iOS Shortcuts search issue

I have a shortcut that I use as a subroutine to call from a few shortcuts to make additions to my daily journal entry. All my journal entries are markdown files, created by a shortcut, with the title format yyyyMMdd. As you can see from this screen grab, it formats the date, searches for “name:formatted date” in a group called The Journal (which is actually the database name but specifying an actual group makes no difference). Then it should open the one resulting file. (I’ve done the search manually in DTTG - there is only ever one result for any date)

The problem I am having is that it:

  1. doesn’t limit the search to just that group or even that database and
  2. presents me with a list of almost all recent modified files to choose from, from all open databases, regardless if their name contains a formatted date or not.


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I’m very new to Shortcuts so I’m not best placed to help with this, but…. Am I wrong to say your shortcut doesn’t contain an instruction to search for the current date? I have a shortcut for opening today’s current journal entry, and it has an explicit line that says “search current date” which you don’t seem to have? (You seem to be instructing it to search for a specific “date format”, not the actual date?)

I’ve been chasing this issue off and on for the last few months and I have come to some conclusions.
There have been a few iOS upgrades and Devonthink/DevonthinkToGo upgrades which have made it a challenge to eliminate variables.

This past week though I was able to conclude the following after having to do a bunch of reboots and installs:
Some shortcuts will work exactly as designed for, at most, one day after a reboot of the iOS device.
In the case of this thread, I have a few shortcuts that use a subroutine that asks for a date and then (should) open a specific md file base on the name. It works well for a day and then it will begin to ask you to choose which file from a long list of recent files from every database, even though the shortcut specifies one database.

So at the moment I am chalking this up to Shortcuts weirdness and there’s no shortage of anecdotal evidence of similar experience with shortcuts.

Interesting and thanks for the diligent follow-up. The sporadic nature of the issue is indeed a bit perplexing. Perhaps @eboehnisch has an idea or perhaps (and likely) it’s an issue with Shortcuts.

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Shortcuts is so full of “sporadic issues”, one could consider it to be on itself.


“I was thinking it… and you said it” - hahaha! :wink:

Well, it should find the document based on the provided name and open that document. Am I safe to assume that when it fails the Search action simply does not return any document which is why you’re then asked which document to open?

Sorry I forgot about this thread.
Yes, when it doesn’t find the doc it just gives me a list to choose from. Couldn’t tell you what criteria that list is constructed from but the doc I am looking for is quite frequently right at the bottom of a long scroll.
It’s a quirk I have learned to live with and haven’t tested too much recently but I would love to solve it.

Hmm, do you still use the query depicted in the opening post?

The shortcut has been modified a few times.
This morning, as a test outside of Shortcuts just using the DTTG search bar, I searched for docs in all databases on my phone using this string:
This gave me two results from 20221201 (a journal entry and a receipt) and none of the docs created on Friday and this weekend (three journal entries and at least as many meeting notes and receipts, all using the same date format)

It should be noted that my laptop (the bonjour server) was off most of the weekend (roughly Friday 9PM- Monday 8AM). I mention that because searching in the app or via Shortcut seems to work perfectly fine AFTER a bonjour sync has happened, Anything created after the last bonjour sync won’t be found. Dropbox sync doesn’t seem to have the same effect, at least not that I have noticed.
None of that seems logical but it is my observation of what is happening.

Here’s a link to the most recent version of the subroutine that I call from a few different shortcuts

But when you search for name:2022120* in the search bar, you find all the documents, only searching via Shortcuts doesn’t find them? It might make a difference.

No. When I used the search bar with
it was missing everything with after 20221201 in the name.
This is why I think the shortcut isn’t the issue.

After entering the query, did you press the Return key? Searching for name should work without pressing Return. Just exploring.

Oh yes. I am aware of that return key difference.
The difficulty of testing this is that it pertains to newly created docs and syncing (I think). This morning I have turned off Bonjour and left Dropbox syncing on. If I get a chance I will try to make some dummy docs with names I can use to test the search.

Thank you! Names are now searched immediately so whatever you can see in a list should also turn up in a search.

This might have to wait until this coming weekend when I can pay attention to the new documents and having the laptop off for more than 5 hours a night.

@SlickSlack @eboehnisch
Any updates on this. I have the same issue, I am getting returned the entire list as compared to the search variables.

I had to stop testing this issue for a while due to work constraints.
I am running a kind of hybrid Dropbox/Bonjour sync set up, switching between the two as my 3 devices move around in new duties and it’s become impossible to trouble shoot this particular issue.

To save time and reduce frustration I added a “just open it” option to my date search menu which just opens DTTG after generating a paste-able text entry. I find the destination md file and paste it manually. Not ideal but tolerable.

Thanks for the update. I have been doing something similar. I have a shortcut for a “inbox” file and just use this for everything so I can quickly append it throughout the day. I then manually go back and pull out info and put it into notes where appropriate. I was trying to automate this a bit to go to a daily note but it doesn’t work well.

Am thinking maybe I can manually make a weekly note and then append directly to it, and just manually make a new weekly note and adjust my shortcut once a week. Annoying but at least allows for quick capture on phone.

So our December release did not fix the issue for you?