Indexed Files In DT - How Does Using Global Inbox Handle Files Moved to Groups in Database?

I think I’m doing something wrong and hopefully you all can enlighten me.

My initial intention was to have my database indexed where all files reside in a series of Dropbox folders (one parent folder) so I indexed that parent folder in DT3. I can now see and access all those folders/groups and files in DT3. So far so good.

Since then, I’ve been learning more about DT3 and learned about importing and the DT Global Inbox (David’s Field Guide helped a bunch).

I receive documents as attachments to emails so what I have been doing is downloading them attachments to my mac’s desktop. I then drag that file into the DT Global Inbox. Curiously, the file doesn’t leave the desktop but it’s also in the Global Inbox so I’ve been putting the file in the trash after dragging it to the Global Inbox.

I then drag the file in the DT Global Inbox to the specific group (client folder) within DT.

Here’s where I’m a bit confused - by doing that did i just import that attachment into the DT database or did I indirectly move the attachment into the corresponding Dropbox folder? Or worse, did I just create an orphaned indexed file? Is it even possible to import files into a database that is indexed or will the entire database always be indexed files? If I ever want to stop using DT, would it be a mess if part of the database is indexed and part of it also consists of imported files? Does that even make sense?

What would be my best practice if I wanted to keep all files indexed in DT and residing in Dropbox and use DT to view/access those files? I find the Global Inbox very convenient because of the Smart Rules and all the different ways to get files into the Global Inbox so I was hoping there’s a way that I can do what I want to accomplish without having to bypass the DT Global Inbox.

If you want to remove the original file while importing use ⌘ + dragging.

Depends to which destination exactly you dragged the record.

  • Moving a record to a non-indexed group simply imports the record.
  • Moving a record to a indexed group makes the record indexed.

It’s possible to overwrite this behavior with a hidden preference (see help Documentation > Appendix > Hidden preferences):

DisableAutomaticDeconsolidation: Inhibits items added to indexed groups in DEVONthink from automatically moving out to the indexed Finder folder.

There’s also a hidden preference for the opposite direction:

EnableAutomaticConsolidation: Indexed items moved to a non-indexed location in the database will be moved from their Finder location as an imported item

Sure. A database is never indexed, only groups can be indexed.

Yes, if you stop using DEVONthink everything will be a mess! No, seriously, it probably won’t make a difference. It’s a bit more work but you can export each group that contains imported records. Writing this without having tested the mentioned hidden preferences, which means it’s well possible that you end up with a difficult situation depending on your choices - but I wouldn’t care about it now as it’s all doable (if it will ever become necessary).


Your response is so very helpful. Thank you!