How to find by date in DTTG?

I’m sorry if it is a really basic question, but despite putting some effort into it I cannot figure out how to find documents by date in DTTG.

It doesn’t seem to recognize advanced queries containing “creationDate” and such… and I cannot find any filtering options in the GUI either.

Note: DEVONthink To Go and DEVONthink are not the same application and are on two different platforms, so you shouldn’t expect full freature parity between them.

DEVONthink To Go does not support that search prefix or other date related ones at this time.
You should refer to the built-in Help as the available search prefixes are listed there.
You can also jump to the Help by tapping the ? in the search field.

Filters are also not supported at this time.

That being said, we are extending search prefixes, filtering, and increased view options are coming in a future release.

Thank you very much for your quick response. In my personal experience being able to find/filter the notes by the date (or within a period) is one of the more important features of a database such as this and I’d definitely love to see it implemented.

I find filtering or searching by geolocation quite important in a mobile database as well.

The desktop version can do all this, but in practice it is when accessing data on the go that things may get frantic and I need to narrow down the search quickly to find exactly what I’m looking for.

What do you use the geolocation for (for which records), and why is it more important in a mobile database than in a desktop one?

I’m an interpreter, among other things, and often deal with highly specialized language. There’s ton of reference material I need to keep on hand (hence the need for DTTG) and often the notes and comments are being added on the spot, as I work. Being able to look for a set of notes added or edited at a certain location or during certain period I know I worked on the subject is the easiest way to find needed reference material quickly.

Such unexpected need for old reference material does happen quite a lot in my line of work but is not really an issue when translating and preparing materials in my home office, as I usually have ample time to search for all the relevant information. It’s when the entire conference room is waiting for me to find a translation of some old reference sheet when things can get really pressing. :smiley:

On the top of that the small screen (I’m using iPad Pro but still) and the touch screen interface do not lend themselves to parsing very long lists of results. Being able to filter the list to make it as short as possible is very convenient on a mobile device, but not all that needed on the desktop where changing the sorting order and scrolling to a certain date is often quick enough.

If you use both DT and DTTG, you might try and setup a smart rule that adds tags based on the creation or modification date and use that to find notes based on their tag. You obviously do need to sync to one database and have DT running for that to work.

Would that help you out somehow?

(Edit: if so, you might consider using ISO8601 date formats as it’s frequently easier to find a specific date by reverse input of the date like 202108… for example, bevause you can exclude other years or months upfront.)

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… and the same is possible for location data. Since you can use for tags, also with a shortcut, that might be a workaround.

You’re welcome :slight_smile:
Search or fiter by geolocation is a first request but it’s definitely an interesting use case!

I’m wondering how the geolocation gets into the records in the first place. After having (superficially, admittedly) checked DT’s documentation, I didn’t find any explanation for that.

I imagine it is automatcally added from EXIF data when importing an image. But otherwise – would one have to enter it manually? If so, as latitude/longitude data or literal location (city/country/whatever)?

If I overlooked it, please just point me to the doc’s page. Thanks!

From the Help > Documentation > Inspectors > Info pane

Geolocation: Displays geolocation data based on the creation origin of the file; i.e., the geographic location when the file was originally created. This is an editable attribute and can be changed if you’d like the location to be relative to something else, e.g., the site of a historic event.

You can enter latitude and longitude, if you know it or you can type the name and DEVONthink will attmpt to resolve it as a human-readable location.

Here I typed Caracas randomly and pressed Return. This is how it resolved automatically.


My scans are dated automatically (in the file name), but I moved my database from Evernote - there are thousands of files which are not tagged and going through all of it could be pretty difficult.

In the long run anything which requires setting it up on desktop is not really a good option. I may find myself working on the road for a week or two and I will still need to be able to get to these references. I may start adding these tags to the new ones, but that doesn’t help with the old…

I understand adding new features takes time, but date stamps and geolocation data are already in the metadata of every file in the database and being able to search for it seems like a no brainer feature to me.

If you create a note or import a file in DTTG, the location is added automatically based on the device location, as far as I can tell. It asked me for permission to access device location the first time I tried to create a note.

I’m not sure about the desktop version, but I think it “geotags” the files and notes automatically as well, based on the device’s location (which may not be as precise as in the iOS device case).

I assume that you have the database on the desktop as well and you keep desktop and iPad in sync.

So what you could do is put the geodata into tags on the desktop using the built-in function:

Maybe that helps.

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It does. Thank you!

No, you shouldn’t do it manually unless absolutely necessary or you’re planning on some zen activity in the future :grinning:

Only if you think tags work out (which you seem to doubt if I understand you correctly), you might consider creating a non-production copy of your database to be sure and try to retrieve the date from the file programmatically.

But if you think tags won’t work anyway, you obviously shouldn’t put in the effort to retrieve the date.

That said: do the old imported files carry a creation date? As I assume the DT import process doesn’t alter that.

In addition, one could script the “date into tags” process. But that requires some decisions beforehand, how detailed you want to have the date to be represented.

If DEVONthink is allowed to detect the location (see System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Location), yes it will add the geolocation to newly added files.

being able to search for it seems like a no brainer feature to me.

Many things seem like a no brainer to many people. But we’re not all doing the same things, nor do we all think alike. This is the first request I recall seeing of wanting to search by geolocation.

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I can see tags working as a substitute for filtering by geolocation. Having a map with pins is more convenient, but the tags will do.

Search by date on the other hand includes searching for notes from certain periods. Looking for 14 days worth of notes would require entering 14 tags and IIRC there’s no Boolean search in DTTG anyway, so I’d have to look day by day. It’s not ideal and may not be very practical (have to play with it for a bit to see).

That would certainly be impractical. I suppose, and I may of course be wrong, that you want to find notes referring to a certain point in time because at that moment you were working on a certain topic. Maybe it would be feasible to use the topic(s) as tags?

At least for me, topics are easier to remember that the dates at which I fiddled with them. YMMV, of course.

That’s part of the use case you know, but I didn’t (or read over it) :grinning:

If that’s a necessity, tagging is indeed a lot more problematic and certainly if you would code each date to one tag. But not necessarily if you separately tag day, month, week and year perhaps.

You might want to setup ten documents or so and tag those manually in different ways to figure out if and how tags can benefit you. Only by trying out multiple ways (perhaps also beyond tags) you’ll likely find out if things work as you would like to, but as said I personally would try and work out a proof of principle before undertaking any massive tagging action.

Within boundaries I personally think working things out by trying (on a small but representative scale) is sometimes a better way to find out what does and doesn’t work than only trying that what you can ‘see’ working upfront. The latter limits you to what you can imagine, but that is not necessarily what can be achieved.

(That’s frequently applicable beyond DT by the way, but obviously not always).