Mobile sync in the global inbox?

I’m a bit confused about the mobile sync with the global inbox. I use the global inbox as my main database, but don’t want to sync it entirely to my iphone (too big). I’ve seen mixed messages about whether the global inbox is supposed to have a mobile sync folder or not. Mine does not - is this a bug, or can I only sync all of the global inbox or none of it using DevonThing to go?

I know that I’m discouraged from keeping everything in the global inbox. Perhaps (quite likely) I am missing something, but it seems like a big pain to have things in separate databases because every document comes into the global inbox and then I have to sort each file into it’s proper database and folder by cursor rather than just using tags, which I can do in the global inbox. I really haven’t seen an advantage yet. Am I missing something major? I have yet to read Getting started in DevonThink, and that may be my problem also.

Thanks in advance.

The Global Inbox does not have a Mobile Sync folder.

It is largely a matter of preference how you use the Global Inbox. The general thought is that it is not meant to be your main database (unless you’re using DEVONthink Personal in which you have no choice) but that it’s a holding tank or a layover for data going on to other places.

IMO, there is no real benefit to having one gargantuan Global Inbox when multiple databases can be simultaneously open and there are performance gains by running more focused databases. Think of it this way… you don’t live in a one room house (I am supposing I could be wrong 8) ) so you already do data segregation in your life. You don’t want the dishes in the bathtub and you don’t want to bathe in your sink. I would think long and hard before I would just accept the single room approach.

Thanks for the reply.

I hear similar things from others on this forum about using databases instead of the global inbox. But I can’t really figure out why that’s better. From my standpoint, I save a file into the inbox, tag it with a group/tag, it turns red so I know it is replicated (i.e. filed), and I delete from the inbox - done and filed away. When I make notes using sorter, I never have to change the database at the top - I just file it away using tags which I can do from the keyboard.

Switching to databases seems to mean that when I save a file to the inbox, I have to move it with the mouse to the database inbox, then switch to the database inbox, then add the tags (oddly, I see the database tags in the autocomplete list in the global inbox, but if I use them, it creates a new tag in the global inbox instead of filing into the database), then see that it is replicated, and then delete from the inbox. (I know I can move it to the group without deleting from the inbox etc, but I am going for speed and minimal mouse).

What exactly am I missing about the databases that isn’t replicated by having a few main groups for my major projects? I don’t doubt there is something, because it seems to be highly favored - but then it seems to take twice as long to file new things, so I am at a loss. I feel I am already living in multiple rooms by having different high level groups, so I don’t see an advantage worth adding the extra time to file everything, and yet everyone (or most everyone) seems to think it is much much better. Do you follow the process above to file every new added item into your databases?

I know I can drag docs to individual database inboxes using the sorter - but most of my inputs are email attachments, which I save directly into the inbox folder, and there doesn’t seem to be an option to save to individual database inboxes there.

Sorry - this has diverged from my original question (which you answered - thank you!)

Are there advantages to having multiple databases rather than keeping everything in a single one, such as the Global Inbox? Yes, indeed!

All together, I manage more than 250,000 documents among a number of DEVONthink Pro Office databases. Some of those databases are archives of old information that I hardly ever need to review. Even on my current MacBook Pro Retina with 16 GB RAM, the performance of a single database holding everything would be terrible, and I wouldn’t be satisfied.

I create topical databases, each holding information that meets a particular interest or need. I treat them like information Lego blocks that can be opened or closed as needed.

Normally, in addition to the Global Inbox, I have a set of 5 open databases, that have a total word count of about 40 million words (comparable to the word count of Encyclopedia Britannica). That’s a LOT of information, and as there’s plenty of free RAM left on my MacBook Pro (currently about 6 GB free RAM, after meeting the memory needs of my databases and several other open applications), my computer always runs at full speed, with no pageouts and no use of Virtual Memory swap files.

The full Search window (which I use for all my searches in DEVONthink) lets me search across all open databases, or only within a specific database, or even with a specific group in a database. And as the option to provide indexes of my databases to Spotlight is checked for all databases, I can do Spotlight searches across all my databases, whether open or closed. (Tip: After a Spotlight query, choose the option to view all results. They will be displayed in a Finder window, and all results in DEVONthink databases will display the blue ammonite shell icon. Click on such a result and press the Space bar to view the content in Quick Look, or double-click on the result to open it in its DEVONthink database.)

So the first reason to use multiple databases is to tailor the size of open databases to the computer’s resources, keeping performance at the maximum speed of which the computer is capable. That becomes very important as one’s collection of documents grows.

But there are other reasons to use multiple databases. One that is especially important to me is that topical database design can make searches and the artificial intelligence assistants such as See Also much more efficient and useful.

For example, I have two databases that deal with my professional interests in environmental sciences, policy and management. My main database contains about 25,000 references and about 5,000 of my own notes, and includes scientific papers, case histories of environmental problems, discussions of environmental policy issues and environmental laws and regulations (mostly U.S. and EU).

I have a companion database, also a large one, that holds information dealing with methodological matters, such as environmental sampling procedures, chemical analytical procedures, quality assurance protocols, procedures for evaluating environmental data, and risk assessment and cost/benefit methods.

Suppose I’m researching the health issues posed by mercury pollution in edible fish. I search in my main database and will pull information about mercury toxicology, case histories of health problems, regulatory standards for mercury intake, etc. But I wouldn’t want those searches to be diluted with large numbers of items dealing with how to sample for mercury, how to analyze for mercury in fish, how to develop regulatory standards, and so on. Likewise, I use the AI assistants such as Classify and See Also. Splitting those environmental databases makes those assistants much more efficient and useful to me.

I rarely