3.5 - Interface Overview

All right, let's take a look at the DEVONthink user interface. 

And the first thing I'm going to do for these videos, and for my aging eyeballs is make the icons and the text just a little bit bigger on the left side. You can do that by going to the preferences. So I'm going to go ahead and click Preferences or Command + comma, and go to General, and then Appearance. And I'm just going to up that a little bit here. That'll make it easier for these videos, you can see everything over here just got a little bigger. 

Going across the toolbar from the top left, first, we have the traffic light buttons to close, minimize and maximize the window that you get in every Mac application. In general, DEVONthink has a three-pane view. 

You've got kind of the library in your left sidebar. You've got the active documents in the center, with a list of documents on top and a preview on the bottom. And you've got the inspectors over on the right. So you can change that in the toolbar, like if you want to hide the sidebar, you just click this and it goes away, or you can bring it back. So depending on whether or not you need to see all this information, you can close or open that. I generally keep that open. 

Next, you've got that list view and the preview. And sometimes you just want to list. You don't want the preview. So you go ahead and click this button and it removes the preview for you. Or you can click this and it brings it back. If you'd prefer to put the list on the left and the preview next to it, click this button right here, and that'll take care of that for you. Maybe you want a deeper or bigger view of this preview or maybe your listed items here are fairly narrow. That's a nice view if you want to do that. I'm going to put it back to this normal view. 

Next to that is the Actions button. And this is something we will be coming back to throughout the course. The Actions button gives you a list of available actions. And there aren't many here because I haven't done much yet. But as we get deeper into DEVONthink, you will see this list will auto populate with tons of available actions on specific items as you work with DEVONthink. So this is one you're going to want to keep an eye on. And if you ever find yourself stuck in DEVONthink, and you're not sure how to get something to happen, I would recommend checking out the Actions button. Quite often it'll have the solution that you need. 

Next to that is the New button and from here you can create a bunch of new things like a Plain Text file, Rich Text, Formatted Note, Markdown note, HTML, and Sheet. You can also add Bookmarks, Feeds, Twitter Feeds, Groups, and Smart Groups. The ability to create these new items are sprinkled throughout DEVONthink. And there's a lot of ways to do this stuff that doesn't involve this button. But this button is always there. So if you can't remember how to create something, click the New item button. It's always there for you. 

All right, I've added a few items to the DEVONthink database, so I can show you the rest of the toolbar items. The next button over allows you to open the current selection. In this case, it's a PDF of an Apple press release. And if I click that, it just opens it up as a PDF, and it gives me all of the DEVONthink PDF tools which we will cover in a future video. In addition to opening up with the DEVONthink PDF tools, I can also open it in Preview by just clicking on this button and that will open up a Preview window with the same file. 

Next to that is the ability to share with this Sharing button. And this is very similar to the sharing button you'll see another Mac applications, and also on the iPhone and iPad. If you click on that, you can see there are several options pre-installed, including sharing the DEVONthink 3. You can also share to recent email and message correspondence. If you want to change those options, you just click the More button, and that opens up this window. And you can see here all the available options for sharing. Because I have a PDF file here, not all these are going to show up. For instance, I can't send a PDF to Instapaper that accepts links. But let's say I wanted to also send it to Apple Notes. I could do that by clicking that button right there. Now close it and hit the Sharing button and you'll see Notes is right there. And I can share this file to Apple Notes with the Sharing button. 

You also have the ability to put metadata on your files. 

You can flag it. So I'll go ahead and click that and you see a flag showed up there on the sidebar. 

You can also mark a message as read or unread, so we can toggle that status. I'll go ahead and select all three of these and mark them as unread. 

You can lock a file, and you can also apply labels to it, and we're going to have separate videos on that as well. 

And then finally is the Sync button once we establish the sync services for this database. This is where you'll be able to synchronize your data. 

Going further to the right, you've got the ability to search your database. So if I want to say, iPhone 12. There we go, we just did our first search in DEVONthink. And you saw that it found one article contained the word iPhone 12. It gave it a high score, as you see this little color bar is filled in. And that's most likely what I wanted to find because I'm searching for iPhone 12. There's a lot more you can do with the Search bar. We're going to talk about that in a separate video later. 

Continuing on the toolbar, this is the Log button and it shows you all of your log entries. We've already seen this on a few videos. I'm going to clear that now. But you can access that from the toolbar. 

There is also the Inspector button which gives you inspector data. You can also see that same data and by clicking on the inspector in the inspector. And we're going to do a separate video covering all of these options available in the inspector later. 

