DevonThinking...

Pr
Prion
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 7:26 am Post

AndreasE wrote: Problem of course: A lot of things fit in a lot of categories - and sometimes they are not where I am looking for them. Solution up to now: Spotlight and it's clever brother SpotInside (a Spotlight plus the ability to look within the files that meet the criteria).


Devonthink features "Replicants", i.e. you can have the same entry appear in as many instances and contexts as you want. Although they look like copies they are not, i.e. if you change one the other instances stay in sync (unless you expressedly *want* to leave an unchanged copy which is also possible.

For example, you run across a website with some information about Piranesi which you haven't seen before. Now, where to store the information? In the branch of your info tree concerning itself with "architecture"? Or "drawing"? Or "18th century"? Or "nightmare"?
1) You could make one copy of the website and deposit it in any of these categories, hoping that you will still think of it when you need it in another context sometime in the future.
2) If you were diligent enough you could deposit copies of this note elsewhere in the tree.
Problem: It is rather tedious plus the copies reside independently of one another from now on. But what if some scientist discovers tomorrow that one of the drawings on this webpage was actually created by somebody else? In this case you will have to hunt down all the copies individually and change them, one by one.

What I do is this: I highlight the part of the webpage that interests me (excluding ads, if present, for example) and press a hotkey that will create a note inside DTP including working hyperlinks and a metadata field containing the URL of the webpage for future reference.
Inside DTP, I highlight the relevant items in the folder hierarchy I have created over time ("architecture", "drawings", "Piranesi" etc) and press the button "classify". Done.

What this does is deposit the SAME note inside these three folders at the same time. No matter which of the three folders I loook into in the future, the note including the pictures will be there. Spotlight or other search utilities are nice but they still force me to follow links somewhere else or having to remember or search for them elsewhere. Not to mention choosing the correct search term...

When something needs to be corrected, I do it once knowing that all the other places containing this very note will reflect this change, too. The added convenience is that these multiple replicants do not occupy more space than a single note inside my library.

Actually, I find this much more convenient and simple than other ways I have explored before but hey, maybe that's just me. Try it out, they have a demo.

Prion

Hu
Hugh
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:49 am Post

vic-k wrote:
Hugh wrote:Maybe if I lived in Portland I'd think differently - but all those ornamental cabbages...

It is 'Skunk' y`re referring to, i`snt it? :shock:


Nope. Portland may be noted for its whacky baccy - I wouldn't know about that - but I'm led to believe it's particularly well-known for its ornamental brassicas. In window-boxes... :roll:

Maybe it's the rain... :wink:
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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AndreasE
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 2:34 pm Post

Thanks to all who anwered (isn't this the best forum of all?) - just to keep you updated: I downloaded DT Pro now and run an index on my infobase, without any import. (The possibility to do this takes at least away my fears about stuffing a lot of things into a database that won't let me take it out again...)

Impressive! It took - well, about 20 minutes to index 6,5 GB (around 64.000 documents), and really, this function they call "artificial intelligence" finds connections I wasn't aware of but that make sense.

Right now I found out that you can create a list of words, weighted, counted, sorted in all directions, and by doubleclicking on a word start a search for other documents containing the same word... Now, if that's not cool?

What I still have to test is what it will not find. Which connections I know that exist go undetected. Exactly because it's so impressive, I feel a strong persuasion to rely completely on its results.

Anyway - at least in the moment, it's more fun to surf my own infobase than to surf the internet. :mrgreen:

Hu
Hugh
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 3:36 pm Post

Andreas,

One discovery I made about the trial version. If I remember correctly, Devon operate a trial period based on time launched, rather than calendar time - credit to them for this.

I notice you're indexing rather than importing. But... if you do import anything, every time you download or tuck a document into the application via "Services", it launches automatically (of course)... and will stay launched, sitting quietly in the dock and eating up your trial period, to no purpose.

Worth remembering.

H
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

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alexwein
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:20 pm Post

dafu wrote:
What did cut it was FoxTrot Professional Search. I was extremely impressed with its interface and feature set. I'd strongly suggest you try it before settling on an information manager that adds yet another layer of abstraction on what are basically files.


