Getting DEVONthink and DEVONthink to go to work together with Dropbox

Thanks for that. It must be good, knowing what you are doing.
Still not working, so I will read the manual, delete everything and start again.
I looked to index my whole paperless structure which seemed to work, but I can’t get it to show up in DEVONthink to go. I guess I was trying to run before I could walk.
I’m not even confident of using the correct terminology to ask meaningful questions.
Or I might just give up and stick with the file structure which would be a shame, as DEVONthink does look good.

If both your devices are on the same local network, start with Bonjour-based synch. I and many others find it very reliable and fastest method. All explained in the outstanding DEVONthink Handbook, with elaboration at Bonjour Simplified

You can continue to setup and use Dropbox also and you can use multiple sync services, but don’t go overboard. That will support you when the devices are not on the local network, if that important to you.

Also don’t sync “too much”. Not only are IOS devices limited in space, but syncing simply takes time to finish, esp. the first time. Ensure you are giving Dropbox and DEVONthink time to finish.

Only sync those things you really need to be synced. For me, I focus on synching stuff that I want to read or stuff that I know I will need to refer to. I don’t sync stuff “just in case I want” to see that electric bill from 2019.

I use Dropbox all the time and it “just works”.

Re nomenclature, you use the word “delete” everything, but the term you should be looking for in DEVONthink is “clean” to remove the sync folder on Dropbox.

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Sync is a very simple process. However, just like operating a vehicle, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be thoughtful about certain things (e.g., the brake having to be depressed before the vehicle will start).

  • Is there anything reported in DEVONthink’s Window > Log?
  • Is there a triangle on the sync icon in DEVONthink To Go’s bottom toolbar? If so, touch it and tell me what it reports.
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There is a lot to learn in DEVONthink – features, concepts, and some jargon. My suggestion, as a user myself, is to take it slow and allow time for the brain to absorb and consolidate the new information. Don’t give up!

With respect to your current question, you please clarify something? Is the question about the first step of setting up synchronization between DEVONthink on the desktop and DEVONthink To Go? Or, have you already set up what DEVONthink calls a “sync store” and configured DEVONthink To Go to use it, and the question is how to make the indexed folders from DEVONthink on the Mac to show up in DTTG?


Thank you @mhucka @BLUEFROG and one other who I am prohibited from mentioning as a newbie.
I am grateful for all the interest.

It was the wrong time for me to be trying to sort this - I am currently deanling with a family problem which is taking my time and attention.
I have bought licences for DEVONthink and DEVONthink to go, so I’m not going anywhere!

Between funerals and house sales, I will read the manual and return with some idea of how to get started.

I currently have a database in DEVONthink called “Paperless” in {myname} > Databases > Paperless.dtBase2 with 3,236 items.
I thought I had put it in Dropbox - Folder “DEVONthink”, but nothing appears in there.

Tried to connect via DEVON think to go. Sync.log is

DEVONthink 3.2 (17130), DEVONcloudy 1.17.5, iOS Version 14.8 (Build 18H17)

As a newbie I can’t add the log text due to more than 2 links?

Log shows timeouts:
22:09:42: The operation couldn’t be completed. (NSURLErrorDomain error -1001.) Timeout. (NSURLErrorDomain -1001)
22:03:35: The operation couldn’t be completed. (NSURLErrorDomain error -1001.) Timeout. (NSURLErrorDomain -1001)

Sorry to hear of your personal troubles. Hope it all works out.

Meantime, I searched this forum for your words above. Search results for 'The operation couldn’t be completed. (NSURLErrorDomain error -1001.) Timeout' - DEVONtechnologies Community.

I was reminded looking at some of the discovered threads that this log message is from Dropbox. @Bluefrog reports in one of the discovered threads:

As I mentioned above, if this were me I’d get syching via Bonjour working first.

Thanks @rmschne . I think you are probably right. In my youth, I was quite good at this stuff and it sped relational databases extensively.

