I'm new to Document Management


I just discovered the world of Document Management and am excited to get organized. What tips do you have for someone who is new and best-recommended workflows? Any affordable entry-level scanners? I would like to use a Brother but I would like to hear your recommendations. The use case for this is home organization.

Also, on the trial version, how come I don’t see a scan from scanner option?

Welcome @MSC

I’d suggest you start in the Help > Documentation > Getting Started section to get your feet wet.
You can breeze through the Tasks and Documents chapters, then start to get your legs under you in the In & Out chapter. The rest of the documentation goes into more specifics about what you’re looking at, menus, preferences, etc. then the deep dive in the Appendix.

As far as scanners go, if I scanner will work with Apple’s Image Capture software and your current operating system, it should work when scanning in the Pro or Server editions of DEVONthink.

Also, on the trial version, how come I don’t see a scan from scanner option?

What option are you referring to?
Scanning in DEVONthink is done in the View > Import Sidebar.

Ah, got it! Thank you, any other tips?

You’re welcome.

The documentation and these forums and our blog are full of tips, so it would depend on what you’re specifically after. If you read through the Getting Started chapter, that should give you plenty of info to get going.

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Thank you!

My pleasure! :slight_smile:

So after doing some research, I was not able to find this answer. How can I scan from the scanner and have it automatically load in the application?

How did you try to do it? What didn’t happen? What did happen? Any error messages? Did not @bluefrog’s suggestion (above) work? What kind of scanner and how connected (WiFi, USB, etc.)

DEVONthink’s integrated scanning is discussed on page 67 of the Handbook. If your scanner is not compatible, you can direct your scanner’s software to put the output scanned document file into a folder on your computer, e.g. “Desktop”. Drag and Drop into DEVONthink is a good way to import it.

There are probably other ways that people here will suggest, but best that you give give all details.

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When you want to use your scanner as a starting point you could set it up to scan directly into DEVONthinks’s Global Inbox folder. DT will fetch everything that’s in there.

If the scanner software allows it you could set it up to directly scan into DT. Depending on DT’s import settings you then will see a HUD that allows you to manually sort your scan into your database structure.

I recall (and I might be remembering incorrectly!) that it’s recommended by DEVONthink not to scan directly to the Global Inbox folder like this. Because–the scanner could send across a partially scanned file and in this indeterminate state DEVONthink would import it. Not good. @BLUEFROG can comment.

If you’re scanning with no OCR, especially OCR done by an external application, you can scan to the Global Inbox.

Otherwise, you should not scan directly to the Global Inbox.

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Yea, I knew it was something like that!! (I tend to allow the scanner software do the OCR) and hence I don’t copy direct to global inbox.

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I hadn’t thought about OCR as I let DEVONthink do the job. But of course, if DT is running and moves a PDF while the OCR is processed on it by another software, most likely the scanner’s, that would cause trouble.

Then a better alternative would be to set up just any other folder for the scans and have DT index it and fetch PDFs from there with an inbuilt fail-save: A condition like Date Modified is not within the last five minutes.

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You can use the DT supplied scripts as documented in Automation - Folder Actions

“The actions supplied by DEVONthink are installed in ~/Library/Scripts/Folder Action Scripts, and you can add your own scripts to this directory, as needed. For everyday use and exploration, here are the folder action scripts provided by DEVONthink:

DEVONthink - Import: Imports files into your databases.
DEVONthink - Import & Delete: Imports files into your database, and moves the files to the trash afterwards.
DEVONthink - Import to selected group: Imports files to the currently selected group.
DEVONthink - Index: Index files to your database, creating links to the original items in the Finder.
DEVONthink - Index to selected group: Index files to the currently selected group in your database.
DEVONthink - Import, OCR & Delete: Imports files into your database, converts them to searchable PDFs if necessary, and moves the files to the trash afterwards.”

Excerpt From
DEVONthink Documentation
Eric Böhnisch-Volkmann
This material may be protected by copyright.

I’m sorry, can someone help me better understand, is it best to use the app to scan in, or is there a way to have the scanner automatically add the PDF?

There is no “better” way. You need to find the way with your scanner that works. You have not given enough details for anyone to understand what you have, tried, how failed, etc. to get help more than that so far.

Did you read the DEVONthink Handbook on how to set up? Failing a successful setup, have you read and tried what your scanner instruction manual says about scanning to a folder then dragging and dropping using standard Mac capabilities I to DEVONthink?

Thank you for your reply. I just was not sure if I should scan it to a folder then drag and drop it in DAVONthink or if there was a way to automatically add the PDF. I will continue to explore.

If you can scan directly in DEVONthink, I’d say it’s the ideal option.

Can you please provide me how to scan directly into DEVONthink, I am not able to find the handbook that was referenced. Can you please provide a direct link?

You’ll find the DT manual here. Take a look at page 67 for a start.