First Time User - Help with iCloud 1st Time Sync (File Upload Count Greater than Items in DB)

Hello all,

Recently jumped onto the DT bandwagon as I am studying towards my graduate degree in Physics and foresee the utility in the smart heuristic algorithms which hopefully, in time, as I slowly build my DB groups will lend itself to making writing smart.

However, firstly, I am looking to set-up the synchronization between all my devices.

I started on my Mac. I created a new database, imported several files. The Properties of the DB read ~300 items. I am an Apple iCloud user and configured the DB to sync to iCloud via the Mac app > Preferences > Sync

I bought and own DEVONthink TO GO on both my iPad and iPhone. Right now, their sync is off and yet to be turned on.

I’m now waiting for the Mac to finish uploading. I think its the progress bar on the bottom left of the Mac app. It reads uploading 170 of 3000!


I don’t have 3000 items in the DB. I need this working by tomorrow ideally as I leave it overnight but something is amiss. I really do need help understanding whats gone on.

The advice here:


(Can’t put links, what?)

Reads to wait until the Mac is done uploading before configuring the iDevices, but at this rate I’ll probably lose loads of time and get stuck.

Also, is there no Slack Channel, Discord Channel, or some other means of support other than the forum?

Meanwhile, as items from my Mac DB titled “Fusion” is uploading to iCloud, I created other empty DB which I’ve already synced to the iDevices - I’m still waiting on “Fusion” to finish uploading first before enabling on both iDevices

These empty DB seem to be configured fine.

However, the Mac Global Inbox, which is empty, when I enabled Global inbox sync on the iDevices show a progress wheel for downloading. What is it downloading? The Global inbox on the Mac and all my iDevices are empty.

Here is a screen cap showing how many files are within DB “Fusion”:

Screenshot 2020-07-23 at 21.55.15

Yet iCloud Upload on the Mac insists it’s uploading 3885 files.

I can’t comment on iCloud sync, as I don’t use it. If you need the databases on your iPhone and iPad tomorrow though, I would recommend syncing via bonjour (i.e. locally) at least this once (to the best of my knowledge you can use iCloud and bonjour at the same time). Again to the best of my knowledge the document count is not equal to the item count; at least that is what I have experienced. My guess has always been that large files are spilt into smaller subsections or streams for sync.

You are uploading 15 GB to iCloud - depending on your internet connection and how fast iCloud happens to be today, that could take some while.

PS The info area doesn’t say 3885 files but 3885 items - a subtle difference. Have coffee, dinner, walk the dog and leave it to run :wink:

PPS DT are amazingly responsive on this forum. You will usually receive same day support here. The only other channel I know of is by opening a support ticket via DT3.

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Attempting the Bonjour, now, as we speak - I ticked it for the other three DB, besides Fusion. They’re mostly empty as all I’ve done was shuffle in files into it from my various iDevices as I sought to learn and understand the capabilities of the sync. They’re been successfully popping up on my various devices over the past several minutes over iCloud.

Unsure what connecting to these iCloud sync DB over Bonjour will accomplish as they’re all in check - they have the same files and structure.

I shall momentarily do the same and follow advice to attempt to sync, via Bonjour, the larger “Fusion” database to the iPad. I’ll leave the iPhone unsynced to Fusion for now, as I will want to know if it can successfully sync all of Fusion over iCloud - and for that I reckon I should wait for the Mac to finish uploading to iCloud.

Mac still reads uploading 43 of 60.

I see that the Fusion DB is unavailable for Bonjour sync. I am unexperienced, is this because I have yet to enable the iCloud sync on my iDevices for this specific DB? I read that a DB has a unique identifier. I would at least need to ‘tick’ the iCloud sync for the Fusion DB on the iPad to then be able to Bonjour from the Mac to the iPad.

Thank you on the reassurance. Can be a bit scary going all-in on a new tool for an important sphere of work when one is unsure how they will find timely help! Is there no Twitter or some other form of social media?

Do I have to toggle the Bonjour off when I’m done syncing? What happens when I take my phone outside of the WiFi range with Bonjour still on? Seems I can not Bonjour to both the iPad and iPhone from the Mac at the same time. I have the Fusion DB on all devices now, yet it doesn’t appear as a DB Bonjour sync option on the Mac to send to the iPad. The Mac is still Bonjour syncing the Fusion DB with the iPhone, I presume Bonjour is limited to one device pair at a time.

Completely unrelated: Does DEVONthink have the capability to automatically sort a file into a relevant group, intelligently, based on the files contents, name and metadata?

I was under the impression DEVONthink does this as that would be a major time saver in the future of not having to manually decide where every single file goes myself.!

Screenshot 2020-07-23 at 23.23.40|690x204

iCloud and Bonjour are completely separate syncs. I’m assuming the screenshot you posted is from the Mac, in which case I think you have made a mistake. Bonjour should be set up on the Mac as so:

(i.e. click on the “Bonjour Options” button). It is on the device you are syncing to - e.g. the iPad, the iPhone - on which you should then be selecting the databases you want to sync. What you are seeing on the Mac at the moment is the databases already on your iPad or whichever device you are connected to, which you seem to have made available to the Mac to sync. So what I’m saying is you only need to enable incoming connections on one device, and that device should be the one which contains the databases. If you do that you will find the Fusion database available for local (Bonjour) sync on the iPad.

Bonjour is only available to one device at a time; so if the iPhone is connected to the Mac, the iPad won’t - for the duration of the sync. You can leave Bonjour turned on; when your devices are available to one another on the same network, and DT and DTTG are open, a sync will trigger automatically.

