Best Practices from Sync?

I have three computers that I actively use my DEVONthink databases. Each database on the computer is set to sync hourly, upon opening of the database, and upon closing of the database. I assume that the “sync hourly” means that it is synced hourly ONLY if DEVONthink is open on the computer, and that the computer is not asleep. Right?

Second question, is it problematic to leave my DEVONthink database open on my home computer, while I try to use the database on the office computer? Of course, the office computer has its own local database, but the “master” copy is supposed to the WebDav version on Box.

I’m finding sync between these three computers a little bit finicky. I’m still new to this so this might be due to user error, but I’m a bit doubtful. Once in a while, I get something like “remote database is unavailable because another client is using it”.

What’s the best practice then for having sync correctly working 100% across three computers? Is it that I DEVONthink must only be actively running on one computer at a time?


If Sync is operating on more than one computer at a time you can run into troubles. You’d have to determine if that’s possible by looking at your schedule.

If you’re the only person using these computers and their databases, then perhaps set sync to run when the database is opened or closed, or some other method rather than hourly. If you combine that with the practice to quit DEVONthink when leaving a machine you will probably avoid potential conflicts.

Or, frankly, forget Sync and just carry your traveling database on a portable drive or stick (perhaps with an encrypted partition, as well). That’s actually a very valid and frequently used method that a number of users have employed for years.

The point is – there’s no single method that’s the “right way” to do these things. It depends on your use cases.

Sounds good. What’s not clear to me is whether DEVONthink has a background process running that would sync the database even if the program isn’t running (this is for when the sync is set to run every hour).

I like the idea of syncing regularly only because if there are large amounts to sync, it won’t have to be done all at once.

No. Sync is performed only when a database is open and the Sync procedure has been invoked either manually or by schedule.

Great! Thank you for this clarification.