DEVONthink or EagleFiler (or Finder?)
One of the things I waffle about is the choice of software for managing my many PDFs and other files. I often wish I could just keep everything in organized folders and use my Mac’s Finder to manage it all. That sounds great on paper, but never sticks.
I’ve used DEVONthink for years because it is so mature and powerful. I continue to find new features or techniques even after all this time. It does everything!
EagleFiler comes into play when I’m feeling overwhelmed by DEVONthink. EagleFiler is much closer to the metal, so to speak. It’s basically a thin, smart layer over a set of folders. Everything is accessible “natively” and its capture and organizational features are simple and useful.
But after using EagleFiler for a while, I start to wonder why I’m not just doing everything in Finder. I mean, if we’re going to mess about with files in the filesystem, why not just do that then? What was EagleFiler offering me, again?
After a short time, I end up back with nicely organized files and folders and it’s such a relief not needing to deal with databases or any of that nonsense!
Except it’s harder to get things into the right place using just Finder. It requires me to, for example, save a PDF to my Desktop then find and open the destination folder, then drag it on in. This makes quickly capturing stuff cumbersome. Search is fine, but harder to use than in the other apps. And I miss the way DEVONthink would intelligently sort and rename files for me. So always return to using DEVONthink, until I end up back at the beginning.
Where are we today, then? Today, it’s DEVONthink. My feeling right now is that if I’m going to abstract myself away from the actual files, I may as well use the tool with the coolest, fanciest ways to do that.
However, I can feel the pull of a simple set of folders and files. I am thinking about ways of making 2023 the Year Of Less Software, so stay tuned. 🙂