DevonThink For Writing Your Next Book


Lifehacker Chief, Gina Trapani has been documenting the steps she took in order to turn her popular blog into a book in print. Can you imagine trying to organize and edit 5,000 blog posts worth of information for book format? Yeah, me either. But Gina explains the process of how she got through it.

While it’s an interesting read on its own, it turns out she gives a lot of props to DEVONTechnologies’ DEVONthink Pro for it’s amazing organizational abilities. I found this post to be a great one as I’ve got DEVONthink (not Pro) but have yet to use it. Now that I’ve seen it in action (sort of), I am interested in digging into it a bit deeper on my own. Who knows, my book may be out before year’s end…

So anyway, if you’ve been wondering what DEVONthink can do for you – and especially if you’ve been kicking around that manuscript and finally want to make it happen – then have a read over at Lifehacker. Or maybe you’ve set out to write your first book from scratch this year – just go with me here – and you don’t have any material you’re starting from. I recently came across Scrivener, and it looks like an excellent way to organize your thoughts as you develop your Best Seller.

As I’m pretty inexperienced with both of these apps, I would love to hear your tips and suggestions for maximizing either one of them.


Paul Tucker

Is there an integrated Mac authoring (as in writing a novel) tool?
Can Appleworks be modified into such a creature?
If not, what inexpensive softare do you recommend?


I use DevonNote to clip info from emails and webpages when I’m researching my journalistic stories. It’s a lower-power (and less expensive) version of DevonThink that has most of latter’s features and may be enough for many users.
I started using Scrivener a few months ago to write longer stories and it’s just a dream for journalists who have to manage a lot of info and also structure longer stories. You might be able to get by just using Scrivener and the Finder for individual projects but Devon is quite handy if you need to quickly find and correlate info accumulated over the years for various projects. Both are definitely worth a try for any writer.


Devon allows you to create wikinotes as well (like VoodooPad). While VoodooPad is great notetaking software it doesn’t have the end power of something like Devon or Yojimbo. And as MiserCharlie suggests I throw all of my blog postings into Devon as well.

tobias s buckell

I love DevonThink, so much so they even had an interview with me in one of their newsletters as I use to organize all sorts of stuff related to the books I write. It’s very versatile.

Scrivener, I think, is the best tool for a novelist I’ve seen yet. I’m writing my third novel in it (I used MacJournal to write my second, and TextEdit my first) and it’s very useful.

CopyWrite is another pretty good book writing/organizing tool, and WriteRoom as well. It’s a good time to be on the mac if you’re interested in that kind of stuff.


Well, this is interesting…
I’m just in the final phases of kicking off a new blog. It seems to me that DevonThink might be just the place to store all the entries. That way there will always be an easy method to find older but relevant stuff. Also a nice place to store any other info for the future.

Dan Moren

I use separate applications for writing and note-taking on my novel. For writing I’m still using AppleWorks *winces*. But for note-taking, I use Gus Mueller’s excellent VoodooPad; it’s like having a wiki on your computer. Which is great when you can’t remember what color hair a character has, or whether you explained something differently on page 7 and page 307.


I use Devon nonstop. It is always running in the background, and if I am turning on my computer I launch it immediately. As a teacher it has become the most valuable application I own. While I use another program to write the final draft (Mellel), Devon hold all of my work and research. If I decide to cut or edit something out of the draft, I make sure Devon keeps a copy for later use. I use it to summarize articles others have written, or that I have written to get a fresh perspective. I hold all of the syllabuses in it (both mine and others) as well as potential assignments. . . .The uses are unlimited. I have done some longer write-ups of how I use the program at Academhack.

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