Yet another DevonThink vs. Yojimbo vs. Evernote thread

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by badlydrawnboy, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. badlydrawnboy macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    Here's my situation. I work in local offices, and also at times from my home office. I have a Mac Pro in the home office and a MacBook Pro I take with me to the outside offices. I am transitioning toward a paperless office - for obvious reasons - and have a Fujitsu ScanSnap S1300.

    However, I can't figure out which program to use to store my data. I need something that can accommodate PDFs, web archives, bookmarks and graphic files. I need it to be accessible from both of my computers, wherever I may be. I need OCR capabilities. I need some kind of import/clipping function from Safari. And I need relatively robust search and organizational capacity.

    All of the programs I mentioned above do some of what I mentioned above well, but none of them do all of it well. DevonThink would be my first choice for sure if I only used one computer, but it has no cloud-based sync and is not a good option for using with multiple computers.

    Yojimbo is very close - it has MobileMe sync, good import functionality, good organizational options and is lightweight and fast. But it has no OCR capabilities, which is a dealbreaker for me.

    Evernote has everything I listed, but I hate that it doesn't have smart folders/collections/groups or any hierarchical method of organizing my data. While I appreciate tags, I don't like that as the sole means of organization.

    Are there any other programs I'm missing?

    One option I've considered is selling my Mac Pro and upgrading my MacBook Pro so I just have the one computer. But I do a fair amount of digital photography and I'm reluctant to give up the processing power of my Mac Pro.
  2. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    Sounds like you've covered the pros and cons. I am stuck on Evernote as I need notes on iPad, iPhone, Macbook Pro and Mac Pro.
  3. SnoFlo macrumors regular


    Feb 5, 2010
    I use DevonThink Pro Office (DT) and it does the job you specify very well. My research folders do not reside in the DevonThink database: they reside in a Dropbox folder that I have DevonThink index and synchronise as required. This way all my files are accessible to any of my computers and once DevonThink is installed on a computer I can do my searches etc. at will. These folders are also linked to Bookends.

    I dump my non-research stuff in the DT database, but you don't have to. You can place your files anywhere on your computer and have DevonThink index the folders. You also have the option of placing your whole DT database in Dropbox which will synchronise changes to the database automatically but I have heard of the rare case of corruption of the database by this method if you open the same database on 2 different computers at the same time while running Dropbox. Anyway, I hope this helps.
  4. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003

    That might be the perfect solution for me, but I have no idea how to go about it. I didn't know DevonThink could be used to index files stored in folders like that.

    But I guess I'd lose the convenience of the DevonThink clipping plugin for Safari, which is how I get information into my database 90% of the time currently. I'd have to manually make web archives and PDFs and store them in folders first, right, and then have DT index them?

    I'm aware of the method of putting the DT database in the Dropbox, but it's not a good option for exactly the reason you mentioned: all it takes is me forgetting to shut down DT on one computer before opening it on another, and my entire database is corrupted.
  5. SnoFlo macrumors regular


    Feb 5, 2010
    Ya, that's right, the Safari clipper dumps everything into the database. :eek: The only way I found around that prob is to use Automator to move pdfs from my download folder into my DevonThink indexed folder automatically.

    Hmm, well there is a new thing from Devon that's coming out soon called DevonThink Go To. Here's the page:

    I don't know if it will do what you want as I haven't really investigated it yet but it looks promising. The good thing is that Devon listens to their customers' suggestions.
  6. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    Thanks for getting back to me. The DT To Go is interesting, but doesn't solve my problem. I need full read/write access to my DT database from another computer, without having to worry about database corruption.

    I can't say I agree about DT's responsiveness to customers. People have been asking for a version that permits what I just described above for years, and it hasn't happened. Yojimbo and Evernote can do it, so why can't DT?
  7. trubane macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2009
    OCR using ScanSnap

    Could you use the Scan to OCR option in the ScanSnap program that comes with the Fujitsu scanner, and then manually add the ocr'd pdf to Yojimbo? You could even make an Automator workflow to add each file in a directory to Yojimbo. So if you save all your orc'd documents to a particular directory the automator action would add them all to Yojimbo. (I imagine. I haven't ever created a workflow using Yojimbo.)
  8. Vallis macrumors newbie


    Jan 14, 2011
    New Zealand
    Evernote update

    For those who can't live without nested Notebooks: Evernote 2 for Mac and Evernote 4 for Windows now have Notebook Stacks.

    Details here:
    Evernote 2 for Mac.
    Evernote 4 for Windows.
  9. YaddaMinski macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2009
    Evernote is great as it runs on everything. Also be very careful about going bonkers on hierarchical 'folders'; why was the relational database manager invented? Most information collected in this kind of app has many information dimensions so high level notebooks (as few as possible) and then TAGS is the way to do it IMHO. With Evernote you have an email address to email new notes! You can share notes too!
  10. Breckenridge macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2006
    Telluride, Colorado
    Evernote lacks encryption and that might be a problem for many users. Evernote's solution for encrypting selected text is very primitive and is not good enough for many users. I've been using Evernote for a while and currently looking for an alternative.:confused:
  11. palpatine macrumors 68040

    May 3, 2011
    old thread, but good topic.

    evernote is free, and the premium plan is inexpensive. for collecting data in a virtual junk drawer, it has no peer. but, it is sorely lacking in organizational capabilities.

    devonthink has a high learning curve in my opinion. it is expensive and so is the ipad app. i have heard great things about it, i gave it a try, and generally liked how it worked. but i am unwilling to pay in order to find out if the ipad app is worth using (review details suggest that it is not). without an ipad app it is dead to me. if you don't use the ipad, devonthink seems to be the most robust option.

    yojimbo sounds cool. but, it has terrible reviews for the 9.99 ipad app. like devonthink, it is dead to me.

    it is ok. i could never get the nested folders in the ipad app to sync well with scrivener, though. it doesn't have an osx counterpart, so that might turn a lot of people off.

