How do you associate Dates with Documents?

Hello all - some user-suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

As a mere “carry-over” from my naming regime in Finder, all documents in my DTP db, are named as follows: Jurisdiction_Author_Title of article_Date of publication(Year)

I then use smart-groups to sort according to the “Date of publication(Year)” - and this works adequately.

For instance, assuming I want to check which recent articles about [YYY] are to be found in my UK group - I can pop over to the “2010-2013” smartgroup.

My problem:

Unless I am mistaken - you cannot search through a smartgroup. At least - my calling up the search menu, does not allow me to tell it to “search in” that particular smartgroup.

And when I am ‘in’ the smartgroup [i.e. when I select it, and am viewing its contents] - I also cannot find a suitable manner to ‘search’ through that group, for a particular ‘tag’ - by example, assuming I wanted to see which textbooks in my UK group were published in the last 3 years - I cannot seem to filter for only the “textbook UK” tag, when ‘inside’ the “2010-2013” smartgroup.

Further to this - calling up tag-view, and selecting the “textbook UK” tag, doesn’t help - since it throws up all 191 instances, and since I cannot ‘sort’ the name bar, given that “_Date of Publication(Year)” is at the ‘end’ of the name string - I cannot distinguish between new textbook documents, and old textbook documents.

So what I end up doing, is calling up a search in the UK Data group, for names containing “_2010 or 2011 or _2012 or _2013” AND the “textbook UK” tag – this does the trick. But then I end up wondering that if I need to call up a specific search each time, then I may as well not have smartgroups in the first place, divided according to year…

Which now has me wondering - what do other DTP users do? How do you all incorporate the “date” of a document, with that document?

Do you –
a.) have it in the actual “name”;
b.) tag it (and if so - don’t you have a problem with a proliferation of tags?);
c.) use some other form of metadata - i.e. the spotlight comment field?;
d.) rely on the group you store the file in?;
e.) something else entirely?

I’m not too concerned about the above with my current DB, since as mentioned - I have a workaround - but would obviously prefer to settle on a best-practice approach going forward…

I realise there is not “right” answer to my query - but would still love to hear how others, who need to/rely extensively on ‘dates of documents’ go about naming/storing their documents…

removed; not working

Hi Korm
This touches on an issue that I have and don’t understand. When I switch from Three Pane View to Tags View, the latter displays all the items in the database, regardless of whether I selected a group or smart group before switching to the Tags View. If I understand your comment correctly, when you switch to Tags View you see only the items in the selected group(s) or smart groups. Is that correct?
Update: OK, I understand now - you need to uncheck Exclude Groups from Tagging in Database Properties if you want to see only the selected group’s items in switching from Three Pane View to Tags View; otherwise you see all the items in the database.

This is true but you can select a Smart Group and search within those results with “In Selection” selected in the searchField options (not Tools > Search). Just a thought.

removed; wrong

Thanks for the informative replies. I have clearly missed a trick with the 3-panes view | tags - will play around and see what I can manage!

Thanks korm, and BLUEFROG!

Yip - whereas that “in selection” is very useful (and something new to me!) - as pointed out, it doesn’t allow for a search of tags, specifically.

I still cannot get this right… :blush:

I tried your suggestion, and whereas I now see the ‘group-tags’ as well, the moment I switch from 3-pane to Tags view, the ‘selection’ is lost, and all “textbook UK” tags are shown…

If someone could maybe help with what I’m doing wrong - I will be very grateful - since this option (assuming I can get it to work), is precisely what I am looking for!

Nor, apparently, can I :open_mouth:

I’ve deleted my advice. Whereas I can make this work in a brand new test database, like Cassady I cannot suss out how to make it work in an existing database. (Yes, Greg posted a warning and then removed his warning; though he was right and I was wrong.) :blush:

I apologize for the rabbit hole. I’ll stop here.

Thanks korm.

That’s a pity - but at the same time, I’m relieved that I don’t appear to have been missing something blindingly obvious! :blush:

I will manage with the search options, as suggested.

No. the number of tags is pretty much fixed, depending on what you want to tag.
I tag year/month only. this means all i have is this:

thats fixed, will never grow.

as for the year, i only have 15 tags:


jurisdiction follows the same idea:

i use this as part of the name and as an individual tag. this is due to a limitation in devonthink, not by choice.

in your case if i want to have everything between 2010 and 2014 in a UK jurisdiction i would pop into the search window and “search for: Name”:
“jUK y201?”

the reason i do this is the terrible search window in devonthink. as soon as you have to select anything in the ‘advanced’ window, you better shoot yourself.
additionally, tags aren’t searched automatically even if you select “Search for: All”.