DR3 Pro - Global vs. 'local' inboxes


I’ve created an account to ask this question. I did do a search first, the nearest was the following link, but there were no actual answers, so I’m asking again I guess.

Okay, I canot add internal links for some reason, but the thread is here:


For some reason inboxes are now under Global, but not visible in the actual databases.

Is this going to change back to having inboxes available in each database?


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DEVONthink 3 displays all inboxes of all databases under the Inboxes “umbrella” in the sidebar, similar to the trashes and tags, which all appear unter Globals now. This is similar to how e.g. Apple Mail displays inboxes, trashes, etc.

Yes, sorry, I may have not made myself clear.

I know they are all under global now. My question was around when/if the option was going to be made available again for having them back under the actual databases so they are actually useable?

I’m fine with them being under both, I can then just ignore globals.

At the moment, if I pick (for example) ‘All PDF Documents’ it will list everything in the actual db and items in global inboxes.

Moving items from global inboxes becomes difficult when the list of global inboxes, and the open tree of the database destination, becomes very spread out. I.e. it becomes impossible to drag a document from an inbox to a highly nested folder when screen estate becomes a limit.

I’m not getting the reference to Apple Mail. Email is gathered globally because it matters less where it came from, it is just email. Database Inboxes were relevant as an initial organisational method of sending something that need sorting out to the correct database ‘inbox’. Even then, with Apple Mail selecting the email account, the ‘database’, shows the related inbox.

My questions remains: Is this going to be reversed or made an option again?


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Welcome @SamM

Development would have to comment on this, but there are no plans I am aware of to change the current design or functionality at this time.

Okay, thanks for your reply.

I can just create another group called ‘inbox’ that can simulate this I guess, although it isn’t automatically at the top of the sidebar list.


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I raised the same concern a few weeks back. I agree that the comparison to Apple Mail doesn’t work for the reason you’ve stated. The source of an email is (mostly) irrelevant, whereas in DT, databases represent explicit segmentations of data. There is no reason to merge them in a single, global location. After a few weeks of using DT3 exclusively, I can say unequivocally that the new global inboxes and tags make organizing documents more cumbersome.

It would nice if this was at least an option that could be toggled in the preferences, both for inboxes and tags.


Indeed, that is a feasible approach if it suits you. :slight_smile:

Hi @SamM,
Forgive me if I’m not understanding your original problem.

In my case, I had the hardest time with the very idea of “Inboxes.” I’ve accepted them now, but found I was having practical problems because there were multiple things called “Inbox.”

So, I’ve done some renaming and reconstructing so that my sidebar now looks like this.

Probably obvious, but now the inbox for my database of “audio” information is itself now called “audio.” For me, at least, this resolved the problem of where these items are actually located on the sidebar.

The Inboxes shouldn’t require any renaming.
The Global Inbox is the Inbox.
Separate databases are listed by their name under the Globals > Inboxes section.

I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that’s how it is for others. Notwithstanding, after I migrated to DT3, I simply had a list of inboxes under the Globals > Inboxes section all called Inbox.
Boy, that was taxing. :crazy_face:

Interesting. I wonder if that will be a sporadic occurrence we need to look for. Thanks!

My problem is different to yours. Mine is an issue with the design, but it is working as per that design. Yours looks to be an actual defect.

It is curious that you were able to rename the multiple ‘inboxes’ to something useful. I don’t seem to be able to rename them at all. That is the behaviour I would expect really.

In your example, if DT3 had migrated inboxes without error, then you would have Inboxes->audio automatically created for you. If you had then renamed audio to Main, that would be quite an unusable state to be in.

If you put a PDF in your Inboxes->audio, then go to Open Databases->audio->All PDF Documents, do you see that same PDF?

I’ve also just noticed that a slow double click on sidebar folder names doesn’t go into rename edit, I have to right click and slect rename. Works fine in the list view for the same folder.


I’ve also just noticed that a slow double click on sidebar folder names doesn’t go into rename edit, I have to right click and slect rename. Works fine in the list view for the same folder.

The Navigate sidebar does not behave in all the same ways as the item list.

I like the design, exclusive area for working with inboxes ONLY nice, nice. However, we also need close access/convenient access to the inbox of the database we are currently working with.

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However, we also need close access/convenient access to the inbox of the database we are currently working with.

It’s conveniently accessed in the Global section of the Navigate sidebar. :stuck_out_tongue:

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…and yet still less convenient than local tags and inboxes.


It’s a matter of perspective. There is no singular point of view on which is “more or less convenient”. The changes we’ve made certainly weren’t made in a vacuum and are more consistent with the “modern look and feel” people have been asking for.

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Maybe we will get used to it lol

Honestly, I have well over 17,000 working hours in DEVONthink 2 (actually, it’s probably pushing more towards 19,000 now!) so my initial reaction was a bit of disorientation. I also move between 2.x and 3.x all day long, as I have to support both. But the more I work in 3.x, the more I feel it more and more comfortable with it.

Don’t get me wrong. DT3 is great and an improvement over DT2. My criticism of the collection of inboxes and tags in the sidebar is not an example of me being a curmudgeon who thinks the old is better than the new. Quite the opposite. I’m first on board when it comes to upgrading and adopting new versions. I’m expressing my perspective that, after extensive use of DT3, this particular change is not a good one. It interrupts workflows and breaks the logical sequestration of data between databases. Here’s a good example:

My typical routine is to open a database, view what’s in the inbox, and move files from the inbox to groups/tags inside that database. Sometimes I like to drag and drop. To accomplish that in DT3, I now have to find the Inbox I want and open it. I then have to go look for the corresponding database in the sidebar and open that, too, to see the corresponding groups. And if I want to see tags, I have to do it a third time. So it now takes me three steps to do what took one in DT2. And I have to repeat for every database. That requires a lot of extra effort and mental overhead. It’s a hindrance, not a help.

But more to the point: I’m not asking for you all to get rid of the new sidebar consolidation and return to displaying local inboxes and tags inside their respective databases only. I’m asking for you to provide both or to give users the option to decide which one they prefer. I’m sure there may be others who have different workflows who prefer the new consolidated sidebar. Why not let us decide what works better for our workflows?