Home IOS The Return to DEVONthink from Evernote

The Return to DEVONthink from Evernote

by Kerry Dawson


In an article I wrote about three years ago I titled it “[SWITCHING TO EVERNOTE FROM DEVONTHINK BUT WHY…..?]“ and I explained the primary reason was DEVONthink’s mobility wasn’t up to snuff. All that has changed with the release of DEVONthink to Go 2. There is another significant factor that makes DEVONthink and products like it much more appealing. Evernote has just increased its pricing fairly substantially. Since Evernote’s pricing is based on a subscription model, billing never stops.

With many other products as good as Evernote or depending on need better, Evernote is appearing like a very expensive option. Some have likened Evernote to not only an Information Manager but that of a Knowledge Manager. I feel Evernote to be an excellent Information Manager but as a Knowledge Manager you’re pushing the product. Only DEVONthink can really be seen as a Knowledge Manager.

The Move to Subscription Based Pricing

The move by a number of software companies to the subscription based software model is causing many of us to take a second look at our bills. As more companies approach their pricing this way, it is causing the overall cost of software to rise dramatically. For the software vendor the benefit is a constant stream of income. For the consumer, it is just more money on a product that should be sold outright as has been the case.

When a company such as Evernote, which was already a subscription based service, decides to up their prices fairly drastically, it’s time to take a look to see if there is something else that can do the job effectively. In the case of Evernote, as long as you can stay in the Mac environment, DEVONthink not only provides an excellent option but in many ways a better option.

I had used DEVONthink for a long time so was quite familiar with its benefits. I owned the software and decided, all things being as they are, to go back to DEVONthink. My decision was a good one.

I had missed DEVONthink, for a variety of reasons when I went to Evernote which was propelled by DEVONthink‘‘s lack of a good mobility application. With DEVONthink to Go 2 on the market, the mobility application is superb and the reasons to have left are gone. Further, there are these new reasons to come back, all good.

DEVONthink is a Cost Effective Powerhouse

DEVONthink app
In this article, I’ll be primarily discussing DEVONthink Office Pro as this one has the capability, which is very important, to be your paperless office. All things can be scanned into it and these things will be OCR’d and thus fully searchable. For the little extra functionality it is worth its weight in Gold.

DEVONthink can fully replace Evernote in any way except as a cross platform tool. However, most critical is the added functionality it brings to the table that makes this more of a Knowledge Manager along with an information manager. That is, your capture of say research materials, notes, information, the linking of the information, the AI substructure that allows for fast and more accurate search and sort create for those AHA moments. These AHA moments generally are the creation of information. It might go something like when you look at different items you now go I see. It is not just the ability to line up items that Evernote can do well but the ability to bring computing power on the database that brings about the linakages etc that then can bring about these AHA moments. Thus, the reason I say this is a knowledge and information manager whereas Evernote is not as geared for the former as well.

Your Investment Forever or Time Attenuated

DEVONthink logo
Unlike the subscription based model, where you’re always putting out money to use the product, DEVONthink is buy it and use it. You will find this product provides a lot of updates between major, purchasaeble updates. When a major update occurs, you can either buy it or just use what you have (no ongoing flushing of your money). The reason you might want to do this, is everything in the current system is adequately meeting your needs. However, say the upgrade provided a really flashy new UI. You might for this reason alone upgrade and shell out a few dollars. In the end, you have choice and your data is your data. Not so with the subscription. No money, no use. End of story.

Competition is a wonderful thing in this instance. If say Evernote were to go under (highly unlikely) how would you retrieve your data. Fortunately, DEVONthink has a number of tools to bring Evernote data into it. Now you’re back to the pay for the software and use scenario as opposed to the subscription model in which you’re just paying to use the software all the time.

Have enough subscription based models and it starts becoming very expensive. So let’s say, you only had one subscription based system. This might not be such a big deal. However, if you have a number of subscription based systems that are each relatively expensive, over the course of a year you could start to really feel it. If you own the software and just decide not to upgrade, you can keep using you’re current software as long as it will work with the OS which is generally a long time.

At Long Last


DEVONthink to Go 2 was no too soon in coming. It happened just around the time Evernote upped it’s prices. There are of course other options that DEVONthink, but because of it’s comprehensive nature it makes for an ideal tool to compare too. I don’t think users mind paying for good software but in the right fashion but when subscripitions are coming at them from a number angles, one of which has never been discussed, it can start to get overwhelming quickly. DEVONthink provides a nice route out of this at least for this software area a very important area.

In past articles, I had described some of the many numerous benefits of DEVONthink. It might be time to do a recap of some of these benefits which makes this software a worthwhile investment. For now, I’ll just conclude by stating that DEVONthink is a powerful, knowledge based management system that can cost effectively provide a solid solution in the information management area.

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