Custom columns?

I’d like a date column (or any user-fillable column) that lets me input the date of say, a newspaper articles original publication date. I’d like to be able to then sort the column by these dates.

Is this possible somehow?

I know I can put number such as 20100515 in front of the item name. But that takes up a lot of real estate before we even get to the name of the item, so it would make the titles of items harder to find.

I know I could use the Spotlight keyword column but I don’t need or want to use Spotlight for these dates.

A simple open entry column, sortable numerically or alphabetically, would be great. I’m certain this would help many many other customers.

Am I missing something, or is this not possible?


Must be tax season. Rage over the missing receipt? There’s a run on custom date columns:

New Column Types
Going paperless…
and other recent threads linked from the above. 8)

How about Applescripting a change to the file’s creation date? There are already Applescripts for touching and changing dates, so you’ve got a foundation to work with.

Honestly, this only works if you think your computer should lie to you. Changing the creation date has lots of repercussions (think back-ups), but for me the bottom line is, do I want to have to remember which files’ creation dates are their creation dates, and which are something else?

Thanks very much for trying to help, but it seems there is no easy way to do this. I’d think this is such an obvious element of a database that it ought to have been provided from the very start.

“Datebase” is derived from “data” which is the plural of the Latin “datum.” The root of the English “date” is also the Latin “datum.”

Go back to paper files: how many of them are customized around the world by date? I’d suggest it’s in the millions.

I doubt this would be very hard to program into DevonThink. I’d like the developers to make it the very next thing they do.

It’s really the only thing that keeps me from recommending DevonThink to others.

One more thing:

When I filed, say, my utility bills in a paper file, I organized them by billing date. While being able to quickly reorganize them by the date I filed them or modified them with underlines or something might be nice, the most basic thing I want to do is put them in order by billing date.

I want to have a column that lets me put in any data I want and then be able to sort the group by that column.

Does this seem drop dead stupid obvious to everybody? Have at me if you disagree.

I agree with you that this is an important capability, and I agree with you that it could be handled better, but there is a fairly effective work around that I am using to manage my tasks list. Basically I want a due date column. The way that you can accomplish this is by using the script “Set Creation/Modification Date” that can be found on this page: Now you can use this script to modify the “date created” column to any arbitrary date you like. In your example this column would represent the due date of your bills. Now the column is still labeled “date created”, but you know that its real value is “date due.” This works really quite well, and you can even assign a shortcut to the script so that you can quickly add your due date to any document you like. Not the most elegant solution, perhaps, but pretty damn serviceable. Give it a try.

Best of luck,


I’ll give it a shot. Thanks for taking the time, much appreciated.