ics files in DTPO

BusyContacts does a nice thing where a contact pulls in any related info, emails, calendar events from BusyCal, Mail, etc.

Is there anyway to import or show “.ics” files in DTPO? It would be nice to associate related events with a project in DTPO like I can already do with emails.


ADDED: BusyContacts seems to be searching and associating AddressBook records by email. When I put a contact’s email address in a BusyCal calendar event It shows up in the BusyContact (address book) record. BusyCal has a field called “Contacts”. I put an associated email address in that field in my calendar events box and It becomes associated with that same record in BusyContacts. iCal, now just Calendar, has no such field. Perhaps this makes my question specific to BusyCal only?

Perhaps, at this time, there is no way to associate an ics file with an event in DTPO? I suppose then that this has become a “wish list” sort of question/comment that a future release of DTPO could associate smart folders not only with emails but also with BusyCal events and tasks when necessary.

BusyContacts (same as Contacts) exports “.vcf” files – which is the format OS X uses for sharing contacts. “.ics” files is the format used for sharing Calendar (or BusyCal) events. Already, DEVONthink will display both .ics and .vcf files. This is simple to verify.

DEVONthink does not have “events”.

I agree that the integration of email/calendar/contact info in BusyContacts is interesting (albeit not 100% current, for some reason).

How then to verify this? I do not see “.ICS” in the Help menu or in the user manual? .ics files reside in the user library folder which I have not indexed or imported.

Please, read my sentence this way:

  1. Perhaps, at this time, there is no way to associate “an ics file” with an event (meaning, an ICS file which contains an event as opposed to an ics file that contains a task)”

  2. “in DTPO?” (meaning altogether, how to associate the event I just mentioned with a smart folder in DTPO)

It appears that an email address in the MyContacts record is pulling the associated emails form Mail and the associated BusyCal Events and Tasks.

I just tested this by cutting and then re-pasting a contact email address that had some BusyCal events and email associated with It. When I cut the email address, the associated events went away. When I re-pasted the contacts email, they all came back again.

All I did is find an .ics file and a .vcf file I had recently attached to an email, copied them to the desktop, and dragged them into DEVONthink.

OK, I will. I suppose you could copy the item link for the smart group and paste it into the event’s notes. I do this frequently with tasks, events, and projects in BusyCal and OmniFocus.

Yes, that would work. But I prefer to look at projects within DTPO. If I understand your idea you like to go into a DTPO projects link to gather all the data in that link? I am trying to use DTPO as a focal point if I can for doing my project work.

I heard back from the developers of BusyCal. They said they use their own database to manage their connections. They do have a feature tha I cannot find more information about yet, called: BusyCal URL Handler. This is all It says about this feature in the online help section:

BusyCal URL Handler

BusyCal supports URL handlers for creating new events and finding events in BusyCal. Through the use of BusyCal's URL handlers you can interact with BusyCal from AppleScript or other apps that can open URLs.

BusyCal URL Handler is explained here. It’s a common approach, especially on IOS; less so on OS X.

Actually, I don’t understand what that means.

What I said was I’ll copy the item link for a document or group (Edit > Copy Item Link) and paste it into an OmniFocus task or an Reminders reminder, etc.

You could pretty easily use the info you learned from BusyCal to write an AppleScript that makes a new event in BusyCal and also points to a document or group in DEVONthink. DEVONthink already has some scripts like that in Scripts > Reminders. If you write a similar one for BusyCal it might be something you could publish here for others to use.

Yes, that is the same quote I just put in my last post as code. I stil don’t understand this? The BusyCal tech support told me their data is in a database but that I could use that method to allow outside apps to access BusyCal data. I Need more information to solve this.

What I was saying is that in your example you are in OmniFocus or something else and you are pulling in the DTPO link - INTO - that OmniFocus or other document that you are working in.

On the other hand, what I am saying is that I am trying to work INSIDE OF DTPO and then pull outside data INTO DTPO.

… IF you take a look at BusyContacts you will have a better idea of what I am asking. In BusyContacts, every contact shows all associations with Calendar events, tasks, emails and possibly some other things (not sure).

Think of It like this, looking at a contact record also shows ALL ASSOCIATIONS with that record.

What I am trying for here, is to make a smart folder in DTPO behave in a similar way. Just as DTPO can now bring in tagged documents, It can also pull in ALL emails that I put in the search criterion. Again, I am pulling in ALL associated emails, and events and tasks and documents INTO my DTPO project.

You might be overthinking this – there’s nothing to solve. BusyCal already solved the technique – the method is reported at that linked page, with very nice and meticulous instructions and comprehensive examples. The URL handler is used to send information to BusyCal, and the app upates its database with that information.

