I am currently playing with DEVONthink, the 150 hour free trial. I’ve heard a lot about it; a lot of academics use it and swear by it and I decided to give it a go. It is touted as a powerful alternative to Evernote, however, you don’t have the cloud component. So while you can sync between and iPhone or iPad (those apps have been trashed throughout almost every blog I’ve come across so I’ll hold off on those) it isn’t an everywhere you are app which is attractive to many.
The upside of this is that it is local so harder to hack or get your data. The syncing happens over your wifi (so make sure to secure your wifi) so there is no cloud middleman.
DEVONthink relies on databases to organize your data. You can import data into DEVONthink by dragging and dropping folders into the sidebar. Which, folders and hierarchical structures are the main way DEVONthink works. With DEVONthink Pro you get multiple databases…for a price. If you are a student (which this blog is specifically for students) you get a good discount on Devon Technologies apps. DEVONthink Pro is $80 without a discount– not a cheap app. With the student discount it is $50.
DEVONthink really isn’t essential unless you’re doing massive research. I am still playing with it, and I will update once I get a real use-case for it in school. Currently waiting for an admissions letter for Pitt and I hope to put DEVONthink through its paces during my stay there. For now, I’ve only got 6 databases with three or four of them empty. Stay tuned for more info.
Until then you can find people talking about DEVONthink here.