DEVONthink is a mature product that is ideally suited to today’s modern information age worker who is handling a lot of data and data types in what can be considered both a structured and non structured fashion. DEVONthink is a product ideally suited to some, great for others and totally wrong for yet another group.
In past writings, I identified DEVONthink as more than an information management system, something most of us need. In essence, it is more than a system to manage your information which you will find it does well. Rather, DEVONthink is a knowledge management system.
Unfortunately, DEVONthink Pro Office had an expanding achilles heel. That was simply DEVONthink to Go v1. As we move into the second wave of the Information age, which is dominated by mobility, DEVONthink Pro Office was very out of sync with this trend, something which almost destroyed the product. V1 was simply totally out of balance for the demanding world of the second wave of the information management revolution. It looked and operated in such an antiquated fashion it was more or less unusable.
Knowledge Management and Information Management Defined
One of the significant aspects of DEVONthink to Go 2 is it brings back to the table one of the few systems that can be considered a Knowletdge Management system. It can easily considered an information management system in that it allows you to take your information, contained in documents, presentations etc and put them in an order that makes sense to you. However, knowledge is different. Knowledge is acquired through the interpretation of information. Links between information can produce those aha moments wherein you suddenly see or get something.
DEVONthink has a cursory AI engine that makes finding information all the easier. It helps you dissect that information so that you have a sense of how much of something is contained in something. As you look at these pieces of information, contrast their heuristics, write more notes in DEVONthink around what you’re thinking, you come to a conclusion and that therein lies knowledge.
This can be done with anything but how much aid is brought to the table as we learn, understand and develop knowledge. Some things bring a lot and some not so much. DEVONthink can be considered a system designed for this very activity. It can assist you more easily in getting from point A to point B largely by the way it works.
Without Mobility we’re left with ….
As time marched forward, DEVONthink was being hobbled by its lack of robust mobility. A significant aspect of the second wave of the Information Age is mobility. For a program of the nature of DEVONthink you can no longer just think of your system as that which sits on the desktop. Yes, it had v1 of DEVONthink to Go, but this was prone to error at many levels. The need to see your information and everything that goes with it, now goes with you in the form of a handheld be it an iPad or an iPhone (this is as important for Android also but DEVONthink unfortunately does not work at that level yet if it ever will).
V1 could leave you with riddled information if you forgot to sync it before you walked out the door. It was slow and clunky and prone to sync’g errors at all levels. Thus, for to many reasons to list in this article, v1 could do more harm than good.
DEVONthink to Go v2 and the Return to a Trusted System
However, v2 being cloud based solves that problem. You can sync anywhere regardless via the cloud. Your information is current and complete and that is the most important part. It is less prone to sync errors due to the extensive work DEVONtechnologies put into the product. All in all, the introduction of v2 of DEVONthink to Go v2 is one of the most significant aspects of DEVONthink’s growth.
In my case, as a workaround, I used Evernote and the ability to transport info between the two to keep DEVONthink relevant for my needs. I felt it important even though the cost (usage by energy) was high.
DEVONthink as again Part of Your Trusted System
No longer do I need to do this. I can go to a bank meeting knowing I have with me the best information I can take. So too can it be said of researching an article. DEVONthink, of course, is a piece in the puzzle but it was an important piece. DEVONthink to Go v2 has made DEVONthink relevant again. Using the Getting things Done methodology and a good task management system, I now feel comfortable knowing that I have a reliable bucket for my information so to speak.
In GTD, having a reliable system is pivotal to Getting Things Done. Consider that as we move to a digital world the core components of that digital universe have to be reliable. Errors or lacking what is needed can be worse than not having it at all as it could send us down a completely incorrect path. To Get something Done, as David Allen puts it, we have to have a trusted system. With DEVONthink to Go v2 onboard and the rapid movement towards mobility, DEVONtech has provided both a reliable or trusted system that is fully mobile. Now, it is just up to us to Get things Done.