Is DT the right choice for me

Hello together,
I have too many files and too much stuff to keep track of. The last week I did a lot or research and so far I think DT could do the job for me. But still I have some questions I am not sure of.

I work with two Macs on the same Network. One iMac and one MacBook Air. The usage is about 50/50. My work files (most of them are pdfs, MS Office and LibreOffice files) are in iCloud and this works great for me.

  1. I would like to keep the files in iCloud and not in a database. As far as I read, this should be possible, referencing the files. Is this approach ok?

  2. Since you should not store a database in the cloud: is it still easy to sync between the two Macs without me doing anything. I just never know at which Mac I will work next.

  3. Is it possible to annotate a pdf lets say on page 15 and can I link from an other document to this annotation?

  4. What happens if a database get’s corrupt. Are files lost which are stored in the database or can I still access them through the finder?

Thank you for your time

Yes, it’s possible. It’s called indexing and it would be a good idea to read Forum posts about it. Pay attention to posts by Greg_Jones, as he uses it almost exclusively.

Well, it’s not “without you doing anything” because you need to set it up, but otherwise, Sync is simple and works in the background as you work.

You can’t link TO an annotation, but you can add a link to another document AS an annotation in a PDF.

It would depend on the nature of the “corruption” (a broad term). Could you have corruption that destroys your files? Sure, but it’s rare unless you have a hardware issue like a bad disk.
Also, the files are accessible in an emergency, if need be, but you also said you don’t want to store your files in a database, so the loss would be the index and metadata, not the files.

And on that note: We strongly advocate proper primary backups using TimeMachine (or similar application) and external drives.

Just to add to this, you CAN link to a specific PAGE of a PDF. So you may not be able to link directly to that annotation but you can link the page WITH that annotation, which I find certainly gets me close enough.

Hello Jim,
thanks for your fast answers.
I am a teacher and I will going to test DT within the next weeks.

So once I have set it up on both devices I can work on one device and then continue on the other. That is exactly what I am looking for. Would I need two licenses or is one fine since I am working just on one Mac at a time?

Will I be able to access the fils myself or do I need the help of a technician?
If I can access them myself I might give it a shot to store some files in the database.
I just don’t like the idea to depend on a someone to get my data back.


That will be just fine.
Thank you for the information.


Yes, but… continuation would require Syncing. A Bonjour Sync requires both Macs are On, running DEVONthink, with the specifically Syncing database(s) open (not an uncommon scenario). If you are Syncing to a local syncStore on a drive on your network, the Syncing would happen without the other machine needing to be on (obviously after it had Synced when it was on). The same applies to a WebDAV, Dropbox, Box, etc. Sync. This is often used with MacBooks in the equation since they’re generally more easily accessible when you’re out and about.

No, not if you’re the sole User of both machines.

You’d be able to get to them very easily. (A right-click on the database file in the Finder and select Show Package Contents. The files are in the Files.noindex folder but you should NOT go messing about in there unless instructed to or in an emergency.)

Great, thanks.

It looks like DT fits in my workflow.
I will test it.