DTTG workflow question: taking notes in one doc while reviewing other docs


I’m starting to use DTTG more actively, and as I’m getting into the app I’d welcome suggestions on how to improve my workflow.

I have a database that includes clippings from articles, ebooks, and other sources as rich text files. I often need to create a new text file that summarizes material from a number of these source documents, and I create/file those summary documents into a separate group in the database.

In the desktop app, I can have a group that holds the source documents open so I can skim document titles or use the preview pane to read parts of the document, and I can have a window for the summary document open in a separate window. I’m frequently flipping back and forth - often writing as little as a sentence in the summary, then reading through 2-10 source documents, then going back to the summary, etc.

I’m struggling with how best to adapt this workflow to DTTG. It seems like I’m doing a lot of clicking in order to navigate back and forth through the database in order to go from my summary document to the group(s) with the source documents. Because the summary document will often draw on information from multiple groups of source documents, it doesn’t make sense to save it in a group with the source documents.

What advice can others offer for how best to adapt my workflow when I’m in DTTG so I don’t spend so much time navigating between groups?


Remember: iOS ≠ macOS. The experience and capabilities are not the same.

We are considering tabs for a future release but I can’t say if and when we would address this or any development time frames.


A couple of possibilities to try:

  1. Tag the source documents and summary meaningfully (eg “summaryTopic”) then do a search in DTTG for tags:summaryTopic. All the documents will then be in the sidebar – you’ll still have to repeat the search at the start of a session, but it will reduce swapping between different groups, which may help. You’ll still have to faff around switching between summary and source though, unless you…

  2. Open the summary document in another editor – then you can use the split screen function to see both the source and the summary at the same time. (If you use the document provider function and the right editor, your notes will be reflected in the DT document, even though you’re making them in another app.)

I do the second part regularly (DTTG’s editing functions aren’t yet as good as dedicated programs).

Would that help?


Those ideas pushed me in a helpful direction. Instead of tagging the source documents and summary document, I tried replicating the summary document to the various groups with the source documents. That allowed me to toggle between them without swapping groups or messing up my tagging schema.

I do like the idea of using another editor for the summary document - I’ll have to play around with that. Do you have a particular app that you’ve found useful for RTFs, that plays well with the document provider function?


Not really, I’m afraid. You could try Pages, bit that’s not ideal for creating short notes. There isn’t really a good simple rtf editor on iOS AFAIK. RTF clearly isn’t an easy problem to crack on IOS, otherwise the market would be full of good editors, but it isn’t, so you can see DEVONthink’s problem.

That’s why I use Markdown because there are several good markdown editors on both platforms, so there’s some consistency.

The downside is that a lot of good features in the desktop version are not available for markdown (or in some cases, require extra work to make them available).


because there are several good markdown editors on both platforms

Including DEVONthink :wink: