Is there a Document Management System, beside DT/DTTG?

For Mac only, I’m a big fan and long-time user of Leap. It’s not as full-featured as DevonThink. It’s basically like a super-powered version of Finder. It doesn’t do anything proprietary, just works with the features that already exist in MacOS. But it gives me a better way to navigate my filing system that works well with my brain.

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I have had no problems what so ever now for over two years and DEVONthink 3 is the core of my system. No problems at all beyond a few user error ones. There is a learning curve, nowhere near as big as I one time thought though.

It does sometimes, if mac closes down when the battery runs out, I do that sometimes, show a ‘database is in use’ box but ‘continue’ always resolves that: it could confuse a new user though I admit. It is how it is supposed to work I think but that box could be more user intelligible?

I have learnt, and this applies to all apps and many regular machines, to give stuff some time to happen and for the system to catch up, load to the cloud or whatever. It is asking a lot for an app to sort of build in brakes for that. Even Mac can’t fully do it on its own system. People jab buttons and don’t give even a micro second to let a process happen. We just had it in our kitchen setting the rice maker. I personally think a lot of DEVONthink 3 problems are due to that. I leave it open all the time now too.

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This pretty much sums it up.


Just the Finder and Finder Tags works well. That coupled with Spotlight, Smart Folders, a decent naming scheme, and a logical layout for files goes a long way. I do wish we had end-to-end encryption in iCloud Drive, but overall I’d say it works well.

I’ve looked at EagleFiler a few times and I struggle to find a reason to use it over the Finder. The developer has been promising v2 for years that’s supposed to come with a modern layout and native Apple Silicon support. I’m getting VoodooPad 6 vibes from it though. We’ll see.

Well totally the opposite of my own experience where they helped me with some ‘newbie’ errors with great patience. I can’t speak for anybody else. Just today for example if you look at their forum. They came there and replied to me by email though I did ‘click’ the problem on waking recently.


My main use over Finder isn’t for organisation but capture… I can press F1 on a web page, email or downloaded file and have it added to the library. Optionally I can add tags and notes as part of the capture.


HoudahSpot is better for finding stuff anyway :slight_smile:

For finding stuff, nothing I’ve tried beats Foxtrot Pro Search.

I use DT too - but only for automated PDF capture and OCR. For searching, Foxtrot is exceptional.

The Finder is great but EagleFiler gives me additional ways to curate my collection of stuff. It is like setting up a View in a database management system. You always have the underlying layout of the database (The Finder) but a View (EagleFiler) allows me to see into my stuff in custom ways on top of that.


End-to-end encryption and reliability would make iCloud Drive a game-changer. Alas…


I use both Houdah and DEVONthink 3. Good combo I find. You are right though Houdah is amazing.

I just can’t wrap my head around how it could be worth $120 for the pro version. Admittedly, I haven’t tried it because I don’t want to find it’s something I didn’t know I couldn’t live without :slightly_smiling_face:


You can get DT’s search for $10.
They have stated it only reads files, so shouldn’t corrupt them.

I know what you mean. A couple of things have made it worthwhile for me

  1. It just seems to find exactly what I’m looking for noticeably quicker and more easily (based on my search queries) than DT or Houdah.

  2. It indexes pretty much anything. E.g. calendars, iMessages, emails (in Mail or Outlook) and any arbitrary folder you point it at.

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I’m gonna throw in another vote for Keep It. I use it on my Mac and iPad as my digital archive and collector of all materials. The developer just released a new version that has Finder integration on the Mac, so you can add and update files in the file system and Keep It will handle it smoothly (although as far as I know you can’t index external locations like DEVONthink).

As a student, I use the hell out of groups, which are kinda like virtual folders that contain files that exist in other places in the folder structure. Groups make it really easy to collect together my notes and documents for a course or a unit, and then search them a bunch of times for different keywords. It’s a total lifesaver when I’m working through an exam study guide.

As a bonus, it’s made by a solo developer named Steve who’s super nice and responsive to emails. Last year he helped me troubleshoot an iCloud sync error I was getting because I was running a macOS beta. Keep It is the one subscription that I’m always happy to pay, and he really should charge more for it. Happy customer for 3 years now.

  1. A little too well sometimes. It’s very quick to sync but I do find it seems to do a lot of syncing activity when I’m not expecting it to. This sometimes catches me out if I open it for a quick action and then immediately try to close it, as it will warn me a sync is in progress. It doesn’t take long, though.

  2. I’ve not tried both, sorry, but I suspect it would work if DT does not store its information in the indexed folder.

  3. In my experience, not a single shortcut for any task works consistently on one platform, so I simply do not use them.

Seconded. Steve has been really helpful to me in the past and super helpful to a friend of mine. The guy cares about his users. I’ve been using it for about three and a half years now and it has steadily improved in that time.

A simple file/folder structure in iCloud files, or as I use it, in NextCloud has solved most of the issues for me. I used to use DT, but found the search options no longer outweighed the issues I had with reliably syncing and random database crashes I experienced.

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It occurs to me to mention that a Finder-only approach can be improved by means of automations. I set one up recently to help we weed through scanned photos, to choose which to spend time on cleaning up.

I have been an Alfred user for years so used its hotkey feature to use this (which I’m pretty sure someone here pointed me to) to create a set of hotkeys to toggle specific tags on selected files.

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Take a look at Keep It — apps for macOS & iOS. It gets good reviews — and is often compared to DevonTHINK. It’s really quite good.

On the Mac, the program actually integrates with Finder. You can drag & drop any file into any folder from your desktop. All documents are stored in iCloud — and you can only keep what you need to be downloaded on your devices.