Is DevonThink worth it if I already have a NAS?

As per the title, I’ve traditionally stored and stored up all of my docs on a Synology NAS, but am quite tempted by DevonThink, mainly for the AI and OCR features.

The NAS isn’t purely for document storage - I use it for streaming media as well as managing smart devices around the home, so it would have additional uses. But equally, DevonThink would have to bring some serious benefits to shell out another 200 bucks in addition to the local disk storage I’ve already invested in.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance

For me it’s OCR and the incredible search options, together with the new automation in v3 that make it worthwhile. And my synology keeps a backup of my DT databases.

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@MortimerJazz I agree with @JKoopmans. I would add that the file conversion features, smart rules smart groups and built in Scripts and templates make DT a flexible and powerful app.


Thanks for the replies both - yes, it’s definitely the OCR side of things that has got me interested. Plus having my entire email archive from previous jobs all available and searchable (rather than just having an OST file on my NAS).

Do you both use NAS boxes as well as DT then?

P.S. Cheeky second question, is the OCT/AI/Search functionality available across all databases that you create in DT?

I do not use NAS boxes.

The answer to your second question is yes.

You may have already seen this thread regarding my workflow, and it is much broader than your question, but it may be helpful to you if you have not seen it.

I’m not clear on what “do I need DEVONthink” has to to with “I have a NAS”?

DEVONthink is used for document management, and can index files on a NAS and, depending on whether that NAS supports macOS packages, can be with DEVONthink databases on a NAS. Other than that, DEVONthink is not a data-storage product. It’s software, not a physical device.


Yes, I use a NAS as well, it’s running plex and backup operations for me.

One other advantage of using DT is that it’s a local operation, and with a NAS there is always some lag.

I’m confused. The 2 things do totally different tasks. I use a NAS but I also use DEVONThink. The NAS is a data file storage system fir my original digital photos, a place to put my synch stores from DT for sync to iOS devices and a place to put my Omnifocus sync info as well.

DT has been my primary small note system as well as an index of my main hard drive filing cabinet folder. DT is also the repository for my email archive.

The NAS is also a backup location for my machines and I back up my NAS to local hard drives as well.


Hey @OogieM - thanks for the reply.

To be honest, I’m still getting to grips with DT but at the moment my NAS is also used as a document archive. I store all of my tax returns on there for example, insurance details, copies of my driving licence, client proposals and pitches for work etc etc

However, that’s all it is - it ‘s a place where I store docs and, as long as I can find the right folder, I should be able to access things wherever I want.

DT is tempting because of the OCR side of things (currently PDFs are just stored as PDFs on my NAS) and also for the AI in as far as it would remind me of docs that perhaps I worked on 5 or 10 years ago that may well be relevant to something I’m working on now.

This is a little like asking “Do I still need a car if I already have a garage?”
Yes, they do completely different things - in fact, they fit quite well together. Why do you have a garage if you don’t have a car already…?
Buy the car and put it in the garage :smiley: