Anyone have experience with indexing TheBrain data into DTP

When I first set up DevonThink, I exported my data from TheBrain and brought it into DEVONthink. I find myself missing the visual presentation of research and will experiment with indexing my TheBrain folders to see if a hit in a search launches me into my TheBrain database. Any users with experience doing this? It seems like a good plan to just keep them separate, but use DEVONTHINK as my search hub. Thoughts?

For documents stored in a brain, every brain folder has a subfolder hierarchy whose parent is “Files” that you could index. Personally, I don’t find it useful to do this because (1) every subfolder has an obscure UUID-like name that is impossible to decipher, and (2) if I inadvertently change a subfolder then I’ve damaged thoughts in that brain. It’s also possible to index files in TheBrain and index the same files in DEVONthink.

IMO, none of this really helps with finding or accessing thoughts in TheBrain. Brains are closed systems – they are not searchable except with TheBrain software.

Thanks @korm. I did a test this morning to verify. A DEVONthink search of its TheBrain index was able to find files, but not thoughts, or text in a thought’s internal notes. Bummer. I haven’t tried, but I wonder if there’s anything different in the structure of TheBrain 9 that would change this behavior?

My goal wasn’t to make changes to my brain from within DEVONthink, rather, to just find hits with a search and then launch them in TheBrain. If only.

Here’s an idea @korm. We can already Copy Local Thought URL in TheBrain which then creates a link into a brain and back to the specific thought. If there was a way to automatically create this link in an rtf within the thought folder, we’d be able to find it with a DEVONthink index. The link ends with the thought name, e.g. “brain://FB83D777-488B-1B76-B66C-17EE4A30809B/5FBAF883-918B-F20C-7D35-809C9B9D7B47/Ex+post+facto,” with “Ex post facto” being the name. I don’t know if there’s any way to do this with existing tools like Keyboard Maestro or AppleScript. Do you have any thoughts on this idea?

What I have done before (though not extensively) is to have a filesystem folder for attachments. I index that folder in DEVONthink and I use “Link to File” in TheBrain to include the file as a alias in a brain. That way you can edit the file in DEVONthink and the updates appear in TheBrain. You could go one step further by collecting the thought’s URL in TheBrain and adding it to the document’s URL field in DEVONthink using Show Info. This is manual, but it should work.

Downside is, besides the work, this is not portable to Webbrain – but that probably doesn’t’ matter since the DEVONthink side is not portable to DTTG2 either.

As far as automating this – perhaps, but AFAIK TheBrain is not scriptable.

I’m using almost exclusively now TheBrain v9 – the URL structure has changed a slight bit, and is probably going to evolve a bit more before the final product ships. But the concept is workable in v9 as well as v8.

I also posted here in this forum wayback in the waybacks a script to export DEVONthink notes as brain.xml and import into TheBrain – with link backs to DEVONthink. I won’t be trying to update that script until TheBrain 9 is stable, but it still works with TheBrain 8 and you can import brains from v8 to v9.

Your script was among the first things I did when I started using DT a few months ago. It worked well, though I miss the plex and all the associations with other similar thoughts when working in creative mode. I’m looking for something that would give me the best of both worlds. I wish I could my free associating in TB, then be able to have DEVONthink point me back into my brain when it finds something. Both programs do what they do quite well.

Yeah, it’s an island unfortunately. I don’t see that changing with v9, but we’ll see what happens.

I wanted to add my two cents on using DevonThink in conjunction with TheBrain 11/12. Certain indexing use cases are now possible, since TheBrain stores notes in MD format:

What works well for me is to index the entire ‘Brains’ folder, and then use a smart rule to replicate only Markdown files into the DevonThink database. What I also do is to add keywords at the bottom when creating notes in TheBrain, which tell the respective DevonThink smartrule, to which group/tag the Markdown item should be replicated.

I tend to create a new markdown item in TheBrain instead of just using the standard notes field, since otherwise all indexed notes are titled Notes.MD in DevonThink.

To find the specific ‘thought’ in TheBrain from within DevonThink, to which a given indexed note is attached, I also add a local thought link into the note via a keyboard shortcut. This also allows finding the DevonThink counterpart to a thought, by searching for the thought link in DevonThink.

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