Labels workflow replacement for mobile

I have decided to move away from obsidian completely (too many issues indexing with DT, don’t really use backlinks in my workflow) and use DT as my main storage and notes, and Apple notes for quick non long term notes.

I have been more and more using DT to move emails over and label as “to do” and when on Mac this works great. I use the remind me script to set a reminder and when it’s time to work it pulls up the .eml on DT. The labels of todo works great to get an overview of all my tasks across multiple databases (personal, job, separate business, etc).

On mobile with DTTG I can make a link to my .eml and put it in reminders, but it’s a bit clunky going to labeled as it’s everything labeled together and doesn’t seem to be a way to sort this out.

Other than searching for the label each time, any other options to bring up a list of just a single label?

Issues I’ve found…the searches remember recent but doesn’t stay across iPad and iPhone, and often times goes away so is a bit clunky.

Using tags is a bit better, but since no smart groups on DTTG I have to go to the tags for each database to bring up all “todo” going that route.

Appreciate any suggestions for workflow across DT and DTTG as I am moving over to using it across the board now.

While we are working on true smart groups (we got sidetracked by some other feature requests), maybe building something with Shortcuts could do the trick? Labels and other metadata are exposed to Shortcuts.

Do you mean you import your emls on DT and then make links for the reminders when you’re on DTTG?

It’s not possible to import emails into DTTG, is it? Or to export one or more messages from iOS Mail into DTTG?

I’ve just set up a system (with plenty of help from this forum) of ToDos using a Group per item, which contains a markdown file to track progress and make notes, emails, PDFs, and other related files that pertain to the task. The iOS Reminder links to the markdown file.
I have a smart template for DT and a shortcut for DTTG that both do the same thing.
That thread is here

Yes you can import emails to DTTG on iOS/iPadOS. Hold down on the email in and with ur finger still on the screen, use another finger to swipe up and open DTTG and drop it where you want. Can do this for single or multiple emails and imports .eml just like on desktop.

Honestly my workflow I would like a smart list for each label and I would be happy. (Ultimately having DTTG smart lists would be better).
I would settle for saved searches that synced across devices somehow.

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From the shortcut options I’m not seeing a way I can make a shortcut that will just pull up a list of all labels “x”.

Seems like shortcuts would work fine to make an item with the label “x” but I’m looking for the reverse.

Hmm, you could…

  1. Create a group to serve as a programmatically managed “smart group” lookalike
  2. In Shortcuts:
    1. Empty the target group
    2. Run a search to find all items with a specific label
    3. Loop through the results an replicate them to the target group

This way you’d update a group with always all items carrying a specific label.

I haven’t tried it out yet but that would be one first itea coming to my mind.

Not in-app, for whatever strange reason Apple has not provided this functionality.
But as @jmanko16 mentioned, drag and drop between Mail and DEVONthink To Go is possible (and easier on an iPad with its support for split screen viewing).

Yes indeedy. I tried this on my phone and it took a lot of tries to figure out the precise mechanics to get it to work. And then it just hung there with a half filled progress circle for a few minutes until I quit it.
Even if I got it to work, it’s definitely not intuitive and, on a phone at least, only worth it for one or two emails.
I’ll give the iPad a shot but for now I don’t mind it being a task I can do on my laptop in minutes.

This sounds like a huge pain.

Unfortunately I think until DTTG supports saved search, smart lists, or at least default separate labels might make more sense to just make a link to each to do in and use to track and then open the link to work on each task.

Edit: just had a thought and tried it. I typically don’t use any summary lines, but I turned it on and then the color of the label shows up. They are all lumped together but at least viewable if each color is different. Good enough for now.

In addition to getting help on this forum making a smart template to do this on the desktop, I was fooling around and made a shortcut that works with DTTG to do the following:

  • Choose a database and its respective ToDo group
  • Ask for a ToDo name
  • Create a group with that name
  • Create a md file and EMAIL and DOC groups with that name
  • Add some basic text to the md file
  • Add a reminder with the name to an iOS Reminder list
  • Add a link to the md file in the notes section of the new reminder

ToDo is sort of misnomer for me in that I use this for any possible issue I might have to deal with. I can add docs and emails to track communications and the md file is for any notes about phone calls or slack/texts.
I can add dates in Reminders when that need arises and the link to the md file makes for quick navigation and switching contexts quickly.

@BLUEFROG helped me with getting the UUID from the new md file so I’ll throw another thanks on his mountain of plaudits.

Maybe someone will find this helpful.

Here is the shortcut

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What is a summary lines? How do you turn it on? I would like to be able to see the colour of the table.

The filter button at the bottom you click summary and gives you the choice of how many lines (2,3,4 etc). Essentially expands and gives more info, and on 2 it will show the color corresponding to the label.

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Thanks. With the colour and sorting, it is a lot more useful now to view the todo list with priorities. I use the labels as priorities.

I use the label feature for task status (pending/active/completed/…)
The star ratings seem more appropriate for priority

Interesting. Didn’t think of using star rating for priority. I am currently using the star rating for space repetition systems. Will think over it. Thanks.

I had not thought of this either. I have a few different databases and wish there were tags that went the whole way across, but I guess labels does this. I think I’m going to adopt status as labels as well. I guess you lose out on file system (finder) tags if you use those, but gaining across database “tags” especially on mobile is worth it.

Is there any plans to expand labels to more than 7? I know there were old versions of devonthink and I believe this had been a limitation, but using expanded (aka more than 7) labels as cross database tagging in addition to tags as per database would be very powerful.

As you’ve noted, some workflows don’t work in DTTG because of missing elements (smart groups etc)
My solution is to adjust my workflow

For my task list, I work from a note/file that syncs to my devices
The note/file is created using an applescript that’s run automatically each morning on my Mac
The script exports the task list from a smart group to the note/file

By using a note/file, I can add features to make the task list more useful
For example, a spreadsheet to present tasks in a gantt calendar view

No there are no plans to increase the number of labels.