Frustrated n00b: Can I index/classify my existing structure?

Hello. I have an existing file hierarchy, and I am considering starting with DT Pro office whatever. I have found “classify” destroys my existing hierarchy and replaces it with a new one. Is there a way to index without destroying my current hierarchy?

A “replicate to” button would do it. Note that selecting multiple groups does NOT work.

I don’t understand.

When I index a collection of nested folders in the Finder into my database, the resulting groups have the same hierarchy as the folders in the Finder.

If I then import a new document into my database and wish to ask DT Pro for suggestions about how to locate it within my existing organizational structure I press the Classify button. A slide-out drawer opens with a ranked list of possible locations for that document. I can then select one or more groups and move the new document. If the document is sent to more than one group (which I often do) the document is replicated.

This Classify operation does not in any way change the existing organizational structure. Nor does the Auto Classify operation.

Note: Although the simile of groups and folders looks like a hierarchical structure, I don’t really regard it as such for my purposes. Rather, I think of a group as holding a ‘cluster’ of related documents and/or a ‘cluster’ of groups that are related. The more contextually related the contents of a group, the more accurately DTPO will be able to place new related content into that group using the Classify operation.

Often, especially when I’ve captured new material that doesn’t seem to fit into my existing classification scheme, I’ll move them into a temporary holding group, select all of them and press Data > Auto Group. DTPO will then attempt to place the items into related ‘cluster’ groups. I’ll examine the proposed groups and perhaps agree (or disagree, in which case I’ll use Data > Ungroup).

Note that you are not forced to accept the location recommendations made by the Classify operation. You are always free to move any item to one or more locations of your choice. Of course, manual organization is especially important when you are starting out with a new, relatively small database or with lots of unorganized material.

As your database grows, the more contextually related (meaningful) the organization of ‘clusters’ of documents and groups, the more useful the AI features such as Classify, Auto Classify and See Also become.

As my databases have evolved they have lost any organizational resemblance to the organization of material originally captured from the Finder. I have much more flexibility (often with AI assistance) to evolve the organization within DTPO than in the Finder. Of course, at any time I can export the contents of my DTPO database to the Finder, and the resulting export will have a Finder organization matching that of my database.