. Multiple database for multiple projects or whatever. Sweet.

    Thanks for your reply.

    - m
     
  11. jojoba macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2011
    #11
    Agreed, Curio is great for that - I use it for all my writing projects. I do miss iPad sync, though, so therefore also use Evernote. As you said, some overlap, but each with particular strengths.
     

Share This Page