(BusyCal is having some fun with the reader. Click on the “busycalevent://” link next to “Baseball game tomorrow”. You might think nothing is happening – but after you click the link, open your own copy of BusyCall. Look at your all-day events for tomorrow. The lightbulb will go on.)

To quote an old movie, Cool Hand Luke, “What we have here, is a failure to communicate”. :slight_smile:

I get It, you are saying that this info is about sending information OVER TO BusyCal. I am only interested in getting information OUT OF BusyCal.

Yes, there is a lot of information about sending task and appointment data INTO BusyCal on that page. But I see no information - yet - about getting information OUT OF BusyCal on that page. Have I missed It?

DTPO allows smart folders to populate with various data. I can and I have indexed my Users/Library/Calendars folder and I can find and I can read “.ics” files. The problem is, .ics files have long cryptic names. I see no way to identify a particular event so I can associate It with a specific smart folder search.

I was hoping that with BusyCal I could find a way to identify a specific event or task and pull It into that search folder INSIDE OF DTPO. That’s what I asked the developers of BusyCal and that was when they suggested the link to the page I was sharing and you have been writing about.

I don’t see any way to associate an event with a project. I can see BusyContact doing this with BusyCal. I can see DTPO doing this with an email string. I cannot yet see any way to do this with BusyCal INTO DTPO or to identify an .ics string so that associated records can be pulled in.

Control-click an event in BusyCal and copy the event URL to the clipboard

This can be pasted into a bookmark or RTF in DEVONthink. Problem is, over here clicking the URL open that events in BusyCal but doesn’t change the focus to the BusyCal window unless BusyCal is closed. Not much help there.

I’ve examined BusyCal’s AppleScript dictionary – not much help there either. It is limited. The event URL is not accessible through AppleScript. Apple Calendar’s scripting capabilities are equally limited.

Looks like your objective of integrating your event calendar into a smart group in DEVONthink might be dead ended.

Yes, thanks for suggesting this. Adding an event URL as a bookmark in DTPO only shows the link but nothing is displayed in DTPO. AT least with an “.ics” file I can see the calendar event in DTPO when I click on It.

I suspect you are correct, that this is a dead-end. Unless there is a way that the developers of DevonThink can make their Smart criterion include actual Calendars I am at a loss. I do think that if DevonThink could add calendars by name to a saved search that would work perfectly.

The developers of BusyCal and BusyContact seem receptive to input and I have offered them my thoughts on this. One can only hope at this point.

Thank you for working this through with me.

Frankly I’ve never seen anyone ask for indexing calendars in DEVONThink. It might be at the bottom of the feature request queue. :frowning:

That’s OK, just because It’s a new idea doesn’t mean It’s a bad idea. :smiley:

I have been viewing the DTPO tutorial videos on Youtube again. I am definitely not the only one who appreciates DevonThink’s ability to pull many things together in a single place. Smart Groups is what I am speaking of here of course.

One could just as easily argue, why allow emails in smart groups? Why not just open Mail and look for them? You can’t even respond to an email in a smart group in DTPO so, whats the point?

The point of course is that It can be very helpful to review all associated data in one place and DTPO is very good at doing this.

I make the same suggestion for Calendar events and tasks. You don’t work on Calendar events in DTPO anymore than you would want to send an email in DTPO. But It can be very useful to see your associated Calendar events and tasks - especially if you are a visually oriented person.

Since all Apple Calendar events and tasks (now tasks are in Reminders of course) have to be associated with a named calendar (Work, Home, Project Alpha, etc), the best outcome I can think of is to suggest the developers of DevonThink include the choice for Smart Groups to include named calendars.

In this way a Project Alpha Smart Group in DTPO might include: emails from Mr. Big CEO, Ms. Sales Rep, Southwest Airlines ticket reservation, Marriott Hotel Reservation, Things to do in Denver, Press contacts, Calendar events from Calendar “Project Alpha”, documents with Tags “projectalpha”, “denver, presentation, 2015, etc.

Sounds like you want to cram everything on your computer through a smart group in DEVONthink. Ugh. What a mess – that process would drive me to throw DT away at once. :laughing:

Au contraire, mon frère, one of the reasons some use DTPO is to use Its artificial intelligence to associate - you say “cram” things together. And not everything on my computer of course, only things related to a specific project all in one place. Some find that convenient.

What is nice about my example is that you would never have to worry about throwing DT away. You may never want to associate an email with a Smart Group now so I probably shouldn’t have mentioned It. I would hate to feel responsible for your throwing away DTPO today. :laughing:

Seriously, DTPO is a flexible program built to help us all to manage documents and to make associations within large amounts of data. In this modern era of massive amounts of data some find it helpful to see information “crammed” as you say, “all in one place” as I say It. There are many other views available as well, that is simply one view. :wink: