DEVONthink for Historians: A Step-by-Step Guide


Hi there! Do you work with archival sources? 

We have a great tool for you. It's a step-by-step guide that explains how to build a database with DEVONthink Pro Office to store all your research materials.

From Starting Up to Super User Slide.pptx.jpg

Why should I build a database? 

We want you to spend less time searching for documents and more time writing, so we designed this guide to help you create a database and a workflow that will make you more efficient.

Why do you recommend DEVONthink Pro Office? 

With this handy software, you can store and view all your sources in one place, create tags and labels to quickly organize documents, and use Wiki-style links to effortlessly cross-reference your work. Best of all, it has the capability to OCR your scanned documents! The one downside is that DEVONthink products can only run on Mac operating systems.

Why buy the DEVONthink for Historians guide? 

Because this one was created with historians' specific needs in mind, and was written by a unique team: an experienced historian and a business efficiency expert. We've identified the best tools and processes for a historian's research and writing workflows. Our step-by-step guide includes chatty introductory videos and clearly written instruction manuals that make it easy to learn DEVONthink Pro Office and set up a database.

There's another reason to use our guide, though--you're learning from our mistakes. We'll help you avoid the frustrations we've had and share the workarounds we've developed.

What is the difference between the Starting Up and the Super User Guide?

The Starting Up Guide walks you through the basics. You will begin by considering the best ways to organize your database to make it maximally helpful. Then, we will take you step-by-step through the process of setting up a new database, importing documents and organizing them into folders, and using the annotation, tagging, and search functions included in DEVONthink Pro Office.

The Super User Guide builds on the basics that we introduce in the Starting Up Guide and will teach you how to use DEVONthink Pro Office's most powerful tools and features--the ones that will really save you time and effort when you transition from the research to the writing stage. It also comes with two brand new tools that we created specifically for historians:  a custom-designed SuperAnnotation template and an export script that sends citation information to Bookends, a reference and bibliography management software. One of historians' most time-consuming tasks is citing archival documents: not only do you have to keep the citation information in your database with your document so that you remember where it came from, but you also have to put it into a reference manager so that you can easily cite when you start writing. So many steps! Thankfully, we  programmed a solution. Historians, rejoice!

I'm sold! How do I get started?

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If you have not yet bought DEVONthink, you can use this link to purchase it. If you use this link, we may earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you. Remember, if you are a student or work in higher education or for a non-profit organization, you may be eligible for a discount from DEVONtechnologies.


About Us

Avigail Oren is a historian who is addicted to learning new skills. This year she's focused on building websites and mastering makeup looks.

Ada Barlatt is a fun loving, freedom-seeking tech pro who geeks outs over systems and loves creating ease with technology.