Any issues syncing a library with indexed files?


I am trying Devonthink. I have indexed all my work files into it. I dont feel comfortable adding them into the database, it would be massive, and then I believe I would lose the ability to manage them in Finder??

Anyway, I also have a Macbook at home, so wondered if I were to sync the database to home, which will not have the files its indexed, would it still work all ok apart from being able to open the files? Its so I can still reference notes and links that I add into the database.


What you want to do is possible as long as the indexed folder(s) have the same paths relative to the root of each machine. For example –

On Machine A you have documents at

/Users/MachineA/Documents/The Meaning of Life/

And, on Machine B you have the same documents at

/Users/MachineB/Documents/The Meaning of Life/

When you create a database on Machine A and index the “The Meaning of Life” folder, then DEVONthink records the location using UNIX-like shorthand as:

~/Documents/The Meaning of Life/

So, “~/Documents” is what I mean by “the same relative path to the root”.

It takes care and planing to do this, but it’s doable – I’ve setup databases with indexed folders dependent on this feature for a very long time, successfully. Just test FIRST.

An alternative, of course, is to put your docs into Dropbox, Amazon Cloud, Box, etc., and index. Those services tend to put their client folders at the same location on each machine – but TEST first.

Thanks… I considered having all my files on both machines (in the same place) but its hundreds of GBs and thousands of files (all my work files). I may do it using rsync (its too big for Dropbox), but at the moment the files will only be on one computer and not the other. Actually I may index other files on the second computer not on the first! So that’s the issue really, I wanted to know if Devonthink would still work OK, I could add notes/links etc. into a Group (which is created when indexing folders) and it would still work even though the file it indexed is not on that computer.

DEVONthink would work with indexing, as you’ve described, if you take care with the location of the folders.

If syncing “100s of GBs” between machines is not viable, then consider putting the files on an external drive (or syncing them to an external drive) and indexing that drive. You could move the drive between machines.

A DEVONthink database with “100s of GBs” of data - whether indexed or not - is not likely to perform well, by the way.