Tuesday Tip: The Power of the Sorter

With DEVONthink Pro 2.0 public beta we have introduced the Sorter, an small independent application that allows you to add data to your databases even when DEVONthink is not open. But it’s not a simple drop box — there is much more you can do with it (and even more in one of the next releases).

First of all you can move it to the left, right, or bottom side of the screen by moving its tab. Exception: The side of the screen where the Dock is located. Click the tab to slide the Sorter in and out or drag files to it. To resize the Sorter, drag its resize corner.

The boxes in the Sorter panel resemble the boxes of a real sorter, e.g. at your favorite hotel’s reception or your home town’s post office. One box is already pre-defined and connected to the global inbox. All other boxes you define yourself. Open any of your databases and drag groups that you want to add to empty boxes in the Sorter. Whatever you drop into that box in the future will be automatically sent to the connected group just like notes and letters are sent to your hotel room — latest when you open that database. Drag defined boxes by their title to organize them within the Sorter panel or drag them into the open to remove the connection.

When DEVONthink is running all items you drop into a box are immediately sent to DEVONthink. But when it is not open, the Sorter keeps them for you until you open DEVONthink again or until you choose Send to DEVONthink in its Action menu (the little gear icon). For boxes other than the inbox kept documents are also shown when you skim over the box with the pointer; right-click a document to show a contextual menu that allows you to remove the item before it is even sent to DEVONthink.

Finally, to quit the Sorter application choose Quit from the Sorter’s Action menu.

9 Responses to “Tuesday Tip: The Power of the Sorter”

  1. darwin says:

    One question: I usually use the shortcut cmd+shift+) to copy marked text on a website in a rtf-document to the global inbox (and I don´t use the sorter until now.

    Would this shortcut work with the sorter, so that I don´t need to start Devonthink Pro Office? I tried, but everytime DTPO started again.

  2. Eric says:

    No, the Command-Shift-) shortcut is a DEVONthink Services menu shortcut. The Sorter does not add its own Services menu commands.

  3. Actually, the Sorter does have an entry in the Services menu. 🙂 But it also has a Hot Key clipping feature where it sends the current selection to the global inbox.

  4. Eric says:

    @Annard: Oops 🙂

  5. darwin says:

    right, now I remember. Good to know.

  6. The killer app now is to be able to install and license the Sorter app on laptops but link to your home/work Pro Office web server.

    I’d love to take web clippings directly to the home database when on the road. As it stands, I have to save the web site as a PDF/RTF and import through the web interface. Tedious.

  7. Heidi says:

    My DevonThink sorter is not functioning properly. It is not sending items to my database and keeps popping up with the error: “Couldn’t write some or all metadata attributes.” What is the deal!?

  8. jneumann says:

    @Heidi: Sorry you’re having troubles. However, this is not the best place for Support. Could you open a support ticket at: http://helpdesk.devontechnologies.com


  9. John Burke says:

    Going back to the basics, some great information for a robust tool.