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Posted by Amontillado
Dec 7, 2018 at 01:11 AM

 

Devonthink does a lot of things for me. I tend to put writing projects in separate DT databases, for example.

That way I have a nice package for syncing. I use iCloud because I’m stubborn, and I like being able to see the sync status and progress, something iCloud doesn’t give you.

Scrivener, for example, is not recommended for use with iCloud. Don’t trust this, because I have no science to back this up, but I’ve had no problems with syncing Scrivener projects inside of DT databases, via iCloud. DT seems to do a good job of making sure everything gets synced.

A lot of times I end up with just a few files in a DT project, but that’s OK. Every DT database doesn’t need to be huge, and I like DT features like tagging. If I want to tag a file as to-do, that works better than tagging it in the OS with orange, or whatever, and the meaning of tags stays local to a project. That’s how I like it.

At least that’s how I presently like it. I’m still struggling with the zen of structure.

DT makes things work in other ways, too. MindNode will let you create a link on any node, but you can’t link to another MindNode file. Go figure.

Probably not a big deal, because in most contexts file URLs change between devices. In contrast, Devonthink item links are consistent.

Right now I have a mind map for a book that’s got about 200 nodes. It got unwieldy, so I broke it down into a number of smaller maps. The highlights are in a master mind map, with leaf nodes containing links to the subordinate maps.

The links continue to work without update if I move the target files to different groups in the DT database, too. It’s a little strange, in ways. DT likes to open MindNode files in its own previewer (via Quick look, I suppose), so when I follow a link I generally click the link and then hit command-shift-O to open it in its default app.

I take some notes in DT, but I tend to do things like use OmniOutliner for outlining, with the OO file stashed in the appropriate DT project.

That’s also why I don’t like Ulysses in-app storage. Right now, I’ve made my peace with Ulysses by exporting a finished piece into the DT database. Not a perfect solution, if I want to go back and evolve the work further.