Importing tags from Zotero


I love Zotero and Devonthink but struggling to find a good workflow between these two applications.

My workflow:

I create citations and import everything into Zotero and rename and move attachments automatically with the Zotfile plugin into folders sorted after Author surname. I index these folders automatically in Devonthink.

Now imagine if the pdfs in Zotero could sync tags with Devonthink. That would make it possible to create flexible tag libraries in both places without having to import and move files around and avoid creating duplicates. I don’t want to deal with duplicates because I want to work with the same pdf in all places to keep my annotations.

Is it possible to set up a script that would sync tags between Zotero and Devonthink?


Only if both sides offer the event „tag modified“

Do you know if they do? I’ve never made a script before :upside_down_face:

Yes, I’m certain it would be possible to do this. I’ve thought about doing it, but haven’t written anything, in part because it would be a significant effort to do bidirectional synchronization in a robust way and I don’t have a need for it myself. (I’ve resorted to tagging only in DEVONthink.)

To @chrillek’s good point, an important issue is how to detect that tags have been changed in one or the other application. In DEVONthink, one could probably find a way do it using Smart Rules, but I don’t think there’s a way to (easily) get the events in Zotero. It may be easier to sync on a schedule or on demand.

Another problem is that tags in DEVONthink can be hierarchical, but not so in Zotero. If you add a new tag in Zotero, it would require some scheme to figure out what to do when automatically creating the corresponding tag in DEVONthink. Similarly, you’d need to solve what to do with the DEVONthink tag hierarchy when writing them into Zotero records. These are not insurmountable problems, but you can see how the complexity is escalating quickly.

(Incidentally, @stighagen if you have not already seen it, you may be interested in an application I wrote to use Zotero and DEVONthink together. I also wrote some notes about my setup in a wiki associated on GitHub and there were some past postings in this forum, notably this one.)


Thank you @mhucka. It sounds to me that one directional is much easier, from Zotero to Devonthink. That would at least make it possible for me to create tags in Zotero to add alternative structure to my pdf’s to be displayed in Devonthink. Tags are very easy and effective to work with in Zotero when using the Zutilo plugin.

I tried to install Zowie, but since I’m mainly working with linked files in a cloud folder, it does not seem to work with my workflow. Love the idea, though. I’ll study your workflow. Thank you for sharing :slight_smile: :+1: