Dates for Smart Groups and Searching

An open request for thoughts on more granular controls conerning dates in searches and Smart Groups.

Simple things like 2 weeks ago, 4 hours ago, exactly (as in a specific date), etc. to more complex things like between Jan 01, 2013 and Jan 15, 2013 or before today but after 3 weeks ago (not requiring the User to know a specific date).

Who would be interested in this level of control for date searching?

(Note: This would be restricted to filesystem metadata, not user-applied metadata. Since Tags are string based they wouldn’t apply nor would dates in file content (though I wouldn’t be surprised if Criss could do this too! lol) So Date Created, Date Modified, potentially Date Last Accessed,…

I’d like to replace this

With the ability to specify a date for “is”.

I like the “is between” or “is not between” idea – but …

“Between” and the other examples Jim mentioned (other than hours) can be done today with compound predicates, including subpredicates using “any” and “all” combinations. I prefer to keep that flexibility. I have no need to find things more granularly than dates – do no need hours.

Like Korm I also would like to be able to specify a date for “is”.

But wouldn’t it be nicer to not have to construct such complex predicates (while still allowing their construction)?


Any other takers on this?
Am I just off-target about how people use DEVONthink?

From my own perspective, I see data and time in a very correlated fashion (probably from working in production environments my whole career). I have had many needs to find files for people based on the what but also on the when. I see DEVONthink not merely as an knowledge management system but for project management as well and projects are invariably time-bound. (If you disagree it probably explains why your projects aren’t done. 8) ).

I’m not trying to sell anyone on this, just thinking aloud and inviting discussion (if anyone’s game). Cheers!

Yes. While I appreciate the power than can come with constructing compound predicates in DEVONthink, I’ll admit that at times I find constructing them is more trouble than the return. This apples to all searches/smart groups, not just date searching.

As to date searching constructs, I’d like to see better options in fixed dates (date created > is > 2009) as well as dynamic (rolling) dates (date created > is > the past ‘xx’. As example, dynamic dates could return very different results for the ‘last month’, ‘last 4 weeks’, ‘last 28 days’.

Having the ability to search on specific duration or time of day doesn’t have the same appeal to me, but I’d be receptive to hearing about specific examples where it could be used.

+1 For me as well specifically with regard to "Date Created>is>specific date

I see a lot of value in this for users who are collecting material for time sensitive issues. In my case I write a travelog and often collect material real time while on a trip. I want to put all the material from the trip in a group with other trip material but at the same time I want to be able to create a smart group that shows me material created on a specific date so that I don’t have to go searching for items with a specific creation date.

From a usage point of view I found it less than intuitive that you have to create compound statements to gather material created on a specific date.

I see a lot of use for this in my Genealogical more than in my theological research, although even in the latter when I am into the history of the Church and various associated documents I can see the use that this would be. The nature of Genealogical research is primatilly date related and certainly on births, marriges and deaths it is exact dates that are important. The importance gains in stature when creating date comparison or timeline chart. Just a couople of thoughts.