What's a good organizer?

I’m looking for a data organizer and am overwhelmed by all the different ones…like SOHO, DevonThink, Yojimbo, and many more. Do any of you use one of these things and why do you like it over the others? I’m leaning toward Yojimbo…but…

I use DevonNote for collecting ideas, links, e-mails, and files for all my projects. They range from courses to talks, articles, screenplays, trips, web sites, and to-do items.

When a project begins to acquire critical mass, I export the DN files, create a database in DevonThink Pro, and import the files.

So DN is a good starting place. It’s fast and cheap, even more so for students.

A big question: what filetypes to you want to organize? See this chart:
devon-technologies.com/produ … rison.html

druid, thanks for your response. The Pro version sure looks comprehensive. I’m looking to organize all my stuff, from quotes I use for writing to a diary, from Vet visits to organizing files/folders, etc. That kind of thing. Will Devon do this better than SOHO or Yojimbo? I probably need to try them all out, but I’d really like personal opinions too. Thanks again!

This topic has come up a lot in the past.
Search under Yojimbo and SOHO to get other opinions.
Also PIM (personal information manager) and that phrase.
VersionTracker and MacUpDate also have user opinions.
Plus, see the reviews in MacWorld, or just Google “mac pim reviews”

Good advice. I just downloaded Yojimbo and it looks Mac friendly, which SOHO doesn’t seem much to be. I’ll take your advice, thanks again.

DevonThink Pro, with DevonNote as the low overhead catchall for random interesting stuff.

I’ve tried most of the others and found that they don’t scale to anywhere near the volume of material than DTP can handle. Scaling is very important to think about up front, too, since by the time you have enough material for it to be a problem, you’ll have so much material that switching tools is a royal pain.

I use Evernote for my fitness log, and it works well for things that belong in chronological order. I’ve tried it for general information collection, though, and found that tagging doesn’t scale. Same problem with Yojimbo. With both of these it can be very difficult to get information back out, too.

I use a paper task list. If I wanted an electronic one, I’d probably give OmniFocus a serious look.

And of course Scrivener for writing-oriented bits and pieces.


I like to simplify, esp. when you can find anything on the computer just as fast whether you store it, tag it or anything you can think of -

so I use TaskPaper or similar to keep, keep track of and delete brief notes - sometimes with next steps layouts

Why would writers want to rely on Artificial Intelligence when each of us copmes with his or her own Real Intelligence ???

kewms, good thoughts. I need to look at DevonThink again.

thewolfgang, Artificial Intelligence is much more reliable than my own. When I need a quote from someone I’ve got in a file somewhere, I first have to find it with Spotlight, then open the program it’s in, then find it in there and copy it. But if I’ve got a PIM, I can put all important things like that in that ONE place and go there to get whatever I need. My own intelligence can’t remember all the quotes and references and Internet addresses they came from. PIM’s can be used to organize Vet visits and Doc visits, Important files, Birthdays, Anniversaries, etc, anything you need to remember. The PIM’s are fun, and Scrivener can be used as one too.

Old saying among system engineers:
Artificial Intelligence will never replace Real Stupidity.

I agree with you: computer memory often dazzles my own graying matter.

Another happy DevonThink user (actually DevonThink Pro Office). I use it for all my academic coursework & doctoral research (in conjunction with Papers), plus correspondence, recipes, clinic reference work and more. Fast, powerful and reliable. And I like the option of either importing (copying) the original or referencing the original in situ.

I have looked at most of the others over the years, the only one that I came close to considering is Together. If price is a key issue, then I’d go for Together, otherwise I don’t think anything beats DT.

nom…after downloading lots of these, and by the way, I think they’re all good, but…I like DevonThink best I ‘think’. But I need to know something, I just noticed there’s no place for me to add a note anywhere on the screen. Does DTP not have a “Note” or “Comments” page connected to the other windows where I can add a personal note to whatever page (file/folder) I’m in?

If I understand your request, this should help: open up the “show info” inspector (default shortcut is shift-command-i) and there is a comments field at the bottom.

I use it for various things, e.g. for image files I put in a short note about why I have this image and what I want to do with it.

Now I’m scratching my head. Wondering why there isn’t a place for keywords or ‘real’ notes not hidden in the inspector. Maybe Scrivener is the ‘best’ way to store things…just open up a New Project…

In DT Pro at least, the “Show Info” palette has space to add aliases, URLs, scripts, labels, tags, and long comments. All of that is searchable. Very helpful when an item could be used in several projects.

Where is the “Show Info” pallate? I’ve looked high and low and I don’t see anything that resembles a note page. One of the things I like VERY much about Scrivener is the split screen, where you can have a note section down there if you want, or the note panel on the right side, or notes… You can insert a thought just about anywhere. Oh so handy!

Click on the “i” icon on the toolbar :smiley:

Or press shift-command-i. I need to stop using the tags when I post :wink:

Also note that actual tagging support isn’t being implemented until the final 2.0 version of DevonThink is out–the beta, as it stands, doesn’t have it yet.

Sorry so slow to respond, but as someone has mentioned: Cmd-Shft-i brings up the inspector (or click on “Show Info” in the icon bar, or select “Show Info” from the Tools menu).

Another vote for DevonThink (I use Pro but will upgrade to Pro Office when v2 is released; it offers scanning & OCR, excellent with a ScanSnap).

I’ve tried most of the others – Yojimbo, Together, EagleFiler, etc etc – but always come back to DT. It has a fairly quirky (and fairly fugly, it must be said) UI, but it just feels solid and safe. And the much-vaunted AI – some sort of semantic redundancy how’s-your-father – genuinely works, chucking up some interesting connections I’d not have thought of myself. (It’s quite fun trying to work out how DT actually made those connections. Sometimes I get it, sometimes not.)

DT sits at the top of the workflow, which goes DevonThink > Tinderbox > Scrivener > Pages. (Curio and VoodooPad sometimes come in as well, though Curio is generally for the preliminary truffle-hunt.)

I’m glad others buy more than one of these kinds of programs. Misery loves company. No, really…I wish I knew about ‘all’ these programs so my decision could be quicker. I just downloaded EagleFiler to try out. I sure wish DevonThink would let me add to the files I store in it…and had a split screen option for Notes below any file (like Scrivener!). That would cinch it for me. But sad for me it doesn’t have those simple things (or are they not simple? I don’t know).

I appreciate and enjoy reading all your opinions!