Okay, so I spent about a year with Devonthink. It was fine. The main draw was able to get my files on iOS. Apple released the Files app, and I turned into a Devonthink hater (look at my history. You’ll see the hate).
This year I went back to try and organize my PDFs. I only have 800 pdfs, but the process was daunting enough that I was willing to try DEVONthink again. It was fine, it matched some articles with ones I’m reading and it helped me find articles that fit papers I’m writing. That was enough for me to keep using it. The matches were okay, but pretty much what I could already do since I’m familiar with the kinds of articles I have.
I rediscovered DEVONagent, it’s an advanced web search app from the same team. You can create predefined searches and have them run automatically then feed the html pages of articles to DEVONthink. I figured at some point I’ll have my research assistants look through these folders (that had 800 hits each after 3 nights). It’ll help them narrow down their searches.
Today I put in a draft of a paper I’m working on. I click on the “magic hat” that looks for articles that closely match the text. I forgot I had all these new resources in my database from DEVONagent. It pulled up about 10 articles that were perfect for my article. These were mostly articles I did not have in my database a few days ago. Wow.
It saves me space not having to download the PDFs, and I can focus on only downloading the most relevant articles to the piece I’m currently writing.
One tip, don’t have your work computer do these searches at 2am at night. It’ll look suspicious to your IT department. They shut my ethernet port off. Ooops.