Do you keep or trash files after importing them into DT ?

For research notes, I maintain a system of subject folders and sub folders, just using the Mac Finder
I like the idea of using basic, universal file types that won’t force me into a software’s proprietary format (apparently one of the knocks on Evernote…)

I’m wondering if anyone attempts to maintain their own duplicate file system for storing documents alongside the DT Database ?

My reasoning for doing so would be (1) if I ever wanted to migrate to another app (although I know you can drag & drop from the DT interface) (2) If the database ever became corrupted and I couldn’t access backups (3) Any unforeseen issues with the software developer say 10 years from now etc.

I realize some of these are unlikely but I’m just trying to cover all of my bases before jumping in…

Does everyone normally just trash their original documents and put faith in the DT Database system ?

Thanks for any insights!

1 Like

You could also use File > Export > Files & Folders…

A good backup strategy should definitely ensure that there are always accessible & complete backups (e.g. relying only on Time Machine isn’t recommended)

Isn’t that identical to the first issue as you would have to migrate to another app/solution afterwards?

DEVONthink doesn’t store your data in a “proprietary” format. When imported, your files are stored exactly intact as they were before you imported them. They are not converted to anything else.

So, except when I am indexing external files rather than importing them, I delete any external copies. Usually there is never an external copy – downloaded files go right into the database via the Global Inbox, or one of my folder actions.

If “Create Spotlight Index” is active for a given database, then Spotlight can find them.

I back up my databases to multiple locations.

Thanks for the replies.

Yes my 3rd scenario is similar to the 1st, although I’m leaving open the possibility of just going back to a Mac Finder Folder+sub Folder system.

I didn’t know DT had a “File > Export > Files & Folders” option. That’s brilliant… there’s always something new to learn about DT ! :wink:

I’m thinking it’s probably redundant to maintain my own set of heirarchical folders and subfolders outside of DT. The extra work probably undermines the idea of a quick + elegant solution for research collection / storage.

Perhaps just maintaining one “catch all” inbox folder outside DT would be a middle ground solution (i.e. not bothering to maintain separate files and folders with the Mac finder system)

Thanks for letting me think aloud and sharing insights!

I am in the same boat, until now I kept the original on one drive and import to DEVONthink on another drive. This automatically gives me a backup as well. Worked fine until I started to work and add directly in DT. This quickly got very confusing as folders hold almost but not exactly the same files, a hassle to keep track of. I think the solution is to delete the original after importing to DT and backup the DT database.

IMHO, You may want to try indexing to your most frequently used macOS folders into 3.0. The integration is much tighter now that whatever file operation u do in 3.0 is mirrored in macOS folder at the same time. So it can literally be an advance finder. But I’m not entirely sure about the integration of tags coz I only use tags in DT.

The only exception is when you are using the inspector bar to add annotations or you are saving files in groups that are local in DT. I have no issue with this settings but you may want to confirm with DT support/developers.

With this indexed group arrangement, all I need is to make sure that I run full backup of DT database regularly, both in Mac HD and to an external HD.

1 Like