Categories: Note-Taking


DEVONthink Icon
DEVONthink is a powerful data storage and research app for Mac, iPhone, and iPad that's a natural complement to OmniFocus. Through the use of links, you can have a vast amount of data at your fingertips as you work on tasks in OmniFocus.

App Description

DEVONthink excels at storing and relating information and OmniFocus’ task management prowess can be used to make sure that you put this information to good use. By linking these two apps together, you’ll have quick and convenient access to project support and reference data stored in DEVONthink when working on projects and actions in OmniFocus.

Learn DEVONthink: MacSparky Field Guide

Do you need some help getting up to speed with DEVONthink? David Sparks (aka MacSparky), who’s been a guest on Learn OmniFocus, has an excellent DEVONthink Field Guide that provides in-depth instruction on configuring and using DEVONthink.

Linking OmniFocus and DEVONthink

Virtually anything in DEVONthink can be linked to OmniFocus projects, action groups, and actions. This linking can be performed manually or through automation. Conveniently, links work across Macs, iPhones, and iPads. You can also include links to OmniFocus projects, actions, tags, and more in your DEVONthink database, allowing for two-way linking between these two apps.

Here are a few examples that demonstrate some of the ways that OmniFocus and DEVONthink can be linked together. For even greater convenience, consider using Hook for Mac to create bi-directional links between OmniFocus and DEVONthink. You can even use Hook to automate the process of creating a new OmniFocus action based on whatever’s selected in DEVONthink. Similarly, Hook can create a new note in DEVONthink that links to whatever you have selected in OmniFocus.

Example 1: Linking OmniFocus and DEVONthink Using Quick Entry (Mac)

The following video demonstrates how to create a link to a file in DEVONthink on the Mac. To ensure that the appropriate action is taken, a new action is created in OmniFocus with a link to the file in DEVONthink pasted into the note field. When it’s time to get to work, the referenced document in DEVONthink can quickly and easily be accessed from OmniFocus simply by clicking on the link. This link will work on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Example 2: Linking OmniFocus and DEVONthink Using AppleScript (Mac)

DEVONthink has a well-deserved reputation for being an automation-friendly app. The following video shows you how to use the “Add as To Do to OmniFocus” AppleScript that’s provided with DEVONthink. Specifically, an OmniFocus action is created with a link to the selected mind map. Clicking on the link opens up a preview of the file. If you wanted to make changes, you could launch the mind mapping app (MindNode) with a click or tap. You can use this script as-is or modify it to serve your needs.

Example 3: Linking OmniFocus and DEVONthink on iPad

DEVONthink is also right at home on the iPhone and iPad. In addition to making use of links that were added to OmniFocus on the Mac, you can use the iPhone and iPad apps to create links that work across all of your devices. In this short video, you’ll see how to create an OmniFocus action that references a mind map stored in DEVONthink.

More Examples

DEVONthink is prominently featured in our content, most notably in the Learn OmniFocus Resources listed below.

Other Resources

  • DEVONtechnologies – Visit the DEVONtechnologies website to learn more about putting DEVONthink to good use. Resources include a support center,  handbooks (PDF, ePub, and Kindle format), and an active and supportive online community.
  • ScreenCastsOnline – ScreenCastsOnline also has in-depth DEVONthink tutorials. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can access these and hundreds of other professionally-produced screencasts through their seven-day free trial.
  • MacSparky Field Guide – David Sparks (aka MacSparky) has an in-depth DEVONthink Field Guide that includes over eight hours of content spread across over 100 videos. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re brand new to DEVONthink or a seasoned pro.
  • Taking Smart Notes with DEVONthink – Kourosh Dini is a seasoned OmniFocus user and the internationally recognized author of Creating Flow with OmniFocus. He’s equally well versed in DEVONthink and authored Taking Smart Notes with DEVONthink to help you harness the power of DEVONthink and make productive use of your notes and ideas.

Learn OmniFocus Resources