DEVONthink and HoudaSpot: Complementary or redundant apps?

I am in the process of pouring my entire life of documents and data into DEVONthink (minus photos, videos and audio. DT is not the best home for those files) and the searchability across all of the data is magical.

Wondering about Houdaspot which supposedly does that on the Mac proper? Love to know more and if it’s needed if I have most stuff in DT.


I have used HoudaSpot when occasionally searching for obscure files not inside any of my DTPO db’s, and always worked well. Granted, I could probably so same with Finder/Spotlight, if I could remember how to invoke the more complex search functions, but Houdah has is built in/is more intuitive – so just use it instead.

DTPO’s search should have you covered for data inside of it. That being said, the search parameters can also be ramped up to be quite complex – might be worthwhile checking the manual/forums, for the various terms that can be used. I made a cheatsheet, that I have saved somewhere in DTPO – to refer back to, when I need to go down that rabbit hole every now and then.
Fortunately, I am quite watchful on how I name my date – and I use tags extensively – so I’m able to find what I need 95% of the time, by simply using the basic ‘Find’ function, and don’t often need to jump into the more advanced ‘Search’ option.

HoudahSpot is excellent. It’s one of the reasons I find DevonThink to be completely unnecessary.

+1 for HoudahSpot. I realize my use doesn’t answer your direct question (I’m not a DT user), but I did want to voice my strong recommendation for HoudahSpot. I have a few Alfred shortcuts setup with custom HoudaSpot searches that I use many times a day (probably 30-40 times per day).

My most frequently used is an Evernote and Mail search. With one Alfred action I can launch a search of all my email and Evernote notes containing the search term. Super efficient. There is no quicker way to find things across applications. — jay