Best software to collect it all...

Any conscensous on the current best software to collect a million odds and ends copied from the Internet - whole web pages, web links, text snippets, email messages, images, etc. - a great big giant dump, from which it’s easy to retrieve stuff?

Scrivener doesn’t seem exactly right. Programs like OmniOutliner seem too rigid in their structure; Tinderbox, Circus Ponies, etc. seem like way too much overhead. It would be nice if a hotkey could collect stuff, as would some easy way to categorize stuff.


DevonThink or DevonNote.


DevonThink can collect virtually any piece of information and the Applescriptability makes it relatively simple to get stuff in and out. Yojimbo is also quite good for collecting found information and has better tagging abilities.

DTP shines in the research side of the utility, whereas something like Yojimbo has greater simplicity but cannot match DPT’s research facilities.


Imo, it depends on the depth of your information and how many levels it has. If a lot of both, then definitely DevonThink Pro. If your information is more just a collection of a lot of infobits, then perhaps Yojimbo would work for you.

I have both and use both. Devonthink Pro Office is for all my research (I have masses of it; too much, no doubt). I use Yojimbo for all the infobits I collect, like license keys and such.

You mentioned Circus Ponies’ Notebook - I think that could work for you, but there would be a learning curve. I keep a lot of software-specific information in there because it can be set up to use clipping services to send selected text to a specific notebook. For instance, I’ve often highlighted and ‘clipped’ Amber’s (and others’) posts on shortcuts and other techniques for Scrivener into my Scrivener notebook. So this program can be very handy, too.

As I said, a lot of your decision will be based on just what kind of information you’re wanting to corral.

I’m with bluloo on this one. I use Yojimbo as a personal database. Its tagging and smart folder capabilities provide a neat and tidy way of collating and subsequently accessing information. But for raw power, nothing beats DevonThink IMO. It’s flexible, you can structure your data to suit your working preferences, build a single or create multiple databases (though only one can be open at any given time), and the search engine is so fast that you really don’t need to tag data. I’ve also found the AI to be an extremely efficient component for data retrieval. The bigger the database, the better it seems to work. If you’re looking for a rock solid database that deals with whatever you can throw at it, then DevonThink is the logical choice.

I’ve not given it a fair trial so can’t recommend it personally, but you might want to consider EagleFiler too. A lot of the forum members swear by it.

I really like Journler. Simple, easy to use, has a quick drop box function (which I don’t use). Really a nice, solid program.

And Journler has a very nice developer, too (although so does DevonThink, come to that).

Journler. I tried them all and always come back to Journler. And now the developer of Journler is coming out with Lex - basically Journler without the concept of entries based on dates, but rather a digital folder that adds metadata - which will be a truly amazing way to integrate all of your information in one spot, without requiring the user to lock the files into a database (in my view the big flaw of DT) and designed with plug-ins, making it very easy to add new features without much fuss.

And where can we find this Lex?

Hi Timotheus.

Re Lex - look here:


Thanks, Lord!

Finder and text-files. No lock-in and infinitely expandable.

In his most recent book, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Michael Chabon credits DevonThink Pro and Nisus Writer Express.

In that case I want a credit in a book, too. Any takers? No? Dang, guess I’ll just have to write my own, get it published and write at the back, “Especial thanks to the wondrous Scrivener and its stupefyingly brilliant (not to mention uncommonly handsome) creator.” Oh look, there I go using my mod’s prerogative to go off topic again…

Actually, you may be surprised. I doubt I’m the only writer considering a ‘thank you’ in their next novel…

Actually, you may be SURPRISED, I’m thinking of offering my first-born child.

Oh God, no more children, please - two under-fours is quite enough for now. :slight_smile: (Unless your first-born is already fully grown and would make a good baby sitter, of course…)

Actually, the first-born is a whiz-chick of twenty-four who is a brilliant coder…

If he can program for Windows does he want to make us both rich? :smiley: