Globals: Inboxes

Just giving DT3 a go and I’m wondering why there are multiple inboxes. All I need is one. Under the Globals heading is the Inboxes section which contains the global inbox as well as what appears to be another global inbox bearing the same name as my database.

I can’t delete the latter one. I don’t need multiple inboxes like this and I wonder why I can’t delete it. Makes it all look unnecessarily clunky.

Can I fix this somehow?

I completely understand what you’re going through! Allow me to explain something about DEVONThink 3 that I think you will initially question, but will come to love as you can use DEVONThink for almost anything you desire!

First of all, when you set up your first database, think of that database as your “Inbox Database”, or Database “X”. That database is literally built into DEVONThink 3 and you would not want to remove it.

When you sync with iPhone, iPad or other Macs, the Database is literally “database.dtCloud”. In my case, I use Dropbox to Sync, and that’s the only linked file on Dropbox.

So, “Inbox” will be your master database, X.

If you look over at the left navigation pane, you’ll notice that there is only one database. Should you create another database, which I do for just about everything, you will see a new database created under “Opened Databases”.

You can close them and open them as you need. For instance, I like to have a Bookmarks Database. If I have that database open, I see Inboxes -> Inbox (My X Database, which is always open.)
-> Bookmarks.

So, I hope this helps. I’m sure that wasn’t very clear and I too was confused. Make a few databases and play with them for a while. Try to add things to them and you will start to understand why this is so useful. :smile:

1 Like

Thanks for getting back to me with your response. I’m taking it in, but I’m still a bit confused.

I don’t want my first database to be my inbox database, I’d rather it to be my archive database. I want the global Inbox to just be the place where things get collected before being filed into my database. But it looks clunky if it has the inbox as well as the inbox for my database beneath it by default. I don’t need the 2 inboxes. I don’t need an inbox for the database, the database itself, and the global default inbox.

Do you know what I mean? I just think you should be able to delete the database inbox. Or am I still missing something here?

Like, what’s the point in having the “Inboxes” heading and two inboxes under it? You only need the one inbox and the database itself.

Shouldn’t we at least be able to delete it?

Edit: Here’s an image of what I mean:


Second Edit: I don’t need the greyed out Archives inbox in the inbox section because I only need one inbox. I’m amazed why this kind of thing has been overlooked (unless I’m missing something important here). Also, the tags — I know when you create tags they nest underneath the two you see there, but you should be able to start with a clean slate and have the option to delete these as well.

1 Like

When you create a database (forget about the “first database” idea) it will include an inbox. In DT 2 it was always a group listed within the database. There’s also the global inbox.

In DT 3 all the inboxes are grouped together. When I send a file to DT from my scanner or clipped from a browser it goes to the global inbox ( unless I configure this action to go to a specific group). Later I’ll clean out that inbox by moving each file to a final home. But the process I use is to first move each file to its destination database’s inbox and later move all accumulated files in the local inbox to the destination group. In DT 2 going to from global to local inbox involved being sure the local inbox was in view, so this usually involved a number of clicks. In DT 3 all inboxes are grouped together, much simpler.

The one confusing thing for me (when I first used DT 3) was seeing all inboxes listed under “Globals”. I think of them as one global and one or more local inboxes.


Do you know what I mean? I just think you should be able to delete the database inbox. Or am I still missing something here?
…Shouldn’t we at least be able to delete it?

No, you can’t delete the Inbox of a database. It, like the Tags group, is a core component of a database. The Inbox, global or local, is no different than a real-life Inbox on an office desk. If someone walked into your office and dumped a pile of papers on top of what you were working on, it would be a mess. The Inbox is a contained place for unfiled data to be curated later.

Thanks, pvonk, I like the way you put it. I don’t really see why I’d need more than one inbox though. I guess I’ll have to settle for doing it that way, but having multiple inboxes creates unnecessary clutter.

Bluefrog, to use the inbox on your desk analogy, I wouldn’t need to have 2 or 3 or more inboxes on my desk, I’d only need one. So I find it strange that we’re forced to have multiple inboxes (on our desks) which makes everything more cluttered when only one inbox would suffice.

1 Like

IMHO, if only one inbox is needed then just collapse the inboxes and treat it as one inbox. As far as I’m aware, all items that are imported to DT3 are defaulted to go into the global inbox unless specified otherwise by the user. There is nothing to bother about as I’m doing precisely that.

1 Like

Yeah ngan, I was just thinking this same thing. I’d say it’s the best solution. Thanks everyone.

I wouldn’t need to have 2 or 3 or more inboxes on my desk, I’d only need one. So I find it strange that we’re forced to have multiple inboxes (on our desks) which makes everything more cluttered when only one inbox would suffice.

That is the purpose of the Global Inbox, to be that one ever-present database and location for quick capturing of transient or unfiled data.

The Inboxes of other databases are for you to use in more focused ways, like you know it’s going in the Hobbies database, but don’t want to file it too deeply yet. It’s a convenience item and really still analogous to the real world. When people put stuff on your desk and you say, _“Wait… don’t put that there. Put it over here.”

PS: From Help > Take the tourist bus or (Documentation > Getting Started > DEVONthink Simplified)…

1 Like

Ok, thanks Bluefrog. I don’t foresee me needing the other inboxes unless my number of databases grows, but like you said, it’s a convenience item. And an extra layer of organisation potential. Thanks.

1 Like

No problem! :slight_smile:

For those of us who only want one inbox, perhaps a preference could be created to disable or hide the database-specific inboxes and only display the global?

Apps like Omnifocus only have one inbox… makes sense for DT to follow suit.


1 Like

Apps like Omnifocus only have one inbox… makes sense for DT to follow suit.

The request is noted but OmniFocus and DEVONthink are two very different applications. Also, we generally march to our own drummer :wink: :slight_smile:

1 Like

Right. But I’d guess many of your users are coming from those other apps/ways of working.

1 Like

You’d be surprised at the breadth of our clientele.

And again, to-do apps are very different than DEVONthink (no offense to the fine folks at Omni, Cultured Code, etc.), so the experience and focuse aren’t the same.

+1 from my side. This was the main reason why I switched back to DT2. I am satisfied how it is today and I don’t see an advantage for me. A preference option could help a lot if users feel inconvenient with it.

It’s more like you have an office with multiple desks that you can work at. Each desk has its own inbox. And the office has an inbox next to the door so you can drop things off without having to put them on the specific desk.

Currently you have only one database or desk in this analogy, so it doesn’t make sense for you to have two inboxes. For those of us with multiple databases we sometimes appreciate being able to drop things off at the door of the office without having to go to each desk to drop it off.

And Devonthink can do things that a physical desk or file cabinet can’t do - items can be replicated or duplicated or linked so they can seem to exist in more than one database at the same time.

Devonthink is quite powerful - it’s use can be as simple or as sophisticated as one would like.

I think a preference for the side bar would be great! I don’t use tags, for example. It would be nice to hide them.

It took a while to learn how to use the new inboxes. What bothers me is the difference in relation to the iPad interface. Until I get the same behavior in both apps maybe I would like to see only one inbox.

But DT3 is impressive! A really nice upgrade.

An upcoming update of DEVONthink To Go will unify this.

I use tags quite a bit, but am still struggling with their new location in the globals section of the sidebar (“outside” the database). Like the database-specific inbox, they aren’t “global” in nature, so I’m not sure why they are under Globals.