FoxTrot looks like exactly what I need regarding searches. It is the only thing I miss is really potent search capabilities. The Pro program is WAY too expensive for me, however. I can't afford $99 Euros, which is probably close to $140 for us U.S. types. But I'm still going to check it out. And the personal version, which is much more reasonable. A good search engine would complete the picture for me.
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
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alexwein
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 4:22 pm Post

Hugh wrote:Nope. Portland may be noted for its whacky baccy - I wouldn't know about that - but I'm led to believe it's particularly well-known for its ornamental brassicas. In window-boxes... :roll:

Maybe it's the rain... :wink:


Yes, we have some of those and window boxes to boot. The rain is part of why Portland has so much lush and lovely flora, but one thing you may not know--our summers are so dry, most years, that our lawns go brown and everything would dry up without regular watering. The summer days are lovely and sunny and perfect. It (almost!) makes all the rain the rest of the year worth it!
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
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AndreasE
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:05 pm Post

alexwein wrote:The rain is part of why Portland has so much lush and lovely flora, but one thing you may not know--our summers are so dry, most years, that our lawns go brown and everything would dry up without regular watering. The summer days are lovely and sunny and perfect. It (almost!) makes all the rain the rest of the year worth it!


Sounds as if you were describing where I live - the most western part of France, la Bretagne. (How's that in English? Brittanny? Not to confuse with Britain, however. Although a lot of British people live here as well.) Our lawn has just started to become brown here and there. If this doesn't happen, it's considered "a wet year"... :)

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AndreasE
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 5:07 pm Post

Hugh wrote:sitting quietly in the dock and eating up your trial period, to no purpose.

Worth remembering.


:shock:

Yes! You are right! Thanks again for this hint; I closed it immediately...

Pr
Prion
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:35 pm Post

Alexandra,
before shelling out the money for Foxtrot, take a look at EasyFind.

It is Freeware and rather powerful. Not knowing exactly what you are after I can't say that it will be of help to you but certainly worth exploring the alternatives to a 100+ US $ purchase.

Hope this helps
Prion

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AndreasE
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 8:57 pm Post

I didn't find Foxtrot appealing, I must say, from what the screenshot shows. My best experiences before coming across DevonThink Pro I had with SpotInside. It's free, too.

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alexwein
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:36 pm Post

Yes, I do use EasyFind and it often serves my needs nicely. Will check out SpotInside. Many thanks! :lol:
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
-Chuck Close
http://alexandriapallas.com

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alexwein
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Fri Jun 27, 2008 11:38 pm Post

AndreasE wrote:Sounds as if you were describing where I live - the most western part of France, la Bretagne. (How's that in English? Brittanny? Not to confuse with Britain, however. Although a lot of British people live here as well.) Our lawn has just started to become brown here and there. If this doesn't happen, it's considered "a wet year"... :)


Passed through la Bretagne only briefly. I'd love to spend real time there! Especially now with the comparison to our area (oh, did I mention I LOVE Portland? :) ).

Alexandria
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
-Chuck Close
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da
dafu
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Sat Jun 28, 2008 1:18 am Post

I didn't find Foxtrot appealing, I must say, from what the screenshot shows.


I wouldn't dismiss it because of the website description (which is a little stilted, frankly). You really do have to try it (there is a 30-day trial) to see what it can do. Further, there is a Personal version which is only 29€ which just omits the networking and a few glamour features. It ultimately may not be your style, but it is powerful.

Dave

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AndreasE
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Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:22 pm Post


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alexwein
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Tue Jul 01, 2008 4:05 pm Post

AndreasE wrote:How my story ended...
...I'm a DevonThinker from now on!


Congratulations! Just because I no longer use it, doesn't mean it's not a great program. And DT has a great user forum as well. I wrote many long posts there in my DT-using days.

I'll also be eyeing out the new version of DT Pro 2.0 when it comes out. Many folks, including myself, waited a long, long time to see that come out. It's still in beta but they promise it will be out in 2008 (might not want to hold your breath).

Alexandria
Inspiration is for amateurs...the rest of us just show up.
-Chuck Close
http://alexandriapallas.com