Evernote and Devonthink

After moving back and forth, even though Evernote is not as good an iOS citizen as DTTG, for my use case (mostly an everything bucket) I think it’s time to admit that Evernote is my app of choice. It simply offers less friction when adding documents than DTTG. My main use case is scanning documents using my scansnap. If I use DTTG, I then have to manually add these items from dropbox to DT. Evernote will auto import them. I know I could use hazel, but my Mac is rarely on these days.

DT has also been wonky with respect to finding documents and sync being messed up. It may be user error, but i just don’t have these problems with Evernote.

I am still worried about the future development of Evernote, but I guess if the product changes significantly (for the worse) i will cross that bridge when I come to it.


I have the opposite problem! I use DEVONthink to do my scanning (my scanner is always sat next to my MacBook so I’ve never even tried to scan on iOS), and the thing that I didn’t like about Evernote was having to move scans over.

Same here, I scan directly into DT. Having been a long-term Evernote Business customer, I switched to DT for a lot of reasons but one of them is that EN’s “folder system” is wonky and frustrating to use. :slight_smile:

My scnsnao scans to the cloud first. It’s not normally connected to my Mac.

I wireless scan via wifi from my Scansnap to DT on my Mac.

No argument there. I wish there was nested folders, however, I have embraced tags which gets around the nested folder problem.

I was just having too many sync issues and too much friction with my workflow.

I did initially as well. But when DT moved to iCloud sync everything is simpler and faster. I have no issues now at all. Sync is fast and reliable across all devices and getting things into DT is a breeze. DT does require a learning curve and is more difficult to learn than EN but in my estimation, having been a premium and business level user of EN, DT is more powerful and far more flexible in formatting options and for getting stuff in and out of the system. I view it as “future proof.” Just my two cents. :slight_smile:


What’s a good reference or resource for paperless workflows with DevonThink?

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I have to agree that Evernote wins out for me too. Tags are the key. I use them extensively and it makes organizing and retrieving information a snap.

Making the big jump this week, I’ve been readings forums, tips, reading the DTPO manual, and the Taking Control book to begin making the full switch from Evernote over to DTPO.

Just cleaning house on a few last items.

For those who switched over…do you find a difference between…

  1. Copying the content of a note in Evernote (select all-copy) and creating a new note in DTPO.

  2. Using the import feature that DTPO provides for Evernote.

I know that option 1 maybe time-consuming, but curious if it has a made a different for anyone.

Anyone have any tips for those who left Evernote for DTPO ? (i.e. anything you wished you did before switching over, etc)


I brought over 6000ish notes via the DEVONthink importer with success.

If you have a folder hierarchy set up in Evernote, the import process will create new “groups” in DEVONthink, which are basically just folders that mirror you setup in Evernote.

If you use tags in Evernote the process maintains these as tags in DEVONthink too. I organized my notes by tags, so this was a big plus for me.

Most everything came over as expected. PDFs and text notes were perfect. Attached files in notes even come over too. They look a little different; they appear like a link instead of the thumbnail image icon. You are still able to open the file in an expected application (ie pdf expert or Excel) when you click open in external editor button.



About the only thing I ever noticed issues with were websites that I clipped with the Evernote Web clipper. This hasn’t been a big issue for me though, as when I come across one like this in DEVONthink, I simply navigate back to the website via the link in the note and clip it again with the DEVONthink clipper.

I would highly suggest making use of the importer and hopefully save a ton of time.

I hope this helps!

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That is a good point. The same will be true for the note-to-note links. They will remain an Evernote hyperlink.

I do not know a good way to get around that. I tried playing with DEVONthink’s search capabilities a bit, but I can’t find a way for it to search for links that are embedded in text. I believe it just searches for the text itself.

Updating internal note links may end up needing to be a manual process any way you slice it, then. You can definitely create new note links inside of DEVONthink too, but changing them from Evernote links to DEVONthink links I imagine will need to be done manually.

Maybe someone else has a tip on this?

I currently use Dropshare with a Backblaze B2 bucket for sharing documents with others, it’s incredibly easy to copy the document in DEVONthink then hit ⌥⇧⌘C, and within a second or 2 depending on the file size, I get a shortened URL in my clipboard.

I also use Dropshare for a do it yourself image sharing site. I’ve found it best to host your own image sharing after both Droplr and CloudApp removed their iOS applications last year which was frustrating along with the very subpar customer support from both companies. I bought Dropshare on macOS, iOS, and got it for free on Windows, definitely recommend going this route if you are sharing online.

As for price, I currently have about 25GB in that bucket, but I pay Backblaze about $7 a month for ~600GB of data in various buckets, so the cost is ridiculously low compared to other drop sites. I believe the first 10GB is free for a bucket, for most people it would take a long time to reach 10GBs on just text, Word, Excel, even PDFs.

Sources: How to set up a Backblaze B2 Cloud Storage connection

Thank you @Philalethes ! I think what made my transition easier was importing all my Evernote notes into a separate database as a backup.

The thing that caught me off guard, after I made the new database it didn’t automatically sync. I was frustrated for a good 30 minutes trying to figure out what went wrong. Unless I am mistaken, but I had to add the additional database to my Sync location (I’m using Box.com) and I had to do the same thing for iOS, it didn’t automatically just do it on it’s own.

