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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.

Comments

twitter.com/sfkeydel

I concur with all of your upgrading notes/concerns. Regarding the last one, was your previous favorite view the three-pane view? It was mine. There’s an extremely long thread on the user forum with many expressions of dismay regarding the disappearance of this view.

One other quibble: it’s no longer possible to password-protect a database such that you’re required to enter the password upon opening the database. Granted, the password protection was rudimentary (it could be found easily in the plist file). However, it did represent a minimal barrier.

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