DevonThink For Mac Review: Next-Level, Hyper Organization

Here’s my review of DevonThink, a Mac app that collects, arranges, and polishes your files, storing them in easily-backed up databases for convenient access.

DevonThink: In A Nutshell…

  • Document Management Master: DevonThink is a game-changer, handling all types of documents with ease and storing them in organized databases.
  • In-built Editor & Web Capture: Edit text files directly and save data from web browsers or any Mac application, all in one place.
  • Advanced Organization: From flagging to tagging to group-sorting, DevonThink’s organizational capabilities simplify your workflow.
  • OCR & Annotations: Make scans searchable and annotate PDFs efficiently with DevonThink.
  • Data Sync & Security: Robust encryption and flexible syncing options keep your data secure and accessible across devices.
  • Automation & AI-Powered: Automate repetitive tasks and leverage DevonThink’s AI engine that understands your filing habits for smarter suggestions.
  • Boost Productivity: Finding specific files becomes faster and easier, and offline website access is just the cherry on top.
  • Your Digital Marie Kondo: Tidy up your Mac’s clutter and streamline your digital life with DevonThink.


Whether it’s storing searchable scanned documents or downloading entire websites for offline access, DevonThink handles it all like a pro. If you like to multitask or juggle various roles, DevonThink might just be the tool you’ve been searching for, thanks to its powerful features, user-friendly design, and FREE price tag.

What is DevonThink?

  • Digital Filing Cabinet: DevonThink for Mac meticulously organizes all your documents, notes, images, and more into structured databases.
  • Built-in Editor: Edit texts, Markdown files, and rich text documents directly within the app, or easily open them in other apps for further modification.
  • Web Capture & Integration: Clip data from the web and save directly into DevonThink’s database, which integrates seamlessly with Finder.
  • Advanced Organization: Sort, tag, flag, and rate your documents for easy retrieval. Enjoy predefined smart groups and fast full-text search.
  • OCR & Annotations: DevonThink leverages OCR to make your scans searchable and allows detailed annotations on PDFs.
  • Data Sync & Security: Securely sync your data across devices and maintain control over what, when, and where to sync. Strong encryption ensures data privacy.
  • Automation: Automate repetitive tasks by integrating DevonThink with Shortcuts and other apps for efficient workflows.

Consider DevonThink as the secret weapon in your Mac’s arsenal, a game-changer that takes your document management to a new level. No matter the type — PDFs, notes, images, bookmarks — DevonThink effortlessly manages it all, organizing these disparate elements into well-structured databases and groups. It allows you to view and interact with a myriad of file types directly, eliminating the need for additional apps. It’s like a digital filing cabinet, impeccably cataloging every piece of your data.

When it comes to the best macOS productivity apps, I think DevonThink is definitely up there with the best of them. There is a bit of a learning curve but that is always the case with applications that come jam-packed with myriad features. It isn’t a steep curve, though, and you’ll quickly find your feet and begin unlocking DevonThink’s true, latent potential.

DevonThink For Mac Review: Next-Level, Hyper OrganizationPin

DevonThink truly shines when it comes to editing. You can modify texts, Markdown files, and rich text documents directly within the application. And if its built-in editing capabilities don’t quite meet your requirements, you have the freedom to open your files in other apps. Not only that, but web pages can be read as though they were local documents — a real boon for research and offline reading.

Capturing data from your web browser and virtually any other Mac application is a breeze. DevonThink’s deep integration with Finder makes your databases appear like a local file system, so you can effortlessly save files directly to DevonThink. Plus, enjoy the simplicity of drag-and-drop functionality, both within the app and with other applications.

Borrowing from its To Go counterpart, DevonThink for Mac provides a wealth of ways to organize your document library. You can sort documents into groups, apply tags, or even include them in multiple groups without duplicating.

Flagging items, marking them as unread, or applying star ratings are just a few clicks away. Predefined smart groups, such as those containing flagged or unread documents, simplify your work even further. And with the swift full-text search, you’ll always find what you’re looking for.

devonthink appPin

DevonThink for Mac doesn’t stop there. It leverages OCR to render your scans searchable, and lets you annotate PDFs with all standard tools and types. Pages can be rearranged, rotated, or deleted as per your requirements. The inclusion of links in your documents is a seamless process, and exporting them in their original formats to Finder and other supportive apps is a no-brainer.

When it comes to syncing your data across all your devices, DevonThink has your back. With robust encryption standards, it ensures your data remains just that — yours.

You have the power to choose what, when, and where to sync, whether that’s over a local network or via your preferred cloud service.

Automating repetitive tasks is a key feature of DevonThink for Mac. By pairing it with Shortcuts and your other apps, you can create efficient workflows, ranging from document creation to reorganizing databases based on your predefined rules.

How DevonThink Works – Spoiler: It’s AI & Algorithms…

You might be wondering, “Okay, but how does it do all this?” While the technical details might seem like wizardry, it’s pretty straightforward once you break it down. At its core, DevonThink uses advanced algorithms to sort and classify your data. Think of it like your own, personal digital librarian.

With a highly adaptive AI engine, it tracks your filing history and, the more you use it, the more it understands your preferences. This allows it to predict what information you might need next and provide it through a web feed. And, unlike a lot of AI apps that promise the earth but seldom deliver, DevonThink is actually very good at this.

Boosting Your Productivity

Even with plenty of ways to search for stuff inside macOS, finding specific files and/or data can still be a bit of a pain in the ass. With DevonThink, it becomes a lot easier and much, much faster to find what you’re looking for. Every document or file you feed into it is text-searchable, even scanned ones (like bank statements, invoice, and receipts). It’s like having Google specifically for your digital files.

And as a nice side-bonus? You can download ENTIRE websites for offline access which for some users will be a godsend. This is one of those features that you really don’t appreciate until you’ve used it and then tried to get on with your day-to-day without it. It is extremely useful and one of my favorite parts of this already very impressive macOS application.

Basically, if your Mac is a cluttered mess despite your best attempts to keep it clean and organized, DevonThink is like your own, personal digital Marie Kondo. Pair it with Warp App for Mac and you’ll be rocketing through tasks and projects.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why DevonThink should be the star player in your tech stack. Trust me, once you get a taste of what it can do, you’ll wonder how you ever got on without it…


Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin is a leading UK technology journalist with a focus on consumer tech trends and data security. Renowned for his insightful analysis, Richard has contributed to Sky News, BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2, and CNBC, making complex tech issues accessible to a broad audience.

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