DevonThink 3.0 Product Review

DevonThink 3 Review


When I was planning this review I had to compare my experiences with a wide range of note-keeping applications before finally declaring DevonThink the clear winner.

There are many people looking for note-keeping applications online. My research tools show me that there are about 260,000 people per month actively searching for note-keeping solutions for their Mac computers.  

The products that people choose are going to be the ones that capture the attention of searchers.  

While writing this review took only a few hours, the process of getting to this point took about 7 years!  As an online marketer, I have some sophisticated research tools that tell me what people online are looking for.  I use my search tools to find out how many people were searching for each of the applications I am talking about. 

What Does The Search Traffic Indicate?

Here are the numbers of people per month searching for note-keeping applications online:

  • DevonThink – 1,567 Searches per month
  • Evernote – 96,000 Searches per month
  • OneNote – 146,000 Searches per month
  • Growly Notes – 20 Searches per month
  • Bear Notes – 636 Searches per month
  • Yojimbo – 1,367 Searches per month
  • SimpleNote – 9,548 Searches per month
  • KeepIt – 116 Searches per month

I purchased and tested every one of these applications over the past three years.  Each product has its strengths and its weaknesses.  Over time I found myself gravitating to just three of these applications based on their functionality for my needs.  Those three are DevonThink, EverNote, and Yojimbo.

In the past month, I upgraded DevonThink to the latest version (3.0) which now supports the dark mode on the latest Mac OS. DevonThink has emerged as the clear winner for three reasons.

  1. It has more feature-rich options and diversified utility than any of the others.
  2. Any downside considerations are minimal, and
  3. DevonThink support is outstanding!

In conversation with support at DevonThink, I learned that they are one of the very few companies that will actually respond directly to questions you ask.  And, they will speak in full sentences. My sense from the other companies is that they respond as though they are pecking out a minimal response on the keyboard of their android device.  

I found this particularly true with support at Yojimbo.  They spoke as though they were annoyed, and they really don't like us asking about potential new features!

DevonThink 3.0 (and DevonThink Pro)

DevonThink is now my #1 recommendation with the release of version 3.0.  I bought DevonThink back at version 2.  I recently upgraded to version 3, which offers the “Dark Mode“. I spend many hours on my Mac so the dark theme is great for my eyes.

DevonThink has a ton of features. So many that I could never cover them all in just one article.  DevonThink was clearly designed for people who think in 3D.  This is so refreshing to find.

DevonThink 3.0 Product Review 1
DevonThink 3 Menu

Creating new documents is a breeze with DevonThink.  As you can see from the above graphic, you can create plain text, rich text, formatted Notes, Markdown text, HTML pages, Sheets, Bookmarks, RSS Feeds, Twitter Feeds, Groups, and Smart groups.
A feature that really helps me with my website development is the ability to add a site as a bookmark.  This feature allows the site to load inside of the DevonThink window without having to flip over to the browser. 

DevonThink will let you break your project into separate databases if you find that a single database is getting too large.  Also, you can have several databases open at the same time and save note links between them.

The folder structure allows for nested folders and offers tagging ability as well as labeling for both files and folders.

You can set the destination of your database file to any directory or drive under your control.

You can turn searches into “Smart Groups” for commonly searched items. 
You can customize the viewport with full screen, split screen, sidebar on or off, and many other variations.

You can essentially make DevonThink be your “Office Dashboard” because it allows you to focus on the things that really count in your business.

If you are into news readers, you can create RSS feeds right inside the folder listings that allow you to quickly review news items in your chosen feeds!  This feature alone saved me the $50 I would have spent on a good newsreader.

The “Info Panel” for any object gives you a great many options for entering metadata. The amount of micro-control that DevonThink offers is just outstanding. 

DevonThink 3.0 Product Review 3
The DevonThink Desktop

You can convert documents between formats and even OCR material to a searchable PDF file, Word doc, RTF, or Web. 

If you like using the markdown notes, then you can create new pages with the Markdown option.  This feature also saved me $70 by allowing me to NOT renew my subscription to the Bear Note app.

I cannot imagine a task that DevonThink will not excel at. And while I am certainly no expert on the functionality or full use of DevonThink, I am an avid computer user with 40 years on the keyboard.

I don't think that anything on the market today can match the quality and functionality of DevonThink.  

[Post Publishing Note:] – A few hours after publishng this review I was relaxing in the evening and playing around with my DevonThink 3 interface. I decide to do an “update” check and sure enough there was an update to 3.0.3.. After downloading and installing the update, I was reading the new stuff and the changes from the last version.

I am NOT, by any means, an expert with DevonThink, but I learned on this update that you can even import your browser bookmarks! So here I am inside of the DevonThink 3 interface editing my websites in the native DevonThink browser!


When I look back at my journey testing applications to meet my note-keeping needs, I get the impression that DevonThink essentially pays for itself.  I save more than the cost of DevonThink by NOT having to purchase the other applications. 

Choosing the right app for your needs is involves more than just reviewing how the app will work now and in the future.  I learned this lesson with Chronos' app called “NoteLife”. I thought it was a decent app, but a year into it, the company abandoned support for it.

EverNote has strong marketing behind it, but the nature of EverNote's operation makes it a risky application to use. If they stop supporting the application, users will be left out in the cold.

DevonThink 3.0 runs on your desktop, and the database is stored in whatever location you choose.  With strong support that this application boasts, I see DevonThink as the main plank in my operating system for many years to come.  Everyday I find new features and benefits that I can use

The purchase of DevonThink 3 is a sound buying decision that will provide you with a wealth of note-keeping and organization tools that will serve you for years to come.

Full Disclosure: We are not connected or ssociated in any way with DevonThink or the parent company and we do NOT make any commissions by reviewing and referring this application.

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About the Author: Nick Walsh

Nick has been a computer/business analyst for 35 years. Moving into online marketing was a natural progression back in 1994, he has never looked back. What great time to be alive! When you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life!