Beta Beat: DEVONnote/DEVONthink 2.0
It's certainly no secret that I'm a sucker for file and data organization programs, and have collected more than I use. Long ago, I received a copy of DEVONnote as part of a bundle, and have since upgraded to DEVONthink Pro. The program has long been intriguing to me -- auto-classification of files and advanced search relationships are great -- but various aspects of the app have kept me from really diving into it; a lack of pleasing aesthetics not being least on the list. You can call me superficial, but ... no, you'd be right. However, the public betas of DEVONthink 2.0 and DEVONnote 2.0 just came out, looking great and adding a bevy of useful new features.
DEVON Technologies states that the 2.0 versions represent an almost complete rewrite of the database core. With improved search (including advanced Boolean and proximity operators), a universal inbox accessible from multiple databases (DEVONthink versions can have simultaneous databases open) and a complete revamp of the user interface (including Cover Flow and much-improved overall aesthetics), this beta is a huge step forward. For me, the most important change is the file storage method. The applications now use a bundle format and store files "as is" on the drive, accessible by external applications and recoverable if anything happens to the database. Add the support for file templates and a wide range of new filetypes (Word, OpenOffice, iWork, Skim ... ), and DEVONthink just became a whole lot more useful to me.
Check out the release notes for DEVONnote and DEVONthink 2.0 for more details on the changes. The betas are available on their respective pages (DEVONnote | DEVONthink). Upgrade pricing is available for existing customers (customers who purchased DEVONnote or DEVONthink, or cross-graded after July 1st, 2008 are eligible for a free upgrade). DEVONthink comes in three flavors: Personal ($49.95US), Professional ($79.95US) and Professional Office ($149.95). DEVONnote, which is more or less a lightweight (but very useful) version of DEVONthink, is available for $24.95US.
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