Any new, improved Phone Note scripts or templates?

I do many interviews, so I’ve been using DTP’s Phone Note with greater frequency these days. I’ve checked the forum, and didn’t see any references to a new Phone Note scripts or templates. Any chance anyone has created one…? Or just has ideas on how best to improve it?

One user observed it could be much improved by taking through the pre-selected fields, as opposed to having to select and change them (I agree w/ that). Perhaps there’s also a way to automatically generate a partial file name with the creation date – the way that the DTP Rename script “Rename to creation date” works (though I’d much prefer one that just had a simplified date to shorten the file name!).

Is anyone doing something else – or using a different script or template in lieu of Phone Notes that achieves similar purposes? Thanks!

For structured note taking (such as the phone notes) I haven’t used the templating feature in DEVONhtink much in recent years. Forms can be made easily with Typinator, or TextExpander, or Keyboard Maestro (and, I suppose QuickKeys – though it hasn’t been updated since 10.6). Here’s an idea of how this works in Typinator – TextExpander is similar:

Category: Meeting Minutes

### {{?MeetingTitle}} {YYYY}{MM}{DD} ###

**Topic: {{?meetingTopic}}**

#### 1. <u>**Attendees**</u>

{{?Attendees}}

#### 2. <u>**Agenda**</u>


#### 3. <u>**Notes**</u>

To use this, I create a new Markdown document, press ,meeting (my trigger abbreviation), a form pops up prompting for the content of fields such as {{?Meeting Title}}, I fill in the form, Typinator inserts what I entered into the form plus the rest of the template content into the document I created, and I can then take notes in the Agenda and Notes sections. I happen to use Markdown, but this technique could be done with RTF or plain text, or Formatted Note. One nice thing about this approach is that I can clone the form, or modify it, with minimal effort.

Thanks, korm! Again…!

I haven’t used any of the apps your mentioned. Are you saying I’d open one of them (e.g., Typinator), and then insert your code in a new form, and it will essentially create the parameters for the kind of form I’m trying to create?

I assume this would be created outside of DTP, not within it, correct? I ask because I’m increasingly trying to do more work within DTP – or create files w/in it – so that it’s easier to store them into groups while already there. More on that later…

Thanks again!

Typinator (and the other programs mentioned) is a stand-along app, and one thing it does is speed the process of entering text into another program. Yes, I created a macro in Typinator which is a combination of an “abbreviation” (the text one types to kick off the macro) and an “expansion” which is the text that Typinator types. So, as I said before, I create a markdown document in DEVONthink, I start typing in the document by entering ,meeting, and as I soon as I do that Typinator replaces that abbreviation with what I described above.

It is so easy to try these things for oneself – get a trial copy of Typinator or TextExpander and play with it for a minute and it will be obvious. Or don’t.

Personally, I think limiting one’s work to “within DEVONthink” greatly underuses the power of DEVONthink. IIMO DEVONthink’s internal editors (varieties of plain and rich text) are minimally functional – there is a better world of creative software outside the DEVON ecosphere, and DEVONthink plays well with that fact.

Thanks, @korm… I hear you on all fronts, and appreciate your feedback. I share your feelings about DTP’s limited internal editors. As I said, I’m just trying to figure out a workflow that enables me to more easily (and quickly) put files into appropriate DTP groups and subgroups. In that way, I thought it might be easier to just use DTP’s Phone Note script (albeit an improved version of it) – so that I could quickly created in, or place in, select groups and subgroups.

That brings me to a question I was going to raise in another post, but maybe there’s a simple answer to this question…

Is there a way to create some kind of auto-filing system in DTP? I was thinking about using Tags, but maybe there’s a better way. Let me spell it out… If I use your proposed way of using a Typinator macro for a phone interview template, I’d like to quickly place it into a DTP group for “Interviews” and then replicate it in other groups relating to particle issues and / or persons. So, I was thinking that maybe there’s a way to save the Typinator doc to DTP, and then DTP could auto-fille these documents to a “Interviews” folder – thus making the remaining sorting and replication process much easier. Any thoughts? Thanks!