This next button over allows you to see the Tag bar. And when I click this, you'll see a bar will appear across the bottom here. If I click that, you see there it is. I will go ahead and add a tag. There it is, iPhone 12. So now I have added my first tag to this DEVONthink database. 

And finally, on the far right of the toolbar, I have the ability to turn the inspector off or on. So if I just want to see my data, I can turn off the inspector on the right. I can turn off the sidebar on the left. I've got this really big view. There's a lot to the interface in DEVONthink. I'm not done yet. 

So let's go down to the second row. And this section deals with the options available in the inspector. 

The standard view that we'll be using through most of the field guide is this navigate view. And this allows you to navigate through your database and see all of your smart rules and your smart groups. 

The next one over will give me a reading list. And I'll explain that further. There's nothing in it right now. 

The next to that is the import options. And there's a couple things that we can do here. We can connect DEVONthink to a scanner and import data that way. We can also import email databases here, or Apple Mail or Microsoft Outlook. 

And finally, in the inspector is this extras list which we covered in a prior video. 

Continuing over the data display, you can see that it's going to show you the source, in this case, the inbox, and the items found from a search. I'll go ahead and close out that search. And typically you're going to see where you're located. In this case, I'm in my inbox. So I'll go ahead and show that there's the inbox and the files that are available there. And you'll see those as well. As we get further into the video, you'll see there's more hierarchy involved. And this detail will go further across this bar, but this is where you see it. 

And these buttons will be familiar to you. They look a lot like the buttons you see in the Mac's finder. It allows you to change the displays, like if you want to see them as icons, you just click that. You want to see them as a list, you click that. You want to see them as columns, you click that button. And they also have that coverflow view, which we used to have on the Mac, and it's a little different now. 

You can also change the sort criteria. You just click here. And one of the things you get with DEVONthink is a lot of ways to sort your data. Typically I use name, but there's a lot of other options available. This is particularly useful depending on the view you're in, particularly in this list view of sort by date added might be more helpful than a sort by name. 

Continuing to the right on the inspector, there are multiple kinds of inspectors. There's the information inspector, which is the one I'd most typically use. There's also an annotations and reminders inspector. Next to that is the content inspector, and that allows you to see the table of contents and thumbnails. Next to that is the document inspector, which will allow you to add additional metadata to a particular document. Next to that is the concordance inspector, and that's going to show you the frequency of words in the selected document. There's actually a lot you can do with this even as a cloud view, which is kind of cool. We're going to cover that later. Next to that is the see all and classify inspector, which we will also cover. This relates to your searches and groupings. And finally, there is the search inspector where you can conduct searches inside your documents. But we're not done yet. 

Going to the sidebar, just to kind of show you a little bit. You've got a list of databases. There are none yet, but we will be creating one very soon. You've got smart groups, which is a way to create folders or groups, which are folders based on certain criteria. And smart rules, which is kind of like a version of Hazel if you're familiar with that app for the Mac, but it's built right into DEVONthink, so it can apply rules to your files in DEVONthink. And again, we're gonna give that extensive coverage later. And then we've got the inbox tags and trash here. There are no favorites yet, but there will be soon. 

I'm currently in list view in the center here, and you can see that gives you a lot of data. You can see I've flagged this one file, that the date modified was February 29, 2020. And this is a PDF+txt, which means it has OCR applied to it already. I can see the size. I can even add additional fields to this, and we'll cover that later. And finally, because this is a PDF, it's displaying it here for me. I've even got this great set of tools available to me if I want to perform PDF annotation to it right in DEVONthink. 

One last bit of the sidebar I didn't cover is these tools at the bottom.

This + button gives you the ability to add new things like groups, feeds, databases, encrypted databases, smart groups, and smart rules.

This is another place that you can create things, just like you've got the new items button up here. You've also got new items down here.

Next to it you've got the little gear icon, which allows you to create even more new things like groups, feeds, databases, and smart groups.

Next to that, you've got another info button, which will give you a little bit more detail, like here we've got today's date, and the ability to apply metadata to this file.

The next button over is your tag button, and it's giving me a tag cloud. I only have one tag in my database right now, so it's a big iPhone 12.

There's also a map view where you can place these items on a map.

And there's also the little button here to increase or decrease the size of the sidebar. 

Okay, I know that was a lot, but there's a lot to this application. And now that we've got a nice overview of the interface, we're going to start digging deeper into DEVONthink.