Devonthink And OneDrive (cloud storage) Indexing


I have read a few posts on indexing using Devonthink but I would like to check my understanding before I develop my database to reduce the risk of corruption.

Microsoft OneDrive - all documents stored here
iMac - Devonthink Pro Office - Indexing to Onedrive
iMac - Onedrive folder access
PC - Onedrive folder access

folder structure within. Devonthink;
Onedrive-Documents-sub folders

Would I be correct in thinking by indexing the folders, providing only sub folders are changed (be that via PC, iMac or Devonthink database) the amended folder structures would be replicated across all devices?

Help would be greatly appreciated as I would like to use this software for my dissertation in conjunction with Devonagent and Scrivenor.


Say you have a folder structure like this in OneDrive (or any cloud for that matter). The dashes represent subfolders:

My Dissertation
— Research
------ Articles
— Drafts
— Miscellaneous

If you index “My Dissertation” in DEVONthink then you will get all the subfolders too. If later on, in DEVONthink, you moved “Miscellaneous” into “Research” and then used File > Update Indexed Items, then that change will be reflected in OneDrive too. If however, you moved “Miscellaneous” out of “My Dissertation” there would be no change to OneDrive’s structure. The same logic applies to documents.

Another example. Let’s say you have two top-level folders

My Dissertation
My Inventions

If you have a document inside “My Dissertation” and you want to move it to “My Inventions” then the safest route is to first select it and Move Into Database (the command is in the contextual menu). Then move it to “My Inventions”. And then use Move to External Folder from the contextual menu.

There are other techniques, and Greg Jones might add his thoughts to the thread (he does a lot of indexing fancy work), but these are the basic techniques that I found are most reliable.

Thanks for the post response. So providing I don’t change anything to do with the high level folder or above everything should work fine then. My high level folder indexed to Devonthink would be “Documents”, a single folder with everything else below this level.


Yes. Take care to periodically choose the root indexed folder in DEVONthink and use Edit > Update Indexed Items from time to time. Command-Option-S does the same thing.

In theory, DEVONthink should update the index when you merely click an indexed folder. I’ve not found this feature to be reliable, though – the refresh doesn’t always happen. Better to know you can force the update than rely on something unseen, IMO.

Thanks @Korm