If a database is enabled for groups-as-tags tagging (i.e., in database properties the “Exclude Groups from Tagging” option is not checked), then it is simple to replicate a note to multiple groups by adding tag(s). For example, when I am working on projects I put replicants of documents I am working on into a collector group named Work In Progress by adding a tag with that name to the document. It’s an easy matter to expand this. So, after your next conversation with Bill Gates you can tag your notes with Malaria, and Solutions,and Things to Do – three separate tags. A replicant of that document will appear in each of those groups. When you’ve solved the problem, just delete the replicant from Things to Do or remove the tag from the document.

Just to be clear, when groups are enabled for tagging then merely adding a tag with that group’s name to a document will create the replicant in that group – no further effort is needed.

Ummm…wow. Thanks, @korm! I’ve been process your reply for a while, trying to wrap my mind around it – and trying to make sure I fully understand it before putting it into motion. Ok quick thing, though… My “Exclude Groups from Tagging” option in my DB properties is checked. I’ve been trying to read the literature on why it might be useful to uncheck the “Exclude Groups from Tagging” option. Is there any downside I should be aware of…? It seems the only caution I’ve caught is some groups can have the same name appearing in multiple places in one’s groups hierarchy. But it also seems that one can remedy by having location specific group names (and corresponding Tags for you process), correct?

One more quick question here… You wrote,

. Is there a way to best ensure that one just removes replicants from redundant groups and tags while being sure that one hasn’t removed (or trashed) the file itself? That’s my general fear w/ replicants: sometimes I don’t know how many replicated files I have (or where they are), and so I’m a bit concerned that by trashing replicants I might be getting rid of the remaining file. Make sense?

FWIF… I just posted a reply this this thread: [url]Global Inbox workflow]

…which now seems to be overlapping w/ the most recent query in this thread!

Hope it’s useful to other forum users…

I strongly advise testing these concepts discussed above in a test database. It’s much easier to follow along that way, and to discover tweaks that work in your context.

Yes. Or, one could uncheck “Exclude Groups from Tagging” and use the contextual menu commnand “Exclude from Tagging” to fine tune which groups are included. B

Let’s say the “permanent home” of a document is a group named “Tippecanoe”. I’ve tagged that document with the name of another group, “Tyler Too”. When I no longer need that replicant, I either select the instance inside “Tippecanoe” and remove the “Tyler Too” tag, or I select the instance in “Tyler Too” and delete it. The result is the same: the “Tyler Too” instance disappears and I just have the “Tippecanoe” instance. (Of course, remembering to empty the Trash timely.)

I have a script installed in my toolbar that automates this process – toggling on/off for a selected document(s) the assigment of my “Work in Progress” tag and a corresponding “WIP” label. (I no longer publish scripts in the public forum, but the idea of this one is easy to reproduce.)

Hi @korm, I’ve been testing this in a test database as you suggested. So far, I’ve successfully applied Tags to documents that I’ve saved in DTP (and have saved them to particular DB’s and groups using your Global Inbox script that we discussed in the previous post). Everything works beautifully on that end! Here’s the hitch…

So,I created a test group, and used the same name for the group as the tag. For example, created group named “New Guy,” which had the same name as the “New Guy” tag. I applied the “New Guy” tag to a test document, and saved it in the DB’s Inbox. The document did appear in the Inbox and in the “New Guy” tag – but not in the “New Guy” group. BTW, I tried to fix it on my own by applying a “New Guy” tag to that group via the Get Info dialogue box – and also removed the “New Guy” tag to see if that would make a difference. I even tried changing the hierarchy of the “New Guy” group. Same results.

I suspect I’m making some small error, but can’t quite figure it out…

Thanks in advance for your help!

