DevonThink is a great app, but it’s not set-and-forget. You need to do a little maintenance to keep your data safe.
Run Tools, Verify & Repair occasionally to clean out the cruft.
And backup is more important than ever; unlike Evernote or Google Keep, you’re not syncing your data to someone else’s server. Continuously updated backup services, like the very popular and otherwise excellent BackBlaze, can create problems. Arq seems to be OK. More on the DevonThink blog.
The Bear note-taking app has a new parser that downloads web pages, converts them to markdown, and strips out the clutter. It works quite well.
The DevonThink parser is, on the other hand, horrible. Worst part of an otherwise fine program. Unable to process an uncluttered view.
Devon Technologies needs to get to work on this; it’s a solved problem. Safari Reader, Instapaper, Pocket and the Mercury Parser are all great — no comparison to DevonThink at all.
Laura Shin at Poynter.org describes how several journalists build their string collections, and organize them — or don’t:
Fleeting thoughts and observations that seem interesting, if not directly relevant to your article, could someday lead to another story, whether that’s a quick blog post or a book.
Capturing these random thoughts in an organized fashion is challenging. That could be why few writers do what is sometimes called collecting “string” — or, random threads of thought that could someday be spun into a larger story. (When reporting this article, I approached many writers who said they do not collect string. Some even asked me how to define the term.)…
Whether you decide to go with a detailed organization scheme or a looser method, the emphasis here is that you should collect random thoughts and observations that seem interesting, whether or not you end up using them later. And you should have a method for reviewing them to make sure that the ideas you’ve collected don’t gather dust.
I’m thinking about trying out DevonThink, which now has an iOS app. Among other things, it seems like a good way to organize a string collection.
And this blog is of course a big string collection. Which might be a good tagline for it.