Best practices: Index or watch Downloads folder?

A question to the DEVONthink pros: I download a ton of files during the day and before using DT I was visiting the Downloads folder regularly to process and organize the downloaded files. Also, I would (and still) use an app called Hazel to process invoices and bank statements.

Now with DT I just indexed the Downloads folder under my global Inbox in DT. So whenever I have downloads, I’ll see them in my DT under Inbox > Downloads and process them within DT.

Does my approach make sense? Or how are other DT pros handling Downloads folder?

There is no right or wrong. That certainly is a reasonable option.

Caution however - if you find something of interest to “process” within DT you probably want to Import the item into your database and not keep that item indexed. The Downloads directory tends to be ephemeral for many people. If you move an indexed file to somewhere else in your DT3 database and then one day delete your Downloads folder when your drive gets full or when the folder gets to have too many files, then you will lose your file in DT3. That won’t be a problem if you Import the item of interest into your database.

While it’s possible to index the Downloads folder, I agree with @rkaplan on the transitory nature of the majority of the content in it. Also, you are likely indexing items that have no use in DEVONthink. See this blog post…

Don’t Use DEVONthink as a Junk Drawer

Thank you for the feedback.

Re “The Downloads directory tends to be ephemeral for many people.”

  • I don’t keep any file in that folder for long. Eventually I keep it empty (in the sense David Allen keeps his email inbox empty, or at least he suggests doing so :slight_smile:

Re Junk Drawer: Whatever is junk, I delete immediately. All remaining files I really need to file.

Actually I realize that I don’t need to put “Downloads” folder underneath my DT “Inbox” folder. I could use a Hazel rule to move the files directly into DTs global inbux. – My main idea is to use DT’s shortcuts to quickly process, that is group and move files in appropriate folders via “Ctrl + Cmd + M” for move. I was using “Alfred App” for these kind of tasks, but I’d want to end up using all file realted actions in DT.

No problem :slight_smile:

I use Hazel to process files in the downloads folder and move the needed ones into DT.