We’ve been discussing using groups-as-tags to make a replicant appear in different regular groups. If a regular group and a tag have the same name, DEVONthink defers to the tag when you use the tag bar of Get Info or any of the scripts that add tags. If you want to do what we originally discussed, then don’t make a tag with the same name as a regular group.

Thanks, @korm… I fear I didn’t properly explain my process. I meant to mention that I actually did change the names for the tags so that they were seperate (though similar for symmetry). I was just explaining the other stuff I did to achieve replicating files in different groups. I’ve been re-reading your posts that relate to this part of the threat, as well as other forum discussions re: replicating files in groups (i.e., unchecking “Exclude Groups from Tagging,” applying tags, etc.) (BTW, I wish DTP did a better job of explaining this…)

When I go to Save As… and save a file to a DTP group, I also assign various tags to the file. I thought that tags linked to groups (the tags / groups have similar but different names) would enable the replication of the file to tag-linked groups. I assumed this was in keeping with your statement that

Maybe I misunderstood or am doing something wrong. Sorry – I’m really trying to get it right. You’ve been super generous trying to help me out here, and I really do appreciate it… Thank you, @korm

I’ll chime in with my thoughts. I’m not exactly sure how you are setting this up, but linking tags to groups (by assigning regular, ‘blue’ tags to a group through the group’s info panel) is not the same as enabling tagging for your groups in the database. If you have groups with tagging enabled (the group is yellow instead of blue) and you save documents to the database with tags assigned with the exact name as the group (including upper/lower case), then the documents will be replicated to the respective yellow tag groups.

As a suggestion, forget about having similar names for blue, regular tags and yellow, group tags. That’s just asking for trouble. Ideally, tag naming should be as simple as possible. That includes standardizing on upper/lower case, singular vs. plural, etc., so that tagging, and searching for tags, is not more confusing that needs to be.

Yes you are, and I’m sure you will in time. Greg gave you some helpful advice. Good luck, and keep experimenting – that’s the one thing we all do. 8)

Thanks @Greg_Jones and @korm !

I think I got it, but just to make sure I’m going to outline the steps I’ve taken (just to make sure I haven’t found anything up or created redundancies that will bite me later)…

The Setup
-Unchecked the “Exclude Groups from Tagging” option in my DB properties
-Created the following sample tags (for experimentation purposes): dude, man, guy
-Created the following sample groups (again, just for experimentation purposes): The Dude, The Man, The Guy – these groups are in yellow; not the standard blue color
-Open the “Get Info” box for each of the nearly created groups, and fill the tags section with the corresponding tag (e.g., “dude” tag goes into “The Dude” box, etc.).

The Execution
-Go to app that has “Save As…” function. In this case, I’ll use Word (need to save pennies to get Ulysses III, @korm :wink: )
-In my case, I save to (with) the folder script that @korm created (a brilliant little script) and @devananda updated: [url]Global Inbox workflow] – this pops open the group selector and allows me to place my file directly into the database and group where I want it to go. [NOTE TO DTP: This should be a part of the software!]
-But before I save the file into my database and group… In the “Tags” field of the “Save As…” dialogue box, I create or select the additional groups where I’d like the file to be replicated (e.g., if I want file “Duderino” to appear in “The Man” or “The New Guy” groups, I create or select those tags accordingly in Tags section of the Save As… box)
-Then, thanks to the help of the aforementioned folder-script, I select the database and group where I want the file to ultimately reside (e.g., “The Dude” group), realizing that it will also be replicated to “The Man” or “The New Guy” groups

So, upon reviewing this I think I just got my wires crossed w/ the relationship between tags and group names, and was including tag names instead of group names in the Tags field of the Save As… box. I guess I thought that the actual tags directed a file into a group and/or one could only put actual Tags in the tags field of the Save As… window. Hence the confusion there.

Quick questions…

Now that I have clearer sense of how this comes together, it seems to me that the step of adding corresponding tags to groups (e.g., the creating and putting a “dude” tag into “The Dude” Get Info box) is unnecessary. Is that correct?

