Manage your information with the powerful tools in DEVONthink 3

Take Control of
DEVONthink 3

Joe Kissell
(1 customer review)

DEVONthink 3 offers a slew of features for defeating information overload, but mastering its power is easier with real-world advice from DEVONthink power user Joe Kissell. He helps you understand the best ways to put information into DEVONthink and how to organize it so you can find it later. He also covers syncing DEVONthink databases among your Apple devices and using DEVONthink To Go in iOS.

All Take Control books are delivered in three ebook formats—PDF, EPUB, and Mobipocket (Kindle)—and can be read on nearly any device.



With the information-management app DEVONthink 3, you no longer have to swim in a sea of web bookmarks, email receipts, RSS feeds, scanned memos, and downloaded bank statements. DEVONthink stores your digital documents and clippings, helps you scan and store paper documents, and serves as home base for organizing and viewing all your information. But mastering all that power can take effort, and this book—created in partnership with DEVONtechnologies—has the real-world advice you need to understand how DEVONthink can bring order to your information.

You’ll also learn how to extend your DEVONthink experience beyond your main Mac with detailed coverage of the many ways you can sync DEVONthink databases to other Macs and to iOS devices using the DEVONthink To Go iOS app.

After covering essential DEVONthink vocabulary and concepts, including the completely reworked user interface of DEVONthink 3, Joe helps you start using DEVONthink effectively. You’ll learn how to:

  • Decide how many databases you need and set them up
  • Determine whether to input or index data
  • Configure where incoming data will go
  • Import data from many different apps
  • Import data from a scanner, including OCR options
  • Use grouping and tagging to organize data
  • Add and work with DEVONthink 3’s expanded metadata capabilities
  • Use simple (and sophisticated) techniques for searching
  • Create smart groups that automatically gather newly imported data
  • Use smart rules and AppleScript to automate countless activities within DEVONthink
  • Create documents in plain text, HTML, Markdown, and more
  • Edit documents in DEVONthink (or externally)
  • Find the best way to sync DEVONthink data with other devices
  • Work with reminders, smart templates, and other sophisticated tools
  • Convert documents between formats
  • Effectively use the DEVONthink To Go iOS app
  • Share DEVONthink documents with other people
  • Export documents from DEVONthink
  • Back up and maintain healthy databases

Questions answered in the book include:

  • What is DEVONthink good for, and what should be left to other apps?
  • What kinds of data can I import? (Short answer: Nearly everything!)
  • How can I display my data in a way that works well for me?
  • When I import documents from different sources, where do they end up, and why?
  • Is it better to sort imported documents right away, or leave them for later?
  • Should I group my data, tag it, or both?
  • What are duplicates and replicants, and how can I tell them apart?
  • Which types of data can be created or edited within DEVONthink?
  • How do I make my DEVONthink database accessible via the web using DEVONthink Server?
  • How do I move documents out of DEVONthink using the Share feature?
  • How do I use DEVONthink To Go on my iOS device?

Plus, we now plan to update this free book approximately four times per year for the foreseeable future to cover ongoing changes in DEVONthink and add new tips and advice!

Joe Kissell

About Joe Kissell

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.

What’s New in Version 1.3

This third quarterly update of the book makes only extremely minor changes, mainly to cover small differences in DEVONthink 3.5.1 and 3.5.2. Changes include:

  • Noted that you can rearrange items in the Reading List Sidebar by drag-and drop
  • Added a comment about Full Disk Access in “Use the Mail Plugin”
  • Added a note to “Use a Fujitsu ScanSnap” about the surprise release of a 64-bit version of ScanSnap Manager
  • Updated “Configure OCR Preferences” to include the new Resolution setting
  • Included a note in “Create a WikiLink” about MashedWords and double brackets
  • In “Edit HTML and Markdown Documents,” noted additional languages now supported by Prism
  • Added a comment about Bonjour syncing via a USB cable in “Sync Locations”

What Was New in Version 1.2

Version 1.2 is the second quarterly update of this book. It covers changes in DEVONthink 3.0.4 and 3.5, including the following:

  • Updated and expanded discussion of the Sidebar, and especially the Navigate Sidebar, to include new preferences for unifying (or not) databases and inboxes, and shortcuts for switching among them)
  • Added a sidebar, “All About Favorites,” discussing how you can add, access, and rename favorites
  • Added another sidebar, “The Mail Rule AppleScripts,” explaining how DEVONthink AppleScripts can be included in Mail rules
  • Included new OCR options, such as adding recognized text as comments or annotations, and support for Brother’s iPrint & Scan software, in “Configure OCR Preferences”
  • Added a tip about using Option-click to search in ”Perform a Simple Search“
  • Added a tip about exporting cloud views of concordances in “Search Using the Concordance”
  • In “Edit HTML and Markdown Documents,” added information on DEVONthink’s support for Prism (syntax highlighting) and MathJAX (equation rendering)
  • Expanded “Work with Smart Rules” to include multiple triggers and the Scan Name and Scan Text actions
  • Mentioned the new default guest user in “Use DEVONthink’s Web Server”
  • Added a tip on integrating DEVONthink with Hook in “Link DEVONthink Documents to Other Apps”
  • Updated a number of screenshots to reflect subtle changes in the user interface

August 13, 2020—We plan to release updates to this book approximately once per quarter for the foreseeable future, to cover changes to DEVONthink and add more details.

1 review for Take Control of DEVONthink 3

  1. Magnus Laubenstein (verified owner)

    Great addition to the Manual. Love the app, really like the way Joe Kissell explains things. The app can do so much for you and it is really worth finding all out.

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