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Posted by Daly de Gagne
Aug 31, 2009 at 03:19 PM

 

Hugh, thanks for your reply dealing with software for the Mac.

You mentioned “DevonThink is the heavyweight data/manager, info-dump here, with Together and Eaglefiler as the simpler possibilities.”

Is there any advantage going with DEVONthink rather than the other two?

How do Eaglefiler and Together compare with each other?

And am I write to assume that OmniOutliner could do the same kind of storage the others do - I ask that because of an example on OO’s page?

With the Mac products available, is the need for Evernote made obsolete? I recently saw Evernote on a Mac, and it didn’t appear to work as well ont he Mac as it did on the PC.

Thanks.

Daly

 


Posted by Daly de Gagne
Aug 31, 2009 at 03:21 PM

 

Tom, thanks.

I like the notion of Sun’s free PC emulator.

Daly

 


Posted by Hugh
Aug 31, 2009 at 06:02 PM

 

Daly de Gagne wrote:
>Hugh, thanks for your reply dealing with software for the Mac.
> >You mentioned
>“DevonThink is the heavyweight data/manager, info-dump here, with Together and
>Eaglefiler as the simpler possibilities.”
> >Is there any advantage going with
>DEVONthink rather than the other two?
> >How do Eaglefiler and Together compare with
>each other?
> >And am I write to assume that OmniOutliner could do the same kind of
>storage the others do - I ask that because of an example on OO’s page?
> >With the Mac
>products available, is the need for Evernote made obsolete? I recently saw Evernote
>on a Mac, and it didn’t appear to work as well ont he Mac as it did on the
>PC.
> >Thanks.
> >Daly

Daly

As you probably know, DevonThink comes in four flavours of increasing complexity: DevonNote, DevonThink Personal, DevonThink Pro, and DevonThink Pro Office. Pro Office has an OCR function and will also archive email, and is probably the best Mac route into a paperless office, using a Fujitsu ScansSnap.. Pro seems to be the most popular version for most writing and research purposes.

DevonThink’s key feature is that having indexed documents you ask it to import, it draws up a concordance table for each one, recording the frequency of each word used. This allows it to compare the concordances of every document in its database. So not only can it classify and categorise new documents automatically using your existing classifications as a guide, it can also suggest “overlooked” documents it thinks are similar, if you select an existing document and ask the software to “See also.” This - I think - is the core of its so-called AI.

You will see from this that the software will work best with relatively large databases (which incidentally it also seems to search as quickly as, and handle more efficiently than any rival Mac database manager). Large databases throw up the mass concordances that enable the AI features to work best. 

Not only that, it’s probably only with a relatively hefty database that you’re likely to need such features. If you have only a couple of thousand documents, you’re not likely to forget what they are or the relationships between them. But go much bigger and the AI functionality could be helpful. Some users have gigabytes of data, tens of thousands of documents and millions of words in their databases.

DevonThink also has numerous other helpful features which I’m short-changing, but I think I’ve summarised its USP.

Neither Eaglefiler nor Together offers features of this sophistication, though to be fair I’m less acquainted with them. Together has possibly the smoother interface, but on its forum there’ve been some reports of slowdowns with big databases. Eaglefiler has been developed by Michael Tsai whose website suggests he has a highly reliable product with a clear development vision.

I regard OmniOutliner as an outliner-with-columns pure and simple, rather than a data-store like the three mentioned above. I use it for structuring rather than storing, and that seems to be what it’s designed for.

EverNote does of course have an advantage the others lack - it operates in “the cloud”. So for accessing documents from more than computer or for filing notes from a mobile phone, it has no rival (DevonThink Pro Office has a web feature though not on an ever-present third-party website like EverNote’s). But as a straightforward datastore EverNote can’t compete with DevonThink, Eaglefiler or Together.

H

 


Posted by Daly de Gagne
Aug 31, 2009 at 06:38 PM

 

Hugh, thanks for the discussion of DEVONthink. It makes sense.

Must say that the developer’s web site, to my mind, leaves much to be desired in terms of providing a good overview, and making a rapid perusing of screenshots possible.

Thanks again.

Daly

 


Posted by Wes Perdue
Aug 31, 2009 at 07:10 PM

 

Daly,

I feel compelled to defend Evernote on the Mac.  I started with Evernote 3 on the PC, and brought it with me when I got my Mac in March 08.  I much prefer using Evernote on the Mac, and I continue to use in on both platforms daily, for both work and personal notes.

Re DevonThink vs Together vs OO.  I have all three, and continue to use DT and OO.  I don’t see any overlap in how they’re used.  I see DT as an incredibly robust document repository for documents of any type, from web snippets/web pages to internally created RTFs to scanned docs and PDFs.  Superb tool for archiving and information retrieval. 

I use OO for outlines.  As you said, it’s very easy to get started with simple outlines.  I graduated to multi-column outlines recently.  I also use it to draft longer documents, since I like to start with outlines.

I bought Together more than a year ago when I ran out of trial time, but I abandoned it for DT, as DT allowed multiple windows and Together didn’t at the time.  I’m not sure whether it does now.

I’ve a few asides on stuff I’ve seen mentioned here over the weekend. I use Curio for project management, and find it quite useful.  I use OmniFocus to manage both work and personal tasks, both on my Mac and iPhone.  It’s a phenomenal tool.

Tinderbox is another tool any CRIMPer should take a long look at when moving to the Mac.  It’s a phenomenal tool, but has a bit of a learning curve.  I think of it as the Mac equivalent of Zoot; it’s an incredibly powerful text tool, and it can be used for many of the items we’ve discussed here this weekend.  It rivals DT in archiving and retrieval; it rivals OO in single-column outlines.  Its map view is a great and unique visualization tool.  If you get interested in TB, read Bernstein’s The Tinderbox Way; it lends great insight into how the tool was designed to be used.  I’ve had it many months and read the book, and I’m still just barely scratching the surface.

VoodooPad could be considered a lite ConnectedText.  While VoodooPad may be the best personal wiki on the Mac, I’ve not yet found any tool that is equivalent to ConnectedText.  I continue to look.

Yojimbo comes free with Tinderbox; I use it as a very light clipboard manager.  However, I’ve not yet found anything approaching ClipMate, which I love, and miss on the Mac.

The Mac platform has a marvelous, free text editor in TextWrangler.  It just revved to 3.0, and inherited the powerful search tool from its big brother BBEdit.  TW is a phenomenal value.

Finally, I wanted to mention NovaMind. I brainstorm into this tool, and I use it often in presentations.  It’s another phenomenal tool that I find unrivaled and indispensable.  I often use it in conjunction with OO and TB when organizing my thoughts.

Regards,
Wes

 


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