DEVONthink is 20 years old (plus, get a big discount)

Incredible that the app has been around this long—and not just “been around,” but continues to be vital.

I regularly think of these 2005 articles from Stephen Johnson (author of thirteen books, including Where Good Ideas Come From):

Discount info, in case that’s all you’re here for:

Use the coupon code DEVONTHINKIS20 on our website to buy DEVONthink with 25 percent, DEVONthink Pro with 30 percent, and DEVONthink Server with a whopping 35 percent discount.

On the iOS side, the one-time purchase for DEVONthink To Go sells for 30% less during the weekend. No coupon needed, the App Store applies the discount automatically for you.


DEVONthink is awesome.


I have had it ages. It is awesome for what it does. It is my everything bucket.

I have begun thinking is it overkill and could I get away with putting everything in notes.

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I’m a young customer (usage wise not age wise :grimacing:) and I am loving it. Aside from actually being a repository of my life (and work), I’ve been able to streamline my workflow by cutting out some apps and just using DT (e.g. I no longer store and read PDFs in GoodNotes, GoodReader and Files depending on my mood, I use DT to store the PDF and its native reader to read and annotate). It’s so much simpler having everything in one place! I love how quick it is to find things too.


I’d really been on the fence about this (had DT tabs open in my iPad browser from reading and re-reading for the last two months). This (combined with my lack of action re: moving away from Evernote) may push me over the top.

Though, when I go to use the coupon code on the checkout page, I don’t get any indication that it took. Hmm…

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From the DT blog article linked above:

This exclusive promotion starts Friday, April 29th, 2022, at 9 a.m UTC and ends Monday, May 2nd, 2022, at 6 p.m.


Reading is hard.



So I keep hearing about DevonThink on this forum (and other places) and watched some videos about it. Since I’m all in on Obsidian, I don’t see how using DevonThink is worth the $200 price tag. One video talked about how Obsidian is where he places his own thoughts and DevonThink is where he places other people’s thoughts. Sounds like a good use case, but again, I handle this by just saving web pages and articles to folders inside iCloud. Search on the Mac is good enough that I can find any article I want to find that I saved into my own system. What more could DevonThink add to this?

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It sounds like you have a system that works well for you. I don’t think we want you to spend $200 on something you’ll regret if you don’t have any pain points.

Some reasons why I personally prefer to put documents in DT than in Finder:

  • Robust inbox(es) system tied to iOS and Mac share sheet and services menus
  • Automatic processing rules
  • Automatic classification (i.e. no hunting down the folder)
  • Related document suggestions
  • OCR and format conversion, automated intelligently if I want
  • RSS automatically filtered and saved as documents
  • A bunch of nice keyboard shortcuts for re-organizing
  • Better search, IMO, especially once you learn to type a few useful filters

I’m probably forgetting some things I like.


Oh man I might finally put all my stuff back into DT.

When I heard about the ghost files I panicked and having removed all files from DT I went back to finder.

With so many of you still rating it maybe I was a bit OTT…

Whilst finder works is not as easy and simple as DT. Argh!!!

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Supreme scriptability comes to mind.

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I’m with @cornchip—no need to fix what isn’t broken!

These tools all overlap quite a bit. So, it’s true that you might not get much more out of DEVONthink (or any other tool) than what you’re already using/doing.

And folks shouldn’t discount the time-cost of onboarding. Using new tools means learning to use new tools. It’s easy to overlook.

Still, here is one example of what DEVONthink can do above and beyond the approach you’ve described:


That is cool! Although I do annotate pdfs sometimes, my usual reading workflow is to take notes in my own words. I find summarizing an article or book helps me process and retain the information.

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For sure. The automation extracts comment annotations as well, so if you type out notes inside the PDF, they will also show up in the reading session notes.

(You could also use this, for example, to write tasks inline as you think of them in the PDF. Or you could tag specific highlights, and then either automatically or manually process those tags to do different things.)

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I have hard DT mentioned many times here and on MPU, but I have never given it much thought and haven’t really looked into it. Thanks for the reminder.

I wonder, is this a similar program to EagleFiler? I recently came across this as a good way to back up emails. A bit cheaper than DT - anyone have any thoughts on how these compare. Perhaps DT is more powerful and “professional” than EagleFlier, but are they in the same ballpark?


If you were only to use DT as a digital file cabinet, yes, you could consider EagleFiler a simpler alternative (in fact it’s what I’m using these days and is really nifty, I thing EagleFiler deserves its own thread). But DT is a much more sophisticated tool for organizing your thoughts and research.

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I haven’t used EagleFiler, but many here have compared the two.

Perhaps relevant:

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Thanks - I had read through those threads, but that seemed a bit older and curious what people were still thinking.

I don’t do a lot of research, so I think Bear notes works for my meager writing/notes needs. I do like EagleFlier for email backup, so I think I will stick with that route.


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Thanks Ryan - I downloaded Devonthink to go and when I see the one time purchase in iOS it says $39.99 - is that the discount price or am I missing something?

If you want a nice step up from the Finder but are not sure about going all the way back to DEVONthink, you might consider EagleFiler: Collect notes, e-mails, and Web pages on your Mac, and search them instantly.

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