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

Inbox in Finder sidebarDEVONthink 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 move it to the Inbox in the Finder sidebar when you’re done for now. Re-open it out of DEVONthink when you need it again, e.g. for making more changes.

BTW: Some applications notice when the document is moved and handle this properly. But that’s solely up to that application, not DEVONthink.

9 Responses to “Tuesday tip: Don’t use the Inbox folder as storage”

  1. Ollie says:

    I had no idea there were “watched inbox” folders. I can’t find any info about them via DTP help or quick web search. This is a great option, but where can I learn more about how to set up watched inboxes?

  2. eboehnisch says:

    @ Ollie: The folder ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2/Inbox.noindex is automatically watched by the app. You can add it to your Finder sidebar via DEVONthink Pro > Install Add-ons or by dragging it there. Put anything into the folder and DEVONthink will pick it up and import it.

  3. Ollie says:

    @eboehnisch: Got it! I had not even noticed this before. Thanks, as this feature will be very helpful for me.

  4. actually im using this folder as a storage i dont see a problem in this. I have no idea this is wrong. Good to know…

  5. eboehnisch says:

    @ storage Edinburgh: The problem arises when you save directly to the Inbox folder and continue editing the file with an application that is not prepared for moving the file without telling it.

  6. Alex says:

    Can we add inbox folders from other databases (or any form of Watch Folder)?

  7. eboehnisch says:

    @ Alex: By default only the Global Inbox is available as a real folder in the Finder. But you can attach the supplied “folder action scripts” to any folder in the Finder to make them a watched folder.

  8. Flo says:

    I can’t find this folder on my new installation. The folder is missing, there are only folders like “Files.noindex” etc…
    – current personal version
    – macos sierra

  9. jneumann says:

    Note this article is only referring to DEVONthink Pro and Pro Office. You don’t have the same option with DEVONthink Personal.