How can I move record to Database using Placeholder in Smart Rule

Smart Rule1

  • I will flagged item for reading
  • Before it is move to ReadingList Database, I save the Location and Database Name in Aliases and URL respectively.

Screenshot 2023-03-02 at 7.19.00 PM

Smart Rule2

  • After reading, I will Unflagged it
  • I want to move back to the Database saved under URL, file it under the previous location saved in Aliases
  • but the Smart Rule Move action does not allow me to move to a Placeholder name saved previously
  • and I believe the Smart Rule File action cannot file into a different database (according to DEVONtechnologies | How to Use Filing and Moving)

Screenshot 2023-03-02 at 7.21.59 PM

How can I move back to the previous Database saved?

You could use a script that reads the alias and then moves the item and unsets the alias.

OTOH: This seems awfully complicated to me. I’d use a smart group collecting all flagged items in the database. A lot simpler and less error-prone.

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I tried using script. But don’t know how to move the record to the saved Database and Group/location. I got an error in the last statement "Invalid argument to).

set theGroup to the aliases of theRecord
set theDatabase to the URL of theRecord
set theLocation to theDatabase & theGroup
move record theRecord to theLocation

I tried smart group. But smart group cannot be synced to DTTG for reading.

Why aren’t you using the actual Reading List?
And it is synced with DEVONthink To Go.

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Actually, I started with Reading List. However, there are a few things that I cannot do with Reading List. For example, I cannot set items in the Reading List to be Always downloaded in DTTG. I want the items in Reading List to be ready to read when I use my DTTG on the move.

That’s why I am trying replicate my own Reading List using a dedicated database.

I’d suggest running the script in Script Editor. There you can see what exactly happens. Also, it might be helpful if you stated your goal from the beginning – that would save some round trips in the communication.

I suppose that location already is the complete location of the record, including the database. So, concatenating it with the database in your 2nd script will probably yield an invalid location. But as I said: Run your scripts in Script Editor to see what’s happening.

Also, you could try to replicate the record into your reading database and remove this replica when you unflag it. Doesn’t need a script, and doesn’t mess with your metadata.

replicate seems to be a neat solution. Unfortunately, you cannot replicate a document across databases.

I keep forgetting that. But you can duplicate.

Are you actually just reading the file?

and I believe the Smart Rule File action cannot file into a different database

That is correct. But if you read the blog post again, you’ll see you can use a Move action followed by a File action.

On a side note, you can long-press the Reading List in DEVONthink To Go and choose Download to try to download the content of the documents there.

But Smart Rule Move action does not allow me to move to a variable/placeholder database name, saved in the property.


Yes, I have been doing that. It is very inefficient to Download and read, one article. Then Download and read, another article. It slow down the flow, especially so if the document size is big.

I changed to duplicate. It seems that duplicate didn’t duplicate with annotation. Or maybe I missed out something? How can I duplicate with annotation?