tzero, you raise some good points.
Like you, I want clippings from Web pages to retain the source URL. But that information isn’t retained if I save the clipping to a Finder folder, or to that folder’s icon in the Dock.
Like you, I have multiple databases, and at times – especially when I’m doing a lot of scanning/OCR of paper documents – I’d like to have a convenient way of collecting the resulting PDFs in different “boxes” for subsequent firing off to different databases.
I understand your point about resource use. My ModBook (an Axiotron custom tablet Mac based on a MacBook) has 4 GB RAM. But earlier MacBooks and MacBook Pros were limited to a maximum of 2 GB RAM, and many DEVONthink users have less than 2 GB RAM. A big DT Pro/Office database can soak up a lot of memory resources. Even with 4 GB RAM I don’t want to have a big database open while I’m doing photo editing in Aperture 2 and moving photos into a video project.
The forthcoming new versions of the DEVONthink applications will handle a lot of things differently than the 1.x versions. But that’s then, and you are looking for a solution now.
So here’s one of my workarounds that might be useful to you, in two parts:
Create a new database. Create groups in it corresponding to your working databases. Its purpose will be to let you collect data intended for subsequent distribution to your working databases (I don’t try to include the organizational schema of each database, just the top level name). Because it will be empty or small most of the time, it will open very rapidly and will not use up significant memory resources. If you wish, make this your default database. Now if will be available at any time for adding new content, but will leave lots of RAM for your other open applications.
Use the floating Groups panel for collection of clippings from Web pages or excerpts of other documents. Set Preferences > General - Interface so that the option to Hide the Groups panel when inactive is NOT checked. Minimize the Groups panel to the Dock. Now, whenever you wish to use it to import a clipping or Finder file and place it into the proper group, click on the Group panel icon in the Dock and drag the new item(s) into the appropriate group. Source URLs of Web clippings will be preserved.
When running scan/OCR on paper copy I send the searchable PDFs to the top level of this database. Later, I’ll file the PDFs into the groups representing their target databases.
Periodically, I’ll export the groups as folders into the Finder. Associated metadata will be maintained, such as Comment fields and URLs. Then I can open each database in turn and import the contents of its corresponding Finder folder (including the DEVONthink_storage file). When that task is complete, housekeeping consists of deleting those temporary export folders in the Finder, and deleting the contents of the groups in the “collecting” database, so that it’s ready for future use.
Yes, it’s a “ritual dance” workaround, introducing new steps into your database procedures.
But this approach can be useful when RAM resources get tight.
It can also be useful to those who are running a database with copies on multiple computers. Using the “collection” database on your laptop can save time and effort to synchronize the database content on your desktop computer, especially if you are gathering new material destined for multiple databases. Or vice versa. I find this especially useful for updating databases on two computers when I’m doing a lot of scans.