    *in short, i don't know of any master "one note" type program that syncs between your computer and ipad. in my case, i tend to use a combination of elements (text editor for writing and editing projects), dropbox (place where elements files are synced), goodreader (place to read and annotate pdfs), evernote (place to dump everything from web clippings to emails), and notes plus (for handwritten notes). in osx i use scrivener (syncs well with elements) to organize writing.

    you could say this is unwieldy, but to be honest, i doubt an uber organizational program exists out there to satisfy me, because i really want flexiblity. and, it makes sense to pick the programs that excel in their individual categories (ones for writing, reading, etc.).
  12. Silencio macrumors 68020


    Jul 18, 2002
    You may also want to consider SOHO Notes. I've been using it for many years and it's had its ups and downs in the quality / reliability department (judging by the reviews on MacUpdate). It has mostly worked fine for me, with only the occasional MobileMe sync hiccup. They have a demo you can download and try out yourself.

    I also use Evernote, but it has come nowhere near replacing SOHO Notes for me. Its inability to deal with styled text on both the desktop and mobile clients drives me absolutely nuts. Its tables and checklists feel like they're right out of PageMill 1.0 or something. The lack of subfolders was a major pain but, thanks to this thread, I finally discovered Nested Notebooks, so I'm glad they're making some progress.
  13. Macula macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2006
    All over the place
    As far as I know, DevonTechnologies is working on a synchronization solution for their next major update. Don't know whether it will be a WAN- or LAN- level solution, but I am sure the issue is covered in their forums.

    Devon is an amazingly powerful piece of work though it may take time to recognize and appreciate that power. At first it may deceptively appear to you as a glorified Finder. It is actually much, much more than that, and its artificial intelligence features, while not flawless, have often helped me retrieve and utilize knowledge that I would have otherwise been oblivious to.
  14. RWJones macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2012
    DevinThink Pro tutorial

    Someone mentioned the learning curve with DTP, and I have to agree. I am kind of stymied in by the product - don't really know how get started and learn what it can do for me. Good news is that I got at a heavily discounted price. But . . I wonder if anyone can recommend a good tutorial for it. I have searched for online courses, to no avail. I have looked at the Devon Tech website, but either the links don't consistently work or the turorials are not really step by step videos. Help! Or should I just dump this and move on to another program? My primary use would be for gathering information / research to author a non-fiction book.
  15. steveoc macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    Adirondacks NY
    I recommend Take Control of Getting Started with DEVONthink 2. I just dove in with what seemed a logical structure of folders and went to town. It's extremely easy to dump in information via a copious variety of convenient means. Great searching and the "See Also" feature is brilliant for finding unexpected connections.
  16. MathRulz macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    First watch the Getting Started Tour that DT offers to play when you open DT. Then click on Help-->DT Pro Office Help and you will see an area New to DevonThink. View those.

    Then read the book above with DT running so you can practice and see some of the power of the program. I had DT running on the left 2/3 of my monitor while Take Control was running on the right 1/3.
  17. ustein macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2011
    These links seem broken?
  18. MathRulz macrumors regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    Both open right up for me. Try again.
  19. steveoc macrumors regular

    Nov 6, 2007
    Adirondacks NY
    You may have an outdated version of DT. There was a release in which the links to some help resources were broken. The most recent version is 2.3.2.

    BTW DEVONthink Pro is the current promo deal at MacUpdate at half price for the next 15 hrs from the time of this post.
  20. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I love the newest version of DT. They made a major step forward in sharing.

    My wife and I each have an iMac. I have the DT database. With the new version (I think 2.5)... I put a copy her hers... and set up the new sync function. Every hour they sync up. We are both free to edit or arrange, but she doesn't do that. She just knows she can open it on her iMac and she always has an up to date copy of the entire database.

    I wish iTune and Aperture could sync this cleanly.

  21. beachmusic macrumors regular


    Jan 12, 2013
    St. George Island
    What does this mean please?
  22. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Sorry... sloppy writing.

    I installed DevonThink on her computer... then copied my existing database over to her iMac. I set up the new syncing feature... and now, if either of us make any changes to our copy of the database, then it automatically syncs to the other machine.

    I have been very impressed. Since we are not in the database very often... I set it to sync once per hour. She will probably not even manage the database at all... but she can still clip things directly in, and then I will file things away for her. The big win, is she can go into the database and look up anything on her own computer at any time... and it will be up to date.

  23. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Hey posters and readers, I have a few questions for those with great work flows.

    I have a ScanSnap 1300 which also has Abbyy finereader limited version, only OCRs from the scanner.

    I own many apps from bundle sales etc... Paperless, iDocument, Together, DevonThink Pro, and paid Evernote

    My first inclination is that although some of these apps have divergent GUIs or are specialized, they all do the same thing. But they all do them differently.

    Is there one to rule them all?

    Quick thoughts, DevonThink Pro for research, Together or Paperless for bills and receipts, and iDocument for book and magazine PDFs.

    I'd prefer to use one app but if separating things this way is more efficient then so be it.

    Any thoughts?
  24. tekboi macrumors 6502a


    Aug 9, 2006
    I've been using evernote. But I will check out some of the others listen in this thread.
  25. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I've tried Evernote... but really didn't like it. It was good for syncing across multiple devices... but I really didn't need that functionality.

    DevonThink has been my staple. It does everything I need. With the new syncing... they solved my biggest problem... how does my wife view the database from her own machine.


Share This Page