Currently browsing: Tuesday Tip

Tuesday tip: Don’t use DEVONthink as a junk drawer

Sometimes, people do indiscriminate dumps (import or index) into DEVONthink or DEVONnote, imagining it to be a Finder or Spotlight replacement. This is really no more truly effective than the junk drawers we all inevitably have at home. And it leads to more false positives in searches and use of far more resources than it needs to. Searching for a AAA battery in the junk drawer is far harder than it needs to be. Even trying to open that drawer, with screwdrivers...

Tuesday Tip: Reindex email in DEVONthink Pro Office

Capturing email messages is one of the most common things people do with the Pro editions of DEVONthink. (Sorry, but neither DEVONnote or DEVONthink Personal support indexing emails, though the Personal edition does allow you to import them via drag and drop.) One of the differences between the editions is how you can search for emails. In DEVONthink Pro, the emails aren’t indexed but you can find them by searching by Name (subject line) or URL (sender). In DEVONthink Pro Office, the subject line, header,...

Tuesday Tip: Use Dropbox to sync with friends


If you are collaborating with others and using Dropbox as a DEVONthink sync location (never putting your database in a Dropbox or automatically cloud-synced folder), it is not possible to sync between Dropbox accounts. This means you need to have a shared account where everyone using the sync data will need to know the name and password to access it. This can create a problem because you would be giving everyone access to the whole account! But as one of the astute users, Frederiko, pointed out...

Tuesday tip: Use item links effectively

Copy Item Link

DEVONthink allows you to get a URL for any document or group stored in your databases. Select the item, then choose Edit > Copy Item Link. Then paste this link into any other suitable application, e.g. the URL field of an appointment in Calendar, a website field in Contacts, or the notes field of an OmniFocus task. Power user Luc Beaulieu uses item links in BusyCal and BusyContacts. Now when the appointment is due, you start working on the task, or talk to...

Tuesday tip: Manually update a table of contents

Manually update TOC

Recently we have posted a tip about how to quickly create a table of contents. However, sometimes it’s necessary to update a table of contents manually. In the Table of Contents file, press Return after the last item in the list and a new item will be created. Then holding the ⌘ (Command) and ⌥ (Option) keys drag a document or group to that new line to insert a link to the dropped item. To allow seeing the table of contents as well as other...

Tuesday tip: Create a table of contents for easy access

Create Table of Contents

DEVONthink and DEVONnote users tend to collect and organize excessively. This leads, inevitably, to databases with large amounts of items. A table of contents helps you stay ahead of the ever-growing pile. Select the documents for which you want to create a table of contents, then choose Data > Create Table of Contents. The application builds a nicely arranged rich text for you with links to all the other documents.

Tuesday tip: Search again, and again…

Here’s a quick tip that is simple, but probably not so obvious. When you select Tools > Search or press Command-Shift-F in DEVONthink, it brings up the powerful Search window. Use the menu command or press the shortcut again and DEVONthink will open another search window. You can keep the results of one search while you start another, and another, … You can keep as many search windows open as you can mentally manage.

Tuesday tip: Don’t use the Inbox folder as storage

Inbox in Finder sidebar

DEVONthink Pro (Office) lets you save files directly to the database using the watched Inbox folder. This folder is deeply buried in your Library folder but added to the Finder sidebar for easy access. It also appears in Open and Save dialog windows. Don’t use this folder for e.g. saving a document from Microsoft Word and continuing to work on it. As the document is, after a short delay, moved to the database, Word will fail saving your changes afterwards. Better save the file to your Desktop first and...

Tuesday Tip: Archiving email — try an .mbox file

Email Mailbox

When importing email, Apple Mail is going to provide the best performance as it supports native plugins. Other email applications require the use of Applescript to interact with DEVONthink and we can’t guarantee the performance, especially with large mailboxes. But if your email client supports an export to the UNIX .mbox format you can drag the exported .mbox file to the DEVONthink Pro Office dock icon to scan it for messages. Secret tip: After Apple Mail, Microsoft Outlook is one of...

Tuesday tip: Extract highlighted text from PDFs

Highlights App icon

If you are working at lot with PDF annotations the Mac application Highlights is for you. You can use it not only to manipulate annotations but also to extract annotations from documents and send them directly to DEVONthink Pro (Office). In addition it offers plenty of more export options including sharing annotations by email and saving them as Markdown. Highlights is available in the Mac App Store. Check it out or join the discussion about it in our user forum.