C-Command Software Forum

EagleFiler vs Devonthink

I am a scientific researcher recently migrated to the Mac. I am considering EagleFiler (EF) as an information management system. I have also looked into Devonthink (DT). My work includes reading many scientific papers and writing articles about subjects which naturally tend to overlap. I read many PDFs and have a PDF editor to make notations in them. I am attracted to many of the excellent features of EF, including the fact the EF has tags, uses the native Mac file system and Apple Core Data, and is well integrated with other Mac apps. The main feature that attracts me about DT is the replication function. This is because I often have a reference document that relates to several different topics. The primary document may be saved under topic A, but I like to be able to also save it under topic B and C. If I make any changes to the primary document filed under A, I would like the copies filed under B and C to change also. Does EF have this capability? Is it planned for future development? If so, I would choose EF over DT. I would appreciate any other input regarding the comparison of EF with DT. Thank you.

At present, each file in EagleFiler can only be in one folder. I do plan to add support for links so that other folders can hold links to the file. However, EagleFiler can partially address your request today because records can have any number of tags. Like folders, tags appear in the source list and can be organized into a hierarchy.

Eaglefiler vs DevonThink Pro
I switched to Eaglefiler after using Devonthink and then (more recently) Devonthink Pro. What made me switch was Eaglefiler’s integration with the rest of the Mac ecosystem, and integration with Spotlight. Several years ago, the fact that Devonthink wasn’t connected to Spotlight didn’t bother me. But over time I’ve come to use Spotlight more, so I don’t like the fact that Devonthink can’t be seen by Spotlight. You could leave pdf files outside Devonthink and “index” them in DT, and they would be viewable with Spotlight. DT has good scanning and OCR right into the application, and I actually do use it occasionally for that purpose (then export to EF).

But the DT discussion forum has indicated the integration of DT with Spotlight will not occur until after Leopard.

For me the fact that the data in Eaglefiler is not locked up in a proprietary filesystem is reassuring. And the fact that EF can import any file is important–the ability to insert excel files, or whatever–that’s huge.

Tags may allow you to accomplish the same sort of thing you can accomplish with replicants. Perhaps you could add a tag for the project you are working on. Suppose I’m working on an article on the scope of healthcare professionals duty to care in a pandemic. I might want to mark articles which are also relevant for other topics, like allocation of vaccine in a pandemic. So I might create tags for an article like “duty to care” or “allocation” and that way I could find an article regardless of which topic I’m searching on (that is, it would be found by both searches). True, it doesn’t appear the reference to the article would be viewable in both folders, but you could search and find the relevant articles. So perhaps you could create an rtf file in the folder that reminds you what keywords you are using to tag for that project (that’s what I’ve been doing, and it works for me).

With all that said, EF having the ability to view aliases / replicants is something I wouldn’t object to, though it’s not as high a priority for me as some other things (probably what would be most useful to me would be the ability to use applescript to move files into a particular folder in EF without having to send to the import folder).

Could you tell me more specifically what you’re trying to do? This AppleScript, for example, shows how to import into a particular folder.

EF and applescript–and interaction with a program called “Ready-Set-Do!” GTD
Regarding the ability to use applescript to move files into a particular folder in EF without having to send to the import folder—

thanks for the script–I didn’t know about that.

I use a program called “Ready-Set-Do” (RSD)](http://homepage.mac.com/toddvasquez/Ready-Set-Do!/).

RSD implements the “Getting Things Done” method, which (setting aside whether this approach has merit) basically provides a method of handling tasks projects, priorities, etc. RSD is basically a series of applescripts that interact in a structured way with the things you need to do. In brief, there is a script that lets you take a quick note and stores the note in your “inbox”; there is another you use to review the items in your inbox–the script prompts you with questions about ways of handling each item–move it to trash, move it to an “actionable” folder adding a due date, move it to a projects folder, letting you flesh out the details of multi-step projects, or moving it a reference folder where you store things for future reference. After completing a task, you have an option of trashing the item and associated info (if not important to keep it) or you can move to a folder you specify in the finder. I can currently use RSD to move something to the “read-to-import” folder in EF. But then I have to manually file in EF.

I’ve asked the developer of RSD whether it’s possible to add the ability to run arbitrary user-defined applescripts at certain decision points, because that would let me run the script provided in the link above (thanks for the link).

I suppose it’s quite complex to add to EF the ability to watch for files being added to any folder in EF, instead of using the import folder or importing using the standard import functions in EF. But for me, I would like the ability to just move a file using the Finder and have it show up in EF, without having to import using EF (because some times I move things without importing them, and other absent-minded sorts of things).

(Thanks for making EF a great program!!!)

Yes, I agree that this would be nice; and, yes, there are lots of issues involved in doing it right.