Hey @FrMichaelFanous how is the transition to DevonThink going? I’ve been using DevonThink for several months but gradually organizing my Evernote notes in a separate DevonThink database. Realized some old notes aren’t relevant (Aperture comes to mind) so a good cleansing process.

hey @Jonathan_Davis, the transition is going well. Taking a bit longer to get used to some things. For about 2-3 weeks, I imported all my Evernotes just like you did in a separate DT database. Then I made another database for testing and experimentation, moving notes, indexing, importing, etc. As soon as I reached a level I was comfortable at, I removed those databases, did a fresh import of Evernote.

All my notebooks became groups, I stacked a few groups together within major categories.
Evernote…i had a Project Stack and then 4-5 notebooks for each individual project.

In Devonthink, Projects became a group, and then within that each project became a group for housing all the notes, files, etc.

I have an IFTTT that converts articles favorited in Pocket to be PDF’d and sent to DTPO.
I use DT’s web clipper and it does what I need to it, I prefer saving whatever I need as a paginated PDF. If it’s just not working I just grab the text I want and that’s it.

I am using 1 database for everything, mainly because a lot of the areas of my life overlap, and I do many things on the go sometimes, so I have everything synced to my iPad and iPhone all the time.

The few parts I am still trying to wrap my head around and I still experiment with.

  1. Do I want to write notes in DT or is it a final archival place?
  2. If I write in Drafts or Byword, how can I drop it in DT, but still make edits in the actual document, and have it regularly updated.
  3. Looking for a workaround for email to Devonthink to replace that evernote one.
  4. The database is in a local folder on the mac as recommended by everyone, my sync occurs at Box, wondering if I should switch that to Dropbox, iCloud, or my own Synology and assessing what are the pros/cons of each

That’s me in a nutshell, what about you?

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YMMV but I am slowly moving toward all note writing takes place in DT directly.

I don’t use either drafts or Byword but I am using DT to index text files in a folder that are all my queries for my LambTracker system. I can make the changes in DT and they show up in the text files and vice versa. I’d try putting your written stuff in a place and indexing it rather than importing and see if that works.

If you find a good send to DT script that can be used in Apple Mail pass it on, I’d love that. The Mail Import in DT is a bit hard to use IMO.

I do all my sync on my own WebDAV system because I don’t want my DT notes out in the cloud.

I did a few little different things with it but it’s best to spout out especially can. I initially thought that I wanted to make a separate database so this is what I did after importing my notes I made sure that it is in a separate database. The problem is that I realized that often times my notes belonged in a database instead of its own separate database. Instead, I added everything in my Evernote database to my personal database. Then I created a folder called “Evernote items to sort”. This signified I was still sorting those items and is kind of the to-do box of sorts. Then what I’ve been doing is I’ve been going inconsistently through that folder to then go through the subfolders that are my notebooks and deciding what can be kept and deleted and what should be saved and then once that’s determined it’s brought out of that folder into its own folder within the personal database. An example is the following: For example it might look like the following:

DevonThink Databases

  1. Personal
    “Evernote Items to Sort”
    • Fitness
  2. Teaching

Then I changed it to the following after processing the fitness articles

  1. Personal
    “Evernote Items to Sort”
  2. Work/School

To be quite frank, I’m rather inconsistent about my filing and really haven’t taken the time to do so lately. I think I have a lot going on housewives so it’s not really of my concentration and more so the thing to do if or when I have time.

I use three databases to separate my life a bit but also to not combine all into one. My three databases are Personal, Teaching, and Apps & Workflows. I’m torn on my usage of Teaching as honestly much of my stuff is in the cloud in Google Docs and such. Maybe periodically (monthly or more) I’ll copy stuff from Google Drive to this database. The Apps and Workflows one is about various apps I’m trying to learn or work with and workflows I’m trying out. Got the idea from @whilsong and it works quite well when I come across something. In fact, I’ll probably send this convo to that database as a good info for DevonThink.

As for your questions:

  1. Do I want to write notes in DT or is it a final archival place?
  2. If I write in Drafts or Byword, how can I drop it in DT, but still make edits in the actual document, and have it regularly updated.
  3. Looking for a workaround for email to Devonthink to replace that Evernote one.
  4. The database is in a local folder on the mac as recommended by everyone, my sync occurs at Box, wondering if I should switch that to Dropbox, iCloud, or my own Synology and assessing what are the pros/cons of each

The notes stuff I’m torn on. I have scraps in Drafts, some notes in DT, other notes (minimally) in Ulysses, and other notes written out in hard form. Ideally, these written notes would be scanned and filed away but I don’t yet have a good scanner though it’s on my wishlist.

As for my own writing, I write a good amount in Ulysses though am thinking of switching over to something else given it’s in its own format. Looking at other text editors that I can store stuff on my computer or the cloud but is in plain text or rich text. I discussed this with people in this thread and have some options to try when I get the chance and l,eaning towards iA Writer 5.

The email stuff I don’t know where to go on. Ideally I’d like a copy of all my emails automatically synced to DevonThink though I too need to do some digging. Something on my wishlist to work on but on the back burner currently. It would be nice to get this working to make quick search and long term storage of email available in DevonThink instead of just the email client or cloud.

As for the syncing, I too should look into this though mine is currently with iCloud. When I get a Synology for security purposes I’ll heavily favor that given some privacy concerns and awareness.

There’s a slightly dated but thorough comparison here:
Part 1
Part 2
One of the author’s main points is that EN and DT aren’t necessarily either/or alternatives; it’s possible to use both and leverage their respective strengths for different purposes.

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@Scottisloud might have some info to contribute here. :smiley:

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