You may want to read the documentation for DT, which you will find here or by selecting “help” from the menu. Bonjour etc. are explained there.

Re you completely unrelated question: you may want to see the section on smart rules in the help :wink:

Oh. Yes, the intention was to send, the Fusion DB, from the Mac, to the iDevices. By that description I have indeed switched it around! Doesn’t help that it’s labeled “incoming” but in actually the files, from the Mac, would then be"outgoing", hence my confusion.

I’m still confused. I did as outlined. I turned on Bonjour Incoming on the Mac.

How do I then fetch the DB from the Mac and put it onto the iDevice? There exists no user interface on DEVONthink TO GO for selecting Bonjour devices - unlike the Mac

The only mention of Bonjour I’ve found on the iPhone is here, and it seems pretty clear that this instance mention of Bonjour is for Enabling Incoming Connections - Which is not the intention - as I have now made this the setting on the Mac.

Despite the explanation the functionality appears to be the opposite. I am possibly wrong - but it seems that the workflow is to press “Enable Incoming Connections” on the devices I wish to receive information, then from the Mac I see the device appear on the sync menu and tick the boxes to begin the process of delivering the information from the Mac towards the iDevices, one at a time.

EDIT: I have downloaded the documents you linked

Okay, Now I’m stumped. I somehow managed to get the iPad to sync with the Mac and the files are all visible on the iPad. Except the phone isn’t co-operating.

I’m not sure what to do anymore. I don’t understand how Bonjour works as I’ve never used the service ever before.

I put a picture. I have ticked Enable Incoming Connections on the iPhone. When I did this the mobile@iphone menu option appeared onto my Mac screen. If I disable the setting on the iPhone, the Mac menu entry disappears. So clearly when I tick this setting it becomes visible.

But now, when viewing the devices on my Mac and clicking on the mobile@iphone no databases show available to sync and furthermore it spits out the error message I screen capped.

Okay. Something new is happening. I dug deeper into the iOS user interface and found under Sync > Locations > Edit, therein the Mac appears when I “Enable Incoming Connections” on the Mac. From the phone I can then connect to the Mac and fetch the desired DB, from the Mac, onto the phone.

Now the Mac shows some synchronisation is taking place as well.

Everything seems fine now! At least, the initial dreaded first sync. Now comes the true test… of time. I shall discover the usability and how realistic my ambitions are: To use DEVONthink TO GO as my primary file information management system for all files.

One database for each sphere of my personal life (work, leisure, health, family).

Any advice on assuming this sort of intention? I’m pairing it with a Markdown Zettelkasten (Kept completely separate to DEVONthink in its own separate iCloud Drive sync folder location) which I will use the DEVONthink LINKS to paste into my Zettelkasten as I take notes on all aspects of my life - linking it back to the various physical files that a relevant to my life - Fusion research, Latin dance videos, managing relationships and tracking health goals - in their respective database.

I love that you are enthusiastically embracing DEVONthink :slight_smile: I believe your next step is to get to know DT in detail, step by step. It’s an immensely powerful piece of software, which often offers numerous paths to the same goal - meaning it can happily settle into quite diverse workflows. Like any such tool, it requires time and some patience to get to know it, however.

I have set up similar databases to yours, pertaining to individual aspects of life. DT is my sole file management tool and is becoming a personal encyclopaedia. I personally use an array of groups inside my databases, only using tags for statistical and some sorting purposes (e.g. whenever I receive a document which is handed to me together with an apple, I add the tag apple to the document, so as to be able to see how many apples I received in 2019, even if the document itself did not pertain to apples; or documents handed on to me by Samuel are tagged Samuel, so if he ever says “do you remember that document I gave you…?” I know where to start looking). 99 % of my files contain text, so using DTs extensive search capability, I can find more or less anything. The few documents without text are listed in a smart group, and usually contain additions notes. Others use tags more extensively, and fewer “hard-wired” groups, using only more smart groups instead. And I’m sure there are other ways to go about it, too. In the end it boils down to “who are you, and how does your mind work?”, I think. DT allows you to go that route.

For me, the AI component is not reliable enough for automatic sorting - an estimated 90 % of files would be sorted correctly, but finding where the 10 % had gone would be a pain; so I have smart rules for certain recurring documents and all others enter my global inbox, receive a descriptive name (based on a fixed logic) and most are then sorted to their database and group with a single click. That’s so fast that I never have documents living in my inbox for more than a day. The more data in your databases and the more homogenic those data are, the better the AI will be.

You might want to play with how to sort and name things for a week or two before going through everything and applying your rules - I’ve found that it took me a while to settle on what was going to work for me (again: DT will go whatever way you want). The help document I linked above is pretty useful, and if you browse the forum you will find people describing their use of DT and answering many many questions which might well come up.

All the best :slight_smile:

Thank you so much Blanc! I will be back soon! I wanted to make the forums more immediately accessible so I actually added a bookmark directly onto my device landing screen! (I put it right next to slack and such. This is my new social homepage for DT related discussion). Hope to share some of my workflows soon too! Wish there was a way to get notifications on mobile, I presume I can set up some sort of email notification when a thread gets interaction, noting to myself to investigate!

I just checked my settings it does appear to already be switched on, email notifications. Looking forward to smart rules on the tablet! Today I will be working on the Mac and using the iPad as a second screen (Duet). When I am away from the desk (lecture hall, meeting) I work from iPad first.

You shouldn’t have Bonjour enabled in DEVONthink To Go if the Mac is acting as the server.

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