Free Video Tutorial: DEVONthink 3 - Part 1 - Apple Mac, iPad & iPhone Tutorials from ScreenCastsOnline

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Tutorial Description

DEVONthink is one of the most powerful database applications made for the Mac. In fact, some people have said this one application makes it worth getting a Mac just to run it!

In this first of three foundation screencasts, Todd covers how to install and set up DEVONThink for the first time. He then walks you through all of the ways to get information into your databases. DEVONThink is a really rich application that has a plug-in for just about every type of information gathering you can think of, and some you may not have thought of! The full tutorial covers:

  • Installation and Setup
  • Support Assistant and Add-ons
  • Interface Overview
  • Setting Up Your Databases
  • Importing vs. Indexing
  • Import with Drag and Drop
  • Import with the Global Inbox
  • Import with the Services Menu
  • Import with the Share Extension
  • Import with the PDF Menu
  • Import with the Sorter
  • Import Web Content
  • Import Email Content
  • Scan From Printer
  • Scan From ScanSnap
  • Import RSS & Twitter Feeds

Show Links:

Devon Technologies - DEVONthink 3

Video Tutorial Comments

(8 comments posted)

James S

Tip: Before you even consider your filing system for scans (e.g. DevonThink or just a robust Finder filing/archiving system), if you can afford it, get the right equipment first.

Instead of buying an all-in-one printer+scanner, buy the (fairly recently released) ScanSnap iX1500 document scanner (the ScanSnaps are generally the best of the bunch of doc scanners, and are almost like a well respected 'industry standard' used my a great many paperless users, Mac & Win alike!). It’s wireless and works well in this mode, so can be kept in a communal area rather than say the home office (although I keep mine in home office for convenience).

The trouble with all-in-on's are they're typically fiddly and slow at scanning, compared to actual doc scanners that can scan pages efficiently and fast in seconds. I have this model (and had a previous ScanSnap S1500M that lasted me 5 years until I updated!), so when you pro-rata the cost over a number of years, the few-hundred $£€ upfront cost is well worth it, in terms of time saved, energy getting things scanned, and the daily ease-of-use frustrations saved.

...just waiting for David Sparks to update his Paperless guide now, lol! ????


Don McAllister

Hi James, after writing that entry in the newsletter I did some research and couldn’t find a decent all in one scanner/printer. Especially not one with a document feeder. So I went with an Epson xp-6100 (as it supports AirPlay) and a ScanSnap iX1500 (by co-incidence). Sounds like I made the right decision!

James S

Haha, great minds think alike, and all that!

Note the iX1500 may take a bit of time creating the settings you want, I personally also have it avoid scanning into its "Home" app, instead just opening the scan into the PDF app of your choice for OCR-ing (it's bundled with a Nuance PDF app to download, but you cold use any you have access to), and saving into a Pending folder I then manually file away later into Finder (or you could use automation if you have regular stuff; too complicated for me).
Then there's also scanning directly to iDevices, but if you use an iCloud Drive/Dropbox-type destination folder, it’s already going to be accessible from any device in the Files app, so while a useful option, personally never really found much use for that.

So like everything, YMMV depending on how exactly one wants to use it. Hope it works for you, anyway. ;-)

Peter Darmody

I have a relatively new ScanSnap S1300i which Fujitsu has decided not to support under Catalina. Most disappointing. To use this scanner I believe I would need to purchase VueScan for almost $150 (Australian). My solution is to scan to my old MacBook which runs Mojave and save the scans to Dropbox. From there I move them to Inbox on my iMac (running Catalina) and hence automatically to Devonthink 3. I might add that it is worth owning a Mac just to run Devonthink 3, a fabulous program. Thank you for a great tutorial. I have picked up several features that I wasn't aware of.


Alan Legg

Hello Peter,

You've probably discovered that they have now decided to support the scanner again, I found this out after buying a new iX1550. Not that I'm complaining, the iX1550 is really nice and they had an offer that included a free iX100. Their newer software that is cloud based doesn't work but the previous software now includes your scanner.


Help! I'm trying to get the captions to turn off. I've clicked the CC "Closed Captions Off" several times, with no luck. Any advice on how to get captions to turn off would be greatly appreciated. I'm using Safari as my browser.


Thanks, Don. I also tried loading your site in Chrome, and was able to easily turn off the subtitles. Also, I just finished the first of these 3 tutorials, and they are excellent. Incredibly helpful. If at some point, you and Todd find yourselves with absolutely nothing to do, it would really helpful to have a tutorial on using the Devonthink to go app on the iPad, and how to best coordinate using it with the desktop Devonthink 3. I use my iPad for reading pdfs and studies, and will hopefully be importing annotations into the desktop version using Devonthink to go. But I'm sure there are a lot of subtleties I'll be missing. Thanks.

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