Could This Be Your Secret Weapon to Manage a Flood of Information?

Over in our practice development section, I’ve reviewed DEVONthink, a remarkable software package that brings artificial intelligence to the job of managing and using large collections of information. At first I thought it could make a great tool for mental health practitioners doing research and running a small business, but now I realise it can a secret weapon for just about anybody who needs to manage a flood of information.

DEVONthink is one amazing piece of software. It’s so uncannily good at what it does that some colleagues in academia don’t even want other people to know about it: they consider it their ‘secret weapon’.

I explain more fully about its capabilities in the full review, but the gist of it is this: hand it a stack of files, and DEVONthink’s built-in artificial intelligence technology automatically analyses the content, classifies it, groups it, interlinks it, summarizes it, and serves it all up back up to you in the blink of an eye. It understands what types of things go together, and its ability to suggest connections between different documents just might amaze you. Use it to organise research materials, keep track of pages you’ve saved from the web, analyse whole textbooks (or whole sets of textbooks), or just store clippings from news feeds or scanned paper documents. Whatever you throw in, DEVONthink helps make sense of it.

So yes, it may be a great tool for mental health practitioners struggling with the flood of information involved in running a business or conducting research or just keeping up with developments in the field — but I think it’s worth checking out for pretty much anyone who has to handle large amounts of digital information. In my personal experience, having used it for several months, DEVONthink isn’t just like search on steroids, it’s like search in charge of an entire army of helpers and analysts.

My only regret is that I didn’t look into this software in more detail several years ago when I first encountered it — who knows how much time I could have saved myself?

All clinical material on this site is peer reviewed by one or more clinical psychologists or other qualified mental health professionals. This specific article was originally published by on and was last reviewed or updated by Dr Greg Mulhauser, Managing Editor on .

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