Autoimport for dummies

Hello, I’m testing DT3 which seems to be powerful program. I would like to autoimport files from a certain finder folder right into my database… reading the forum this seems to be possible with all sort off applescripts and/or folder actions… however I’m not a professional IT-guy so many of those discussion are too complex… is there somewhere a guide for ‘dummies’? I don’t understand why Devontechnologies doesn’t provide this as a standard feature in their software… Isn’t this a basic feature ?

There are 4 possibilities:

  1. You add the inbox folder to the Finder’s sidebar (see DEVONthink 3 > Install Add-Ons) and move files to this folder and they’ll be automatically imported to DEVONthink’s global inbox.

  2. You index a folder (see File > Index…), this will not move the files & folders autmatically but link to them instead.

  3. In addition to the second possibility you use also a smart rule for the indexed group which looks like this:

  4. A folder action applied to a folder in the Finder. This was one of the best options in version 2 but isn’t recommonded usually anymore.

hello, thanks for the info… so in DT3 you cannot select a random folder to have the files that are within auto imported ? Are there any possibilities with Hazel… that seems to pop up as well on several fora ?

Only the first option is bound to a certain folder, the other ones support any folder. And there’s even a 5th possibility - you could drag & drop the files&folders directly to DEVONthink (or the Sorter) while pressing the Command modifier key to move them.

A folder action applied to a folder in the Finder. This was one of the best options in version 2 but isn’t recommended usually anymore.

Interesting, any particular reasons why?
This is IMO the easiest to set up and just works. I have Hazel renaming files based on content (unfortunately DT3 is still not up to par on that), and then moving it to an import folder which has such a folder action. Been working for years without a hitch.

I’m sure you’re much more experienced than I am (because I’m a new user of DT since the release of the first DT3 beta) but I do something similar to you, with a slight variation. I, too, use Hazel for renaming (for the reason you mention) but I direct the renamed files to the DT3 global inbox and then use DT3 smart rules to file them appropriately within DT3. You can even file by document year date when doing that and I find it works really well.

Sorry if this doesn’t help: it’s just the way I do it!


That’s actually a great idea and partly solves my latest problem that DT have dropped Automator Workflows - this should REALLY have been hilighted in the upgrade information :angry: DT should really improve the poor and sometimes contradictory upgrade information, but sadly they don’t seem to take constructive suggestions very seriously.

My DT2 workflow was a little more complex than I described above. Smart rules didn’t exist, and Automator Workflows were very easy to create. So I had a workflow for each destination group that Hazel would call to file things. If no Hazel rules matched it got dropped into a default folder which gets imported to the DT Inbox by a folder action.

Unfortunately now I have to rebuild all my rules. Most annoying! But your tip helped me avoid having to muddle around with scripts :slightly_smiling_face:

I’d still like to know why folder actions are no longer recommended…

Smart rules are usually recommended as they’re much more user-friendly (e.g. customizing folder actions is only possible for scripters). Of course there are scenarios where folder actions are still useful/preferred and therefore still supported.