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Notes about upgrading from DevonThink Pro Office to DevonThink 3

I've been using DevonThink for years, and I very much like and rely on it, but the recent v3 update is a big change and presents some challenges. In no particular order, here are my notes about the upgrading experience so far:

  • It's great there is no change to the db format, but there is a big change to where databases are stored by default, so you need to be careful to ensure that you're working with the right file. This is particularly true when you create new databases..
  • The new Sorter is horrible. I hate it. This used to be a very simple and quick way to add things to the database but now it's bloated by features and far too many drop targets. It also no longer runs by itself (that is, DevonThink 3 needs to be running) so I don't understand its value. I could go on and on with more faults, but the fact is, this is a rare misstep by the app's designers. If the Sorter is a big part of your workflow, as it was mine, brace yourself for disappointment.
  • If you keep the old version of DT around - and you almost certainly will for a while -- be aware that the Finder's InBox sidebar item is not updated. It still points to the old global InBox. This is a pretty big usability hiccup that could lead you to believe you lost data. To fix this, remove the old InBox from the sidebar and add the new one in its place
  • It's seeming impossible to re-create my favorite view in the app. Much like the Sorter, now you have to deal with too much hierarchy.

I'll add more notes as necessary. I'm glad that DevonThink continues to be developed as its one of the best serious macOS apps around, but because it has customers who have been using it for years, making changes such as these is a very delicate matter.


Drafts action for Ulysses

I accidentally deleted a Drafts action that I use several times a day. Ugh! It took me a surprisingly long time to re-create it, so I'm posting it here as a note to my future ham-fisted self.

This action appends the contents of the draft to an existing sheet in Ulysses. It also adds the current date (preceded by a space) to the end of the draft.

The x-callback URL for Ulysses is:

ulysses://x-callback-url/insert?id=wv2bd8fySd5tc5mALurGNQ&text=[[draft]]%20[[date]]

You’ll need to replace the ID with the ID of the sheet you want to append. You get the Ulysses sheet ID via the Share menu (believe it or not.)

There's also a copy of this stashed in the Actions Directory.