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Critical View of Devon Think - or the Emperor Is Missing Some Clothes

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Posted by Daly de Gagne
Sep 2, 2010 at 02:53 PM


Steve, I see what you mean.

For me, I use a lot of bullet points and what one’d call, I guess, internal outlines or lists.

To a far greater extent than in PC programs, I found some of the Mac programs used fairly primitive approaches to making these kinds of outlines. In at least one of the programs, I had to actually play around with the little do-hickeys on the ruler to get what I wanted. Not impressive.

I wonder if in both the Mac and PC worlds there’s an issue with software developers not always listening to the end users.


Stephen Zeoli wrote:
>We all know there is no perfect application—that holy grail of PIMs we are all
>searching for. There are certainly valid criticisms that can be made of DevonThink.
>But if I could have an exact version of DT on my PC, I’d take it in a second over any other
>Windows application. And I say that as a fan of MyInfo and Zoot and OneNote. This is not
>to say that it does everything better than those applications. But all in all it is, in
>my opinion of course, a fuller, more useful application. AND, it uses a pretty
>standard word processing engine, unlike any of the three Windows apps I’ve just
>mentioned. Try doing extended selection in any of those applications and you’ll get
>three different responses. Do it in DevonThink and it behaves just like almost every
>other Mac Application and most dedicated word processors for Windows.
> >I know I’ve
>sounded this drum many times in the past, but I believe it is an important point,
>especially for anyone doing any extensive writing in these programs. The editors
>should behave in a standard way. Like it or not, the standard way has been set by Word
>(for the record, I think it is a pretty good standard). If I have to stop and think about
>how I use extended selection—or if any kind of extended selection is even supported
>—it breaks my concentration on my work. As an example, say you’ve written a paragraph
>and decide that the third sentence is really a better lead than the original, so you
>want to move it. With standard extended selection, you just double click on the first
>word of the sentence you want to move and drag to the end of that sentence—the editor
>scoops up words in full. Now just cut and paste it where you want it to go. Without
>extended selection (and the way in which MyInfo and OneNote work), you have to
>carefully place the cursor in front of the first word—oh, but don’t get that leading
>space—then drag to the end. Of course, this isn’t the worst thing in the world, but I
>find that when I have to do this, it pulls me right out of my thinking process, because
>I’ve got to concentrate on placing that cursor in just the correct spot. It’s annoying
>and really unnecessary.
> >One of the benefits of my Mac book is that almost all of the
>applications use the same editor. So writing in DevonThink or Scrivener or VoodooPad
>or MacJournal feels exactly the same. Perhaps this isn’t the most powerful of word
>processors, but in making notes and first drafts, I don’t need a powerful word
>processor. I just need something that’s easy to use. I can always export to Pages or
>Mellel for final primping of the text if need be.
> >Steve
> >