Any way to schedule an alarm in DTP?


Here is the need I am trying to cover.
I have been storing scanned documents into my DTP databases and, for some of these documents, such as agreements (Insurance or any), I’d like to schedule an automatic notification (email or an embedded DTP alarm) when the agreement is about to arrive at its due date. This would be a nice and very helpful trick to connect both the storing and the handling of official documents which require some vigilance because of their mid or long term renewal.

  1. I assume I need a specific field to maintain the deadline date but, so far, the infos panel does not support it. Could be covered by the upcoming “tag” feature?
  2. I assume I also need a specific mechanism (kind of daemon) to schedule and launch the notification when necessary. Could be covered by a script or Automator?

May be some of you have already implemented such a feature. Your suggestions are welcome.
May be the Devon team is about to deliver something similar. Its recommendations are welcome as well.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Perhaps there will be something like this in DEVONthink in the future, or perhaps there may be some way to do notifications via a script or Automator action.

Here goes another of my infamous kludges: :slight_smile:

I’ve been doing this sort of thing for years. If I need to take an action on or described by a document in my database, I create an iCal event with a name such as “DT ToDo 090824” and set an alarm, usually for the day before that due date.

I create a rich text note with the same name, such as “DT ToDo 090824” that contains a reminder of the action, perhaps instructions about what’s to be done and link(s) to the document(s) involved in the action, such as completing a form and emailing it to Harry.

When the iCal alarm goes off, I will be alerted (of course, the computer must be running, and if it’s not running the notification will appear next time I wake up or start the computer). I click on the Loupe symbol in the iCal notification panel. iCal is now foremost, displaying the event. Now I click Edit. The name of the event is selected, so I press Command-/ (Lookup). A search window opens in DT with the name of my note already entered. Click on Name, press Return and it will be listed (usually, as the only found item). Select the document named “DT Action 090824” and take action. If I want to procrastinate, I can go back to the iCal event and edit it to notify me again in, e.g., 12 hours.

This works, and can be quickly set up. I use an event name that always begins with “DT ToDo” as a convention to tell me to do a Lookup on the event name. (I select a Name search in DEVONthink to tightly filter the result.)

A kludge may not be as elegant as a built-in feature, but there are so many tools on my computer that I can generally find a way to accomplish something I need to do.

Thank you Bill for this prompt reply.

I already had in mind an iCal-based solution but not as sophisticated as your’s :smiley:.
I am not an expert of scripting nor Automator which should enable more automation of that process.

But, definitely, I think this should be a built-in feature as, in my opinion, managing alarms in a document is quite close to the tagging concept. This is just a Todo event embedded in a document, kind of “time tag” :smiley:.

May be the Devon team will hear me and take the point seriously.

Thank you Bill :slight_smile: