Document Date – Best practice?

When we manage scanned documents there is a metadata of big importance: The date when the original was signed which ist in most cases the date which is printed on the original.
This document date is in most cases different from the creation date of the scanned document file.

I’m wondering which is the best way to handle document dates in DT?

As far as I can see, there are two common ways to do this:

  1. Set a tag which represents the document date
  2. Overwrite the creation date of the document file so that it matches the document date. This could be done by an AppleScript.

Both ways are not satisfying for me. The document date is a metadata which should not be handled by such work-arounds.
From a document management point of view it definitely does make sense to be able to differentiate between the document date and the file creation date.

Do I have overlooked something in DT? Otherwise I’d strongly suggest to introduce a metadata field “document date”.

Best regards

There is no standardized metadata for this. To this end, one solution will not be recognized by other applications. However, if using Tags for this purpose, it is possible to get some kind of agreement / understanding between apps. Perfect? No. Workable? Indeed. :smiley:

I’ve faced a similar problem in my own system, because I often scan papers on a day after they were received, and my solution is to include the date in the title in YYYYMMDD format, for example (20160918 meeting materials). Of course, YYYY-MM-DD woudl also be possible (2016-09-18 meeting materials). Whatever you find easier to read or use. An added benefit is that everything you put into DT is then arranged chronologically when sorting by Name.

I think Christopher’s approach is best. Its the one I’ve used for years. The problem with metadata is that they can get changed by app or system events without warning. This includes tags. Filename is easily controlled. There is a downside with DTTG - I find it difficult to work with filenames longer then 20 characters in DTTG.

Thanks :slight_smile:

Yeah. You can adjust for it on DTPO 2 (OSX), but in DTTG 2 (iOS), there’s no good solution. Design decisions have to be made, of course, and in this case they went with the 1/3 list on the left (like mail) and 2/3 preview on the right. Interestingly, when viewing split screen (two apps open in the same window 1/2 and 1/2, you can read the list really well, because it pulls the sidebar over to fill 50% of the screen (losing your preview, of course). It’s a clunky workaround, but if you work with split screens a lot, it isn’t to onerous.

I too am a fan of adding the date to the filename. Not only is this universal across Operating Systems (works the same on macOS, Linux and Windows) it’s also more robust and future proof.

Alternatively, if you’d rather not have the date in the document name, another option could be in Spotlight Comments.

This is possible but not cross-platform compatible.

True, but depending on your cross platform target, other things such as tags aren’t either. Like I said, I prefer adding the date in the document name, then if that’s not an option, changing the date created and finally spotlight comment.

Usually though, I go with option 1.