Best Setup for Use on Multiple Machines (New User)

I’m looking to make the transition from Evernote to DTPO. I’m an academic and I’ve read some tantalizing blog posts recently on the benefits of DTPO for academic work. I am not, however, tech savvy, and I need some advice on how to set up my system.

I have a Mac desktop at work, one at home, and a laptop that I use for work when I’m on the go. I would like to be able to access my data from any of these machines at any time with as little trouble as possible. What’s the best way to do that?

I’ve read that cloud storage is not recommended for databases, so I’m wondering if I need to keep a USB with me and bring that back and forth from work to home, etc. That seems like a bit of a pain and I’m concerned about the potential difficulty of having a system that requires me to manually check to ensure that the data on the machine I’m using on a given day is from the most recent version of my database.

If I’m misunderstanding how storage and backups work, could someone correct me and offer some advice about using DTPO from multiple work stations?


First, Sync is not a backup. We strongly advocate proper primary backups using TimeMachine (or similar application) and external drives. (For an online backup, our company president uses Arq quite happily.)

Secondly and a clarification of terms: A cloud location is not a safe location for your DEVONthink databases. It is safe as a location for your Sync data. Two VERY different things.

Yes, you could shuttle databases between machines via a USB flash drive (and regardless of the hype about the cloud, it’s actually faster and more reliable than the cloud). However, you can use a Dropbox/Box/CloudMe/other webDAV server as a remote Sync location.

Sync is covered in the manuals (which can be downloaded here: … nuals.html).
Also, there are two Sync tutorials posted here: … rials.html

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@BLUEFROG: Thanks for the help. Since I am trying to do the same thing (using DT on two separate machines), I’d like to keep the settings of the application in sync as well (my custom meta data setups, smart rules, smart groups, etc). Where are those settings located and which files do I need to sync between my two machines in order to accomplish this?

Best and many thanks,

Custom meta data that has been applied to files that are syncing will sync.

Smart groups, rules, etc. do not sync as they are not part of databases. They belong to the application.

These items are stored as property list files in ~/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink 3.

Development would have to weigh in on the feasibility of us providing a way to sync these other items, though I would not suggest an external mechanism that replaces data in a running application.

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Thanks. What I can try is to sync this specific folders with my internal sync via my NAS. Since I am only using one running application at a time, it should get into any troubles I assume.

If there are any plans from your side to accomplish this on a more official way, I am very happy.