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Interview: Hagen Böser

January 15, 2013 — Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann

Dr. Hagen Böser works as a psychotherapist in Germany, European Union, as well as an educator in an institute for family therapy. Hagen uses both DEVONthink and DEVONagent for his daily work.

Dr. Hagen Böser

Dr. Hagen Böser works as a psychotherapist in Frankfurt, Germany, European Union.

Hagen, what is your profession, and why have you chosen a Mac for it?

I am a medical doctor working in the field of psychotherapy. My main business is educating professionals to become systemic family therapists, counselors and supervisors.

I am on the executive board of the Institute for Family Therapy Weinheim, the oldest of its kind in Germany, but I also work as a psychotherapist in my own practice. I switched to a Mac one and a half year ago because I spent too much time fiddling around with PC and too less time doing actual work. Apple computers and their software make less trouble and, nice side effect, they also look better, too.

How does information technology help you in helping people?

The field of psychotherapy is growing and changing quickly. There are a lot of different schools with very different approaches on how to treat patients, couples, families, and businesses. You have to work eclectic to find appropriate solutions for your clients. That means a lot of research, and the Internet makes this a lot easier.

But there is always the question on how to store information on a specific problem or on a specific method so that I will easily find it later without having to do all the research again. Especially when I only have a faint idea that I had a similar problem, probably, say, two years ago. Here is where DEVONthink Pro really shines for me. Now, if I have ever stored something on a problem, I will find it. ‘See Also’ is my friend.

Which products of ours do you use in your daily work?

For searching the Internet I use, of course, Devonagent. It is especially useful when I want to get deeper into a specific topic. It is much easier and faster to find relevant data without having to travel a million of perhaps (!) interesting pages. Then, I use DEVONthink Pro to store anything that could be useful that I find doing my research. In addition, I have just started to scan existing paper documents using a Brother multi-function device and I am considering to buy a document scanner such as the Fujitsu ScanSnap in the near future.

How did you organize your work before you discovered our products?

Mostly in paper or in single files scattered all over my hard disk. That made the search for information a time-consuming and sometimes even futile task.

How large is your database? And what kind of data do you store?

In the moment I am using four databases. One with all the information that I think that could be interesting (173 MB), one with everything concerning my Apple computers (178 MB), one containing worksheets and data for my seminars (57 MB) as well as one holding scanned or clipped articles. The database with stuff about Macs comes in extremely handy because I easily forget shortcuts, tips, and workarounds when I don’t use them frequently.

Which application features do you value the most, and why do you like them?

I really like the Services menu commands to store data from Safari quickly in my DEVONthink Pro database. So I can just drop anything interesting into my ‘inbox’ in DEVONthink. Also, transferring interesting pages from DEVONagent is, naturally, easy. More and more I also do my reading in DEVONthink Pro. The fullscreen mode makes reading comfortable and the possibility to highlight interesting passages is really helpful. In general, DEVONthink Pro and DEVONagent make my daily work easier and more effective because searching and storing of basically every information is possible with just a few clicks, drags, or a keystroke.

What don’t you like?

The conversion from PDF to RTF sometimes destroys the layout so much that I have to keep the PDF version. Being able to add annotations directly to the PDF would make this superfluous, so I am hoping that DEVONtechnologies will add this sooner than later (we have added this feature in version 2.0 — the editor). Also, it would be helpful if DEVONthink would remember the cursor and search positions when returning from full screen mode. Finally, being able to open multiple databases is definitely needed.

Do you have developed usage strategies you want to share with your fellow users?

The use of an ‘inbox’ group. By using one I can navigate through the Internet with DEVONagent or Safari and gather whatever looks interesting without always having to immediately decide where all this stuff shall go. Later, when I am more concentrated, I check my ‘inbox’ and decide what to do with the data.

And finally: Which feature do you miss the most?

Highlighting and annotating in PDFs as well as the possibility to work with more than one database at the same time (we have added both features in version 2.0 — the editor).

Learn more about his work at IF Weinheim.