Is there anything better than Evernote? DevonThink?

Evernote’s user interface is just not for me.

I was thinking to manage my reference materials in OmniOutliner, which would play nice with OF, but there are some limitations and easiness of use. I may go back to work on the workflow with it, but surely I want to switch from Evernote.

I also don’t like subscription based solutions. I’d prefer to pay, even a lot, but once and done.

Is DevonThink worth consideration? Does it play nice with OF?


I use Together 3 which I am very happy with. Although I can’t vouch for their IOS syncing as I don’t need it.

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It seems like this is exactly what I was looking for. I’ll test it for a week or 2 and buy it if it’ll be good.


first thing I can notice, it is super slow… and has some major bugs slowing down the purpose of switching

I have encountered that slowness. But, to me it’s acceptable and does not get worse as you fill it up. It builds a list quickly and there is a second or two pause as it renders a preview of the document.

The main benefits for me are:

Nested folder and groups so I can build a structure to match my GTD system (which is no longer Omnifocus btw).

It just builds a link to the document, leaving the documents in their original place, unlike Evernote which imports your documents. You can leave your documents in their original folders…

Double-clicking on an item will open the document with the originating app where you can edit it and save changes. Even if you open the document with the original app, bypassing Together, the changes are still reflected when in Together.

It always works for any type of document that I throw at it.

The shelf feature is great.

You can create a link and paste that link into your Omnifocus task or project.


And what it is?

“The Hit List”. It’s been taken over by Karelia. It’s always been the strongest product and now has been rejuvenatied. Most features and a joy to use. It’s stronger in every area than OF.

checked ii out. It doesn’t even come close to OF2 or OF1

I strongly recommend DEVONthink Pro (Office)! It has out-of-this-world support, is highly scriptable and out of the box comes with a script to add files to OmniFocus, which creates a to-do in OmniFocus with the name of the file and in the notes field of OmniFocus it writes a link to the item in DEVONthink Pro (Office). This also works for folders, not only files. It even brings up a list if due dates, from which you can choose.
This script is customizable of course and on their very helpful forums you will find versions to include predefined projects and contexts.

Please note, that every file you import into DEVONthink Pro (Office) is not buried into a proprietary database. The databases are more or less folders. Instead of importing files you can also choose to index them in DEVONthink Pro (Office), so it reads from the file system. The file links described above also work for indexed files and folders.


Another vote for DEVONthink, although the UI is not very friendly (in fact, it’s pretty ugly). You can have multiple database’s open at once (Work, Home, etc.) and there are a ton of scripts available.

Another program I really like is EagleFiler. It doesn’t get a lot of press, but it is a high quality program with great support.


I experienced major learning curve issues with Devonthink… although I don’t especially like the way Evernote is handling things as well I would rather consider resetting Evernote than getting into Devonthink, if I were You… and You save money ;-)

As EaglerFiler is mentioned I would like to add, that DEVONthink Pro Office has an iOS companion (DEVONthink To Go) and the aforementioned links clickable from OmniFocus to open the file in DEVONthink also work from OmniFocus for iOS to DEVONthink To Go.

EagleFiler has also excellent support and is also scriptable and though it has no native iOS app there are ways so sync the database to iOS. But my guess is, the links are not existent on the Mac and would not work on iOS anyway.


Nested Folders,
Start Dates,
End Dates,
Estimated Time,
Actual Time,
Built in Inline Timer,
Smart Folders,
Card View (Single Page per Task),
Multiple Contexts per task,
Multiple Tags per task,
Automatic Today View,
Upcoming view,
Repeating Tasks,
Optional Tabbed Interface,
Sync with apple reminders,
iPhone App syncing

Are we looking at the same app?


Getting back on topic: I’d also be interested in an Evernote alternative. Getting links out of their app (to link in projects in OmniFocus) required more AppleScript than I’d like, and their apps are getting less usable with each release.

Ideally I’d like:

  • Structure
  • Attachments
  • Markdown formatting
  • Search

and that’s it.

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Another strong vote for DevonThink. It’s a bullet-proof app that has never given me a single problem. I use Evernote for daily stuff (I like the interface, ease of use, and great synching), and use DevonThink Pro Office for heavy lifting - massive research projects with tons of large files. Its synching isn’t great yet, and its UI isn’t slick or elegant, but its search functions are unbeatable, and it’s rock-solid. It does exactly what it’s supposed to do, every time. Highly dependable.

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I know this might seem like underkill (is that a word?), but I’m actually going to try iA Writer (with iCloud syncing) for this.

Yes, I know it’s not a database. And it doesn’t organize content and have folders and tags and workflows. But it’s text, just text, and I like that. Text is highly searchable, and I think the simplicity will make it easier for me to get to writing stuff down.

Mind you, I used to be a todo.txt kind of guy, and now I use OmniFocus, so who knows. :)


You (all) could give Notebooks 7 a try- this thing sits on Your dropbox folder structure, edits .md and .txt in beautiful Markdown, has an iOS counterpart and basically previews anything that is in Your folder structure anyway. It’s a very nice idea, not having to change anything with all the folder and such and still be able to generate text and project-oriented structure with checklists and all. Highly recommendable for those that are not interested in learning the functions of a database to organize a project…
The only thing missing for me is control over program-native opening of files from the app- but that’s easy to work around if You ask me… and they could support Alfred… But this is not christmas market here, right?

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I’m a user of DEVONThink as well. A bit of a learning curve but very powerful. And I love the local sync rather than cloud of Evernote. I have even created an encrypted DT database in a Knox vault for really private stuff and it all works perfectly.

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+1 for DevonThink (Pro Office!). As some (don’t know who) wrote it:

“Verbs in OmniFocus, nouns in DevonThink.” = ideal GtD


Same thoughts exactly, @SerenusZeitblom & @Cassady.