David on iPad Pros podcast—worth listening

Thanks to @cornchip for pointing this out. I think it deserves wider exposure so I launched a separate topic for it.

I got a few good ideas from this episode, one being I want to start using the iPad in conjunction with my Mac. David says he’s using it as an external display in Sidecar mode, and as a console using widgets.

Question for @MacSparky — why do you find Devonthink inadequate for note taking? Ever since DT added WYSIWIG markdown editing, it seems to do everything that Obsidian can do, and 10x more—with the exception of the document map, which I do not use.

However, as far as I know, DevonThink on the iPad doesn’t support WYSIWIG markdown—is that why you prefer Obsidian?

I’m happy for you to answer on the MPU rather than here(Do radio call-in shows still have callers who say, “I’ll take my answer off the air,” after asking a question, and then they immediately say goodbye and hang up?) (And of course it’s OK with me if you don’t want to answer all.)


I can’t and wouldn’t speak for David but the reason I don’t use DT for note taking is that the editor does not open full screen on the iPad. This should be a simple fix. It seems to me that the developers consider the iPad version a companion to the desktop version and therefore is designed for quick entry—not extensive note taking on the iPad.

That editor on your screenshot is just for starting notes. Once the note exists, you can edit it full screen (though not WYSIWIG, as far as I know).

True, I should have been more specific. The problem for me is that one has to create the note and then go to it and reopen in order to edit, which is not necessary in other note taking apps on the iPad. The other issue is when the font is set to a “normal” e.g., 13, the font is very small on the iPad screen and it is not possible to zoom in. It is just hard to use compared to Obsidian, Craft, Apple Notes, and more.

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I agree. It needs work. Maybe it should be hooked up w the Notes app if it is not already.

Do you know if you can use it on a Mac?

I’m not sure I understand your question, my apologies, but the editor in DT on the Mac is fine—not great but I take the vast majority of my notes on the iPad so a good native note app on the iPad is important to me. I like the new version of Apple Notes but it is not nearly as good as Craft.


Why are you using Craft vs Obsidian? I am a novice of both programs, so looking for direction. Thank you

I’m using both. I use Obsidian for my research and I use Craft for work project and meeting notes. For my workflow, this leverages the strengths of both apps while mitigating their various weaknesses. I have found that neither app is ideal in all circumstances so I have divided up the work.

UPDATE: Well, based on Notability going subscription, I’ve changed my mind. Here is what I’ve decided.

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Do you use DEVONthink? If so, how?

I mainly use DT as a powerful utility–file conversion, OCR, etc.

Day One using my iPad as a console, underneath my main display. I like it. Got the clock and calendar widgets there, and the Sidecar app is one tap away when I want a little extra real estate on the Mac. I’m thinking about what additional widgets I can put on the iPad. I created a special home iPad screen for use when I’m at my desk.

It’s not lifechanging, but it’s nice.

@Bmosbacker is on to it. I don’t like the mobile editor for DT much. I’ve talked to the DT devs. They are working on a ground-up rebuild of that.

The other things is that Obsidian is just so damn fluid and getting better/faster/smarter so fast. In my mind Obsidian is amazing for text, meh for files. DT is the opposite.


That’s kind of the impression I’m getting after going all in on DT 2018-20, then all in on Obsidian (including documents) most of this year, and now back to all-in on DT. Obsidian is better and more fluid on text, Obsidian on documents.

On the other hand, DevonThink seems to be good enough on text. And there’s value in keeping all documents for a project in one repository.


Given DEVONthink’s excellent deep linking capabilities, why confine yourself to one or the other? Store documents and files in DEVONthink and use Obsidian (or the text-based notetaking app of your choice) for text.

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