Quitting Evernote for DEVONthink

Evernote everywhere

So why quit?

The little annoyances


Evernote history

Searching for alternatives

  • My growing awareness about digital means and encryption for a better privacy as I continue to gain some experience on a now 3-years old activity: managing my own online Linux servers, configuring and maintaining the services hosting my personal data. All the nifty-gritty securing my stuff is now a persistent topic for me.
  • The ongoing shift regarding creation capabilities from legacy computers (aka PC) toward smartphones and tablets. Not to mention mobile user markets being nurtured on digital experiences without any PC. And I’m keen on following the trend here, expecting to have full capacity while being mobile.
    In short, as an Apple customer, I’m progressively changing my workflow so I can uniquely rely on my iOS devices for everything.
  • I started to pay more attention to apps interactions, emphasizing apps specialization (vs all-in-one software) and system-wide support data exchanges. With iDevices maturing dramatically with iOS11, the momentum seems about right.

It’s DEVONthink

  • Sync storage can be done with AES256 encryption, with your own passphrase.
  • There is an extensive choice of Sync storage locations (WebDAV, DropBox, Box, local NAS…).
  • Content is managed in its original format unless you choose to convert it.
  • Web clipper on both macOS and iOS client apps is quite good as far I can tell.
  • iOS app may not be as featured as its macOS counterpart but interactions with other apps on iOS are excellent.
  • Indexing and smart filters are all done locally, on the client apps.
  • Client apps fully support Markdown markup format.
  • Import from Evernote is built-in and went quite smoothly, with metadata, tags, etc…
  • There are no subscription fees. License is valid for major releases, i.e. Paid upgrades only happen from 2.x to 3.x for example.
  • User interface on the macOS app is a bit outdated. Yet efficient but it feels like “for engineers by engineers”. (ok, I’m being picky here)
  • RSS feed reader is only available on the more costly Pro (or Pro Office) variants of the macOS apps. I would have appreciated having this feature in the regular one and in the iOS app.
  • Cost for both macOS and iOS apps demands you consider the move as an investment (but remember, only once).
  • Web Archives are directly editable in the macOS client app, not in the iOS client app.

Up and running

a2enmod dav
a2enmod dav_fs
a2enmod auth_digest
service apache2 restart
htdigest -c /etc/apache2/webdav.passwd webdav accessuser
chown www-data:www-data /etc/apache2/webdav.passwd
chmod 640 /etc/apache2/webdav.passwd
mkdir -p /var/www/webdav
chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/webdav
nano /etc/apache2/sites-available/webdav.example.org.conf

<VirtualHost *:80>
ServerName webdav.example.org
ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost
DocumentRoot /var/www/webdav/
<Directory /var/www/webdav/>
AuthType Digest
AuthName webdav
AuthUserFile /etc/apache2/webdav.passwd
Require valid-user
ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log
CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined
a2ensite webdav.example.org
service apache2 restart

That was fast!




Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Yann Rousse

Yann Rousse


Tech-Enthusiast. Mobile Industry professional. Everything connected. Also… French.