DT3 auto group/auto classify?

I had begun to rely rather heavily on auto grouping and auto classifying in DT2. I can’t find them in DT3.

Am I just overlooking them? Or were they removed?

If the latter, suggestions on how to reproduce their actions in DT3?

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Auto-grouping is not available now.
Auto-classify is now Data > Classify to… which sends items to the top suggested group. Note with multiple items, each goes to its top suggested group.
And realize See Also & Classify apply to all open databases now, which is behavior new to DEVONthink 3.

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I didn’t realise that, but it is music to my ears!

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Just to be sure: There is no auto-grouping feature in DT3?
This is bad news. I used it quite a lot to start organizing my stuff after a research session. To me, auto-grouping is essential for working with the global inbox: You just put your stuff there and organize it later. The classify feature useful, if you have already some hierarchy in your databases. However, when starting a new project, often you don’t have that yet (That’s why you are doing the whole research thing). For this, auto-grouping really helps to sort the information by creating groups, which serves a starting points to elaborate any deeper hierarchy.
Any reason, why you removed auto group in Devonthink3?
(And yes, classification across databases is great, but the lack of auto-grouping is tough).

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It was almost unused and caused many support requests as it didn’t work the way people would like/assume.

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As one who was using it more and more, I’d like to request it be readded if at all possible.

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Thanks fro the info. Is there a way to imitate the auto group functionality with the current tools implemented in DT3? Any kind of a workflow or script or something? Thank you.

It should be scriptable but in the end this would be a really complex & slow script. Smart rules might be another option but can’t reproduce the exactly same result.

Having worked in more than one software company with an auto-some operation feature, I can honestly say it doesn’t work as expected more often than it does.

Computers don’t think and certainly not like us. Automatic operations like this often lead to unexpected or undesirable results. Even scripting something like this may provide good results in a very small sampling, but it rarely scales to a point you can use it without having to make manual adjustments (negating the “automatic” nature of the process).

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So how does one apply auto classify? I see that you can classify individual files (not all).

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This was exactly how I used it too. If I had a few hundred items in a group, the Auto Group would do an initial pass. No, it wasn’t perfect, but it gave me a starting point. From there, I could move items around, merge groups, split them further, but the Auto Group at least gave me a first pass and something to think about.

After enjoying a lot of positives to DT3, the absence of Auto Grouping is the first big negative mark against the upgrade. If you don’t want support requests for the functionality, having it as an add-on or script would at least limit it to people who understand its limitations and want it as part of their workflow.

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I agree. I don’t want to use an auto group feature as a “set and go”-thing. My workflow included the auto grouping as a first step before sorting and grouping files manually. And for this purpose, the now missing feature was pretty useful and saved me a lot of time.

My current process for replicating the old auto group feature is:

  1. Create several new empty subgroups in the main group
  2. Select the top item in the main group
  3. Visually scan the related documents and CMD-select those that are also in the main group
    (3a. If there’s no related documents, I throw it in a ‘No Friends’ subgroup for now)
  4. Drag all those related documents to one of the empty subgroups.
  5. Move to the next remaining item in the main group and repeat from step 3

This isn’t a perfect replacement, but it’s mostly pretty mindless, so I can do it while I’m watching TV. The end result is several folders broadly grouped by similarity which is a decent starting point for more concentrated organisation.

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As a DT user for 13 years, no auto group is a CATASTROPHE for me as I relied on it heavily as the “first pass” described above. In fact, I would say Auto Group is probably the major reason I am using DT in the first place and without it, I cannot even estimate the time loss I am facing in the future. My workflow starts with a DA search which routinely dumps up to a 1000 documents, often in languages I don’t speak, into a DT folder where I use Auto Group to create an initial, if admittedly very rough, structure. On average that puts about 50% of the docs in subfolders where I can relatively quickly weed out the duplicates/very similar docs as well as getting a start on putting the rest into a standard template of subfolders that I use for my work. At that point, “Classify” starts to become useful to me but not before. If I had to do that without Auto Group, I cannot even image how much more time it would take if it wold be realistically possible at all.

I am truly shocked by this and I cannot remember a single other example in my work life where a major software feature was summarily removed (usually the issue is the other way around with “feature bloat” being the issue.). So, I implore you to not to take this away as I see no other way to bulk process the amount of documents I am facing on a daily basis. Put it somewhere else , offer it as an option, whatever as long as there is some kind of “Group Similar” function that does what Auto Group used to do.If is not replaced I guess I will have to keep DT2 around as long as possible in order to use it first for Auto Grouping or desperately look for another product. I must say, I am devastated by this.

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Thanks for this post. I’m exactly in the same position and silently(!) removing this feature is kind of a dealbreaker here.
The method described by @danliebke seems okay-ish for a couple of documents but is is definitely not feasibly with several hundreds of documents.

@cgrunenberg: Even if the script would be “really complex& slow”, it would be very helpful.

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I find the the response to this to be callous and unconcerned, offering no alternative to what is being taken away. Some of us have been loyal users for many years and have build professional workflows based on Autogroup so what are we supposed to do now? Basically the answer from the devs so far amounts to “tough luck”…so it looks like we get thrown under the bus…not what I expected from these Devs and it leaves a very bitter taste… We need any user in the same position to post here because apparently the devs are saying “only four” users have requested the return of Autogroup. Somehow I doubt we are the only ones who feel this way since this is beta software and the entire user base is not yet aware of what has happened.

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Since I believe I started this thread it’s possible I’m already among those counted as requesting this feature be reinstated. But in case I’m not, I want to hereby formally request that auto grouping be returns to DT. I relied upon it frequently.

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There also needs to be a way to limit Classify to a particular group…Most of the time I don’t want items filed outside a particular folder and right now the only way to do this is to move such a folder to a separate database and then back again.

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I think we can see from the complete silence how much importance is being attached to our requests.

Well, that nailed it pretty much.
I even tweeted about it with referring to devontechnologies (handle: @devonthink) with no reaction from them.
Obviously, your statement is Sad but True