mbbntu wrote:For me, HoudahSpot presents the search results much better than Spotlight alone, which helps me. And now that DEVONthink has a new update (v 3) which means money out of the door, and what I am doing is changing subtly, I'm beginning to question whether I need DEVONthink any more if I can find things using HoudahSpot. DEVONthink has been a fixture in my life for many years, but I never exploited all its capabilities. I may upgrade DEVONthink anyway, but I am going to experiment and see if HoudahSpot is good enough for me now. The one thing I might miss is replicants, but I begin to feel they are not necessary with tagging and smart folders, so that a single file can "appear" in many different places. We'll see.
While I must admit DevonThink was too complex for the way my mind works, the one thing it did that “seemed” really useful was its Artificial Intelligence (AI). DevonThink was good at finding similar documents to one you highlighted based on similar wording or, … something.
On the other hand HoudahSpot is very good at finding things, period. As previously self disclosed, I have a difficult time associating a thing with its location. I can usually remember the context of a thing, something that was said in the document that I am now searching for, but I may well have forgotten the documents name or where I last found it. HoudahSpot allows me to look for things.
DevonThink expects me to have kept up with indexing my files before I want to find something, DevonThink has its own built in ways of doing things such as “replicants”. If you have used it for years and you are already familiar with this term I am sure it is very useful. I was just not able to make the transition to the DevonThink way of doing things. With HoudahSpot, I can simply apply the many and vast tools that are in HoudahSpot to, you know … find things. The more I use HoudahSpot the more I appreciate it. And, as previously mentioned, creating saved templated searches in HoudahSpot for what I regularly look for, has been a huge relief and simplification of my work flow.
As an example of how I have been using HoudahSpot, I have been in full battle mode with the VA (US Veterans Administration) for the past six years. My records were lost for decades and only recently found. I have had to fight what is essentially a legal battle to get my records corrected. In fact, after I post this I have to spend the next three hours working on my VA case before meeting with yet another person working in their system.
I have to research when a thing was mentioned and in which claim, which denial, or what i still consider to be valid evidence. I might remember a phrase or a few words that were mentioned that the document I am seeking would contain. I might remember that it was a PDF file. But I cant remember when, if, or how many times it was mentioned and, if they mentioned it - or I mentioned it, in making my claim.
HoudahSpot is great for this. Finder would suck at doing this. I can quickly and easily look for something that is very difficult to find, altering my search criterion on the fly until I find what I am looking for.
HoudahSpot is just very good at finding things that you want found. Once you get the hang of ALL, ANY, NOT and how you can combine them, the sky is the limit. I have already pretty much stated all this earlier.
Just to mention it, the developers of HoudahSpot also make Tembo which is a more spotlight-like app that is still not as powerful as HoudahSpot. In Tembo you just start typing and it finds matches grouped into sections for PDFs, Documents, Mail, Images, Events and reminders, Folders and Disks, Applications, System prefs, Fonts, Movies, and Evernote. All can be set or unset as criterion for searching in preferences. This can be very helpful when you want to use it like you use Spotlight. But unlike Spotlight, Tembo is an app that remains open and allows for the searching of the found set more than Spotlight can do.
Beyond this, Tembo is not at all customizable where HoudahSpot is very much customizable.
An example of HoudahSpot search criterion:
Please note that in this screenshot, selecting "other" gives many dozens of additional choices.
The lower part of the menu has past search information. I was using Device Model and, Content Creator to search for photos taken by a specific camera I had at the time.Also
, the YouTube Templated search in the screen shot is referring to my YouTube downloads folder. As far as I know, HoudahSpot is not a tool for searching Youtube online.