Doo is an all-new document management app that promises to provide access to all your important files and documents within a single app, keeping everything organised. Think of it as Evernote just for your documents, allowing you to keep everything in sync across multiple devices with little to no effort required.
It’s latest version was recently released for the Mac, so we wanted to dive in and see how it holds up in today’s world filled with a mixture of computers and mobile devices. Here’s what we found.
What is Doo?
Doo tries to achieve what Evernote has with note taking and clipping by providing a central location to keep all of your documents centralised for easy finding. It’s very similar to iDocument, an app we’ve previously reviewed, which is also a document management app to provide a central location for finding and organising your documents.
If you’ve been attempting to go paperless and have been scanning in many items in order to reduce desktop clutter, apps like Doo are ever more important as the Finder is only able to organise your documents so far. If you have a tax receipt, does that go in the Tax or Receipts folder?
When first using Doo, a new folder is created where documents that are imported are stored. Alternatively, you can connect Doo to services such as Dropbox and Google Drive whereby the app will display any documents stored within the relevant folder that the service creates. Should you have all of your documents in a sub-folder, it makes much more sense to specify that instead.
Unfortunately, Doo doesn’t preserve any form of folder hierarchy and all of your documents are displayed together. If you’re just starting your document organisation then this won’t present a problem but for anyone with hundreds of documents, this can be a huge amount of work to re-organise. You can, instead, specify sub-folders but if your folder structure is quite deep then this can be rather time consuming.
Doo does scan all of your documents, performing OCR where necessary and reading all of the relevant information within documents like PDFs so that it can be searched and it does so rather well. Documents of varying quality were scanned without issue and were easily searchable. Doo performs this OCR on any new document it detects and attempt to automatically gather and complete any information it can so you don’t have to.
I was hoping that, despite it lacking any retention of folder hierarchy, it would at least attempt to tag items with the folder name but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
Doo’s interface is somewhat reminiscent of Evernote with its eschewing of OS X’s more traditional interface stylings in favour of a flatter and more custom design. A permanent search bar sits atop which provides a global search of many different criteria.
A useful feature of Doo is that you can assign company names to documents so keeping track of receipts or banking information is that little bit easier. Doo even attempts to autocomplete with many popular business names, though it is rather hit and miss due to the sheer amount of names there are.
The document inspector, where you can assign labels and notes, is clearly laid out and easy to navigate. Doo also has an option to specify what type of document you’re working with, assigning document types such as Insurance Policy or Statement. It’s a rather redundant feature since adding a label would not only do exactly the same but the list of document types is actually not that many. Just like organising a tax receipt, what would we classify it as? Labels make much more sense.
The left-column provides us with access to our document library as well as storage locations (where Doo is accessing files from) as well as something called Workspaces. It’s another level of organisation and lets you split documents into specific areas, such as home and office. There’s even a Quick Access section that provides, rather self-explanatory, quick access to searches you’ve saved from the search bar.
A very useful feature that Doo includes is Timeline, providing quick access to documents created at a certain time. You can bring up the timeline at any time and select a specific month and year, allowing you to view documents created at that time. The timeline also provides feedback in terms of how many documents there are so the higher the bars, the more documents were created at that time.
Doo offers a syncing service that will securely sync specific storage locations that you choose between devices. It’s nice to see a service that is opt-in rather than just being on automatically and you have to specify you want to sync specific locations within the app’s preferences, ensuring any confidential sensitive documents aren’t automatically synced.
A very useful feature that will have those who love structure and organisation is Doo’s Rules function, providing an automated way of categorising and label items based upon criteria as it’s imported. It works just like Mail’s rules and were very easy to use and configure, adding a level of power to Doo that other apps certainly lack.
Unfortunately, there are some issues with Doo. A particular cause of frustration for me was it’s method of autocomplete. For example, when entering a company within a document, I would begin typing the name and expect that, when done, to press enter. If the company wasn’t listed, pressing enter would create it automatically or, if a number of possibilities existed, I could then select one. Instead, Doo would default to the first company in the list which caused a number car-related documents being assigned to the Buenaventura Mining Company when I wanted to use MINI.
My experience of Doo Sync was not a good one, unfortunately. I have been testing Doo for Mac and iPad concurrently for AppStorm and found the syncing service still has far to go. Syncing documents worked perfectly and I was able to specify a folder of documents to sync between my Doo devices. However, when I deactivated the folder’s syncing on my Mac, all of the documents remained on my iPad. Even removing the app and re-adding it still showed that Doo’s servers were retaining the data and, without any way of deleting it from my iOS device and my Mac not even displaying the information, my only way of removing it was to delete my Doo account complete.
Doo is an interesting document management app and one I really wanted to get behind. Unfortunately, it’s interface quirks and worryingly confused syncing service prevented me from having anything but a mediocre experience. For anyone just starting out managing documents then your experience will likely be much more favourable, though if you’re already organising documents within the Finder or other similar app, it would mean spending a lot of time reorganising your data.
I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on Doo as I can see what they’re trying to achieve which is something that no other app is as close to as they are, so perhaps sometime soon Doo may resolve those issues and at that time, I’ll be the first to try it again.