Using DevonThink in conjunction with other software?

I started this thread on the DevonThink forums but am interested in responses here as well.

Don’t discount Finder as “other software”.

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Once I started using Houdahspot I forget about Finder.

However, I see already confirmation bias happening in the DT Forum.

I would recommend creating the optimum process that suits the parameters of your specific workflow then align the strengths of your menu of applications.

In this case, both Obsidian and Roam Research offer new ways to view and connect your information with DT as a repository and search engine.

I always think that it is prududent to have redundant storage of information for the obvious reasons


Agreed. I use DT for all of the research I collect. So many PDFs and links and docs related to both tech and legal.

The DT links are great though. I can jump to them from anywhere. Did you know you can even add a page reference to those links?

I also use Hook in a similar way but it is for documents that don’t land in DT. Like a client contract, which just stays in the client folder. With a Hook link I can get back to that file from OmniFocus, or Roam Research, or anywhere. You’ve inspired me. I’ll do a post on how I use this.


DEVONthink for cold storage? Although I have a lot of databases and a lot of files in them, I’d never think of DEVONthink as cold storage. I guess I’m thinking of archival storage when I read that term. Anyway, using DEVONthink solely for storage is ignoring 99% of its features. Costly.

@ChrisUpchurch’s suggestion to not discount Finder might be the cold storage answer too.

OTOH, DEVONthink is a different animal than Obsidian or Roam. (Which will probably disappear in time when the markdown / graph / zk craze dies off in 14 months.) Obsidian is easy to use with DEVONthink by indexing and Obsidian “vault” (set of folders). Roam is pretty difficult to use with any thing other than Roam.

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Sorry if you already knew this, but if you invoke Hook while DEVONthink is in the foreground , Hook will copy the x-devonthink-item:// URL of the active document rather than the hook:// one. It can even tell the difference between a file and a collection being the active selection.

Same is true for Bear, Drafts, and OmniFocus. In Safari, Hook will copy the URL of the front-most tab.

I set up a system-wide Keyboard Maestro macro that invokes Hook and copies the URL to the clipboard.

And come to think of it … I might just write another KBM macro that appends the link provided by Hook (Native or Hook) to the clipboard. That way I could go around and Hook-Copy links to all the relevant resources (OmniFocus, File System Folder, DT Collection) all at once, maybe do a little RegEx to format the list properly, and then put all of them onto the pasteboard to be pasted wherever.

That sounds like a fun little challenge for tomorrow morning. :slight_smile:

My main hesitation with Hook is that it is another app that locks away my data in its database. Yes, I know, we can export the link data into an .xml array. Not much use to me in that form. Hook is a niche product so I assume it doesn’t have a ton of investment behind it, or marketability if the dev gets bored and wants to move on. So, IMO, it is also likely to disappear with no one to take its place.

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I totally get that. I’m not a fan of data lock-in either. However, I don’t use any of the note-taking features of Hook; I use it only as a tool to grab URLs for cross-linking. Once I figured out that Hook will grab the app’s native URL where it can, I felt a lot better about using it. And because those links are more transient in nature to me, although I would be disappointed if Hook disappeared, I wouldn’t be incompacitated.

I don’t know if it makes a difference, but Hook is built almost entirely on top of AppleScript. Should the app disappear, a more industrious person might be able to recreate its functionality in AppleScript. Those could then be ported into Services or invoked through Keyboard Maestro, Fast Scripts, or something similar.

Hook also has a Discourse Forum that’s pretty active, which is nice for support and things like that.

But like I said, I totally agree on the aversion to data lock-in.

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The note taking feature is actually not a lock-in problem with Hook, since the “note taking” is linking one thing with another file in many common formats including text files.

I can count on one finger the cases in my experience where someone picked up the code of a dead application and revived it. And not very well at that.

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I think Luc, the Hook developer, is very invested in the product and the likelihood of him abandoning it is very small. Regardless, in the meantime, I find it wicked useful. I could still get to my files and data if Hook died, but while it lives I get these benefits every day.