The DevonThink 2.0 Public Beta...

… has been released: http://www.devon-technologies.com/index.html

H

2.0? Wow. I guess it’s time for me to buy that lottery ticket and invest in porcine aviation. I had just about resigned myself to the next version never being released.

It amuses me that they kept their promise to have it out in 2008 with about two weeks to spare.

Thanks for the heads up!

At first sight, it looks very good.

Of course there is some functionality still missing to be added in later betas (including smart tagging), and some rough edges (messages not quite fitting in boxes, for example). But all the previous clever bits appear to be there, you can open more than one database at a time, and an attractive feature already apparent is a Together/Soho Notes style of shelf, called a Sorter in Devonspeak, which means that one doesn’t have to have the entire programme open when collecting clippings (using resources, raising the temperature and spinning the fan). It may mean that perhaps one won’t need a lightweight scraps collector as well as DT.

H

DEVONthink 2.0 is being received with much adulation from the users:

Incredible 2.0

I’m finding it to be quite excellent myself :slight_smile:

Yeah, uh… both of them really seem to like it.

(Reading this back now, what seemed kind of funny to me now seems kind of rude. Sorry, patrick. I’m actually enjoying my own experience with DTP 2 at the moment! :slight_smile: )

That is no problem Sean :slight_smile:

Internet forums can often make that which is intended as humour go, er, funny.

There is more adulation at the DT forums elsewhere, honest :slight_smile:

Personally I do like the DT 2.0 update but I’m not as excited as some of those at the DT forum.

As an avid DT user from way back, who decided she couldn’t wait for 2.0 after a couple of years of being promised it was soon to arrive, I’m cautiously excited but its final release. Still experimenting and seeing how it can be used, but I have often missed an easy place to dump things and find them later. My biggest issue arose when I started using Scr. and needed to be able to create external reference links to an individual media or pdf file to multiple projects. I’m not sure this problem has been solved, but I’m experimenting, as I said. There are some interesting features to this new version.

yes as above … cautious adulation

i’d still like to see a more customisable interface tho’ - i’m going to request it. I’d like to be able to embolden the typeface of top level groups for example - but all the other stuff - smart groups, when i’ve worked out how to use it, is quite promising.

Yes, agreed on all counts. The smart group feature is too limited for me but I anticipate that will change as they get the feature set completed. At least that is my hope!

I just don’t really see how much more there is to do. I mean, it’s nice that they’re updating the interface, but I don’t see anything it does that EagleFiler doesn’t (aside from the much-vaunted classification AI stuff, which has STILL never been useful for me), and it still lacks the instant-capture hotkey wizardry that keeps EF around for me. Not to mention, as long as things are kept in single flat database files, syncing is still going to be a huge pain. So what’s the appeal? Is it really all in the ‘see related’ button?

EDIT: Oh, is it true that it no longer stores files as single databases? that would be nice.

That’s correct. v2.0 stores all items as standalone files in a “package” format. (Like Scrivener.) I haven’t tried the beta yet, but reports on the DT forum are that it is much faster and uses much less disk space.

Katherine

Well for me it is the much-vaunted classification AI stuff that makes it great :slight_smile:

If that is not of interest then DEVONthink is not for you.

DEVONthink is fabulous for larger research projects.

Frankly, I’m a little glad to hear it. I keep worrying that there must be something else there. But I really just never find myself needing a program to tell me which of my documents are more like other documents (though the notion of it is very cool!)

The author Steven Johnson has written a brief article in the latest edition of Prospect magazine commending the use of DEVONthink and its AI for writing a non-fiction book.

His method is, first, to capture a thousand or so snippets of information and quotes in DEVONthink. At the end of this stage, he says, he has a pretty clear sense of chapters and structure, which he maps out separately. Then he returns to DEVONthink, makes a folder for each chapter, and reads through his snippets, assigning them to one or more folders, or none. Finally he “launches himself into the writing process by grabbing a folder and exporting it.”

He sees several advantages: DEVONthink makes otherwise-unrealised connections (of which he gives a strong example), and cuts procrastination by offering him as a starting-point not blank sheets but pages full of quotes.

He doesn’t say where he exports his folders to - he hints it might be Word. But his method could easily combine DT with Scrivener.

Edit: (OT) I strongly recommend Steven’s book The Ghost Map, which he says he wrote with this method. (I know that part of London well - used to work not far from Ground Zero of his story - and it’s a cracking tale.)

I am a long standing user of Devon Think and feel that version 2.00 is a good step up.

I’m interested in using DT is the way suggested, to grab much of the research before moving to Scriverner for the actual writing.

So, it is Scrivener that is new to me. Does anyone here use SCR and DT together in this way?

DT2 PB convinced me. I’m right in the middle of moving a lot of research material for a certain project into a DT database. The described way to order the material in preparation for a novel sounds interesting … I might try that, thanks.