Reference Organizational System


Hi Organized Folks,

In conjunction OF, I also use Journler, which unfortunately is no longer developed. (OmniGroup, can you please adopt this app and update it? I doubt that would happen, but I can wish!).

My question is if anyone of you knows of a system that helps you organize the information in the reference file/ system (e.g. Journler, Endnote, MacJournal, etc.). I needs something like GDT for Journler. I have my folders for projects–personal and professional–but I need more good practices to achieve the flow. Often I find myself wondering "where should I file this’ and it can go into all sorts of folders potentially, so obviously my current system needs to be revamped at least to some extent.

References to sites, books, articles, tips will be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


i used to use journler - a long time ago. the ‘journal’ part was only a small feature of what it could do as a reference system - the obvious alternative is DevonThink which uses AI algorithms to associate files with similar content - suggesting new locations for incoming material. it’s very sophisticated, but i find the interface very clunky and outdated looking. it really could do with a clean makeover. the other popular alternative is evernote - which has good cross-platform and cloud features together with tagging.

like you, i wish omni would develop its own notebook / reference / storage app/ that would integrate with the other omniapps - it could be great with omnifocus and outliner, and i’m sure it would be better than any of the competitors.


Glad to come across another (even if former) Journler user! I am trying out Evernote on my laptop and iPhone. I do love the scanning feature. I really wish that OmniGroup will create such a reference notebook. I agree that they will do a spectacular job.

My earlier question was more about the philosophy behind organizing your materials / your brain. I have so many folders and subfolders and tags that my reference system has become mind boggling to me, especially when I am in a rush.

I have folders for different purposes: folders where I record my thoughts on a project; folders where I place information I want to refer to later, e.g. days I get paid; folders where I write summaries of books or articles I’ve read; folders with models / examples of whatever I am interested in (e.g. a well-written abstracts; good research questions; folders where I might toy or practice certain ideas. Things get muddier when the above folders multiply per projects and areas of life… And then there are cases where I know I want to read on topic X, but I have no idea where to place that folder in reference to all other folders. I can certainly come up with an answer, but is it intuitive enough, so I can remember it when I am in a rush? Some of these folders, e.g. the reference one and the inbox were only a recent revelation to me.

Someone must have found out the underlying principles of managing effectively and efficiently copious amounts of documents.


if you want to integrate it with omnifocus, then you could have notebooks for each context, reflecting your omnifocus structure and then use tags - many notebook apps these days use tags - you could use tags, because they’re flexible to organise by projects, people, priority the possibilities with tagging are endless. on the other hand you may want notebooks which refer to the project structure and use tagging for contexts. just my opinion, but contexts become less and less relevant now that a lot of what we do is done online (i realise this is not true for everyone.

‘Day One’ looks at first like an unlikely candidate - it’s designed as a personal diary / journal application, but entries are calendar based, and can be tagged, so this might suit you. same for lots of others.
give devonthink a look. you can download a trial version i’m pretty sure.


Hi all,

I am bumping this topic up because I am still looking for an app to organize my notes. I am still with Journler, but I want to keep an eye on anything powerful and good that comes up. I would like to know anyone has come across a new platform.

Kened, I did look up your suggestions and have experimented previously with DevonThink, but I never stuck with it. I suppose I really need a modern interface.

I also want to use the opportunity to let OF folks know that I would love it if they created such a platform.


Hello everybody, just in case you are not aware, the developer of Joumler is releasing an Alpha version of his new app call South Lake.

You can take a look at:


Yes, he is :) I am trying out the Alpha version. Thanks for posting it here.