@korm mentioned that

Just wondering if there’s a quick explanation for the functional benefits of doing this.

Thank you so much guys, and thanks for dealing w/ my confusion… Really appreciate all of your help – again!

Skip steps #2 and #4. Once you create the tag groups, you are done in DEVONthink. However, you may need to make OS X aware that you have these tag groups before you can add the tags while saving documents from a third-party app. To do this, save any document in the group tag folders (The Dude, etc.), drag the document to the desktop, and you have added the tag ‘The Dude’ to OS x’s tags.You can then delete the document from the Finder and now when you save a document from a third-party app, ‘The Dude’ will be available.

Do this if you don’t want all of your groups to also be tag names, which I would expect is the case for most users.

Yeah, I guess after seeing how this process works for tag-groups for replication (a function that I’ve been searching for…forever!) I don’t quite see the benefit of using “Exclude from Tagging” from the contextual menu. I feel like I’m missing something important, but can’t figure out what that might be…

Thank you again!

Just to clarify my last comment… I’m not totally clear about why using the contextual menu command to use “Exclude from Tagging” for certain groups would be beneficial, given the utility of enabling database for groups-as-tags tagging for easier replication. I suppose I don’t quite understand what is gained by using the the default setting over the groups-as-tags tagging approach. That’s all.

Thanks, guys…

What does that mean – this has nothing to do with “gain”? Maybe you’re overthinking what we’re saying – but there’s nothing complicated about this – it’s just the way it works.

Ordinary groups cannot be used as tags unless Database Properties > Exclude Groups from Tagging is false (off; unchecked). When Exclude Groups from Tagging is off, then some folks might want to re-enable Exclude Groups from Tagging for some groups. Like this:

Paprika, Salt and Saffron are groups enabled for tagging, and Ginger is a group not enabled for tagging.

@korm has explained the ‘how’, here is a brief thought on the ‘why’. There has been a ton of information published on the Internet concerning tagging/folders methodology for organizing data. Searching this body of knowledge might be the place to start to help inform your thinking on how you want organize your DEVONthink databases.

Having said that, my (condensed) approach to tagging is that tags are metadata (data about data), to help me at a later date to search and organize documents based on (most commonly) a combination of tags. Using tags to identify where a document is located is of no interest to me. Using tags to replicate (classify) where documents should be located in the database sounds appealing when first creating a database, but as a database grows a) this becomes untenable (more discussion below), and b) DEVONthink learns about your databases and its AI helps with the classification, which is one of the most compelling reasons to use DEVONthink in the first place.

The all groups as tags becomes untenable as the number of groups increase in a database (hundreds, or thousands) and group names become very descriptive, or worse yet, group names are duplicated. Duplicate group names means duplicate tags, and the user cannot trust where a document may appear when tagged with a group tag. Also, imagine hundreds or thousands of group tags combined with hundreds or thousands of regular tags. Assigning tags with predicative typing, performing tag searches, and/or browsing in the Tags view would become a chore. As example, look at this image taken from the Web of a subset of groups of an actual database where tagging is enabled for all groups.

A ‘good’ tag name is usually quite the opposite of what makes a good group/folder name. In the above image, ‘Books’ is the only name that comes close. Even then, I use tags that begin lower case and are singular e.g.‘book’ instead of ‘books’. I do create combination word tags with inter-caps (e.g. 'timeWarner), but some advise against using any caps at all. I also limit the use of combination word tags, choosing to use multiple, single word tags instead (e.g. ‘academic’ and research instead of academicResearch).

Anyway, the entire concept of tagging/data organization is very subjective, very personal, and what works for me may not at all work for @korm. or @Bill_D, or for you. My suggestion is to experiment and find what works best for you. Ask yourself how you are going to use your data, now and in the future. It would be hard to do anything with a database that cannot be undone later. I suppose in hindsight this wasn’t so brief after all, as I typically avoid this concept/theory DEVONthink discussions.