I will go the Bonjour route.
Having referred to the manuals, I have more questions though. The DEVONthink one says that the expected behaviour is for the database to be on the local disk in databases > dbname
So does that mean that to be able to sync to DEVONthink to go via Dropbox, the home computer has to be on?
The DEVONthink to go manual seems moderately happy with Dropbox, which doesn’t seem to fit with DEVONthink.
The DEVONthink manual does not even acknowledge the existence of DTTG.
Sorry to be taking up so much time!

Yes, the DEVONthink database should be stored on the local drive of a computer and not in the Dropbox Folder.

Yes, the machine that “accepts” incoming Bonjour connections needs to be turned on to enable “accepting” the incoming to then let sync occur. For me that’s no problem as my IOS devices are next to my iMac on my desk and synching “just happens”. As it does with my MacBook when I’m in the garden using it. As does both Dropbox and the source device (be it IOS or MacOS) must be turned on to do a sync. Takes two to tango. Otherwise, it’s “divine intervention”. :wink: (sorry).

I also am happy with Dropbox which I keep running also. There is plenty of space on both the iMac and DropBox account, and maybe my internet connection to the Dropbox servers is more reliable than you see. Dunno. I don’t monitor it very often, but when I do I see the syncs have finished.

I also have a sync setup with all devices via a local WebDAV server on the Synology NAS.

I’m curious where you see statement in DEVONthink ToGo Handbook that gives the impression about “happiness”, whereas you seem to believe that Dropbox and DEVONthink aren’t happy with each other. That is documented?

It’s probably an over-sight by the author of all this documentation (@Bluefrog) to have not mentioned DEVONthink ToGo in the DEVONthink Handbook. Dunno why. Does it matter?

The next release which will be available next month should fix these timeouts.

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Thanks again @rmschne
My comment on DEVONthink was only that the Database isn’t put into Dropbox, so the Mac has to be on.

Thanks, @cgrunenberg

No worries and we are sorry to hear that. Family matters more than software and we hope things are better or get better soon for all involved.

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My condolences to you and your family during what must be a stressful and demanding time. I hope whatever procedures and arrangements you need to do go as smoothly as they possibly can.


That is very kind, @mhucka .
Thank you.
Regards Bob

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Thank you, @BLUEFROG
Lots of quiet times amongst the planning. I will do the new MacSparky course.

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Bob, reading this thread it appears you may have placed your files or the database itself in Dropbox. That is not how the syncing via Dropbox works with DT. What you do is set up a “sync store” and designate it’s location in Dropbox. DT will then upload the data to Dropbox directly (you don’t even need the Dropbox app running on your Mac). I believe the manual has very careful instructions. I suggest you follow those, and pay attention to their advice to exclude the sync store via the Dropbox option of selective syncing, that is quite important to reduce bandwidth.

I have been syncing via Dropbox for years, with only a few hiccups which ended up being a bug they fixed. After the initial sync your Mac only needs to be on when you want it to sync. The advantage of Dropbox over Bonjour is that your devices can sync and access the data when separated from each other.

No. The Mac syncs to a “sync store” that is on Dropbox. DTTG also syncs to the same sync store. The sync store is hosted on Dropbox. This makes it so any device can sync to the sync store if it has an internet connection. The other devices syncing to the same sync store can be off. They will sync when they are turned on and then sync to the same sync store. Make sense?

Yes thanks, @frmoses , perfect sense. I will have another go.
I did get it working via iCloud (CloudKit) which works well, but I would rather use Dropbox.

@Bob_h – I’m a relatively new DT3 Pro user myself, who syncs DT3 <–> DTTG via Dropbox. I would highly recommend reading and following, step by step, the instructions on setting up sync stores in Dropbox from the Joe Kissel Take Control of Devonthink 3 book (which is free, at DEVONtechnologies | Handbooks and Extras) . I used those instructions to set up my Dropbox sync stores, and found them clear and very helpful to follow.

HTH, and best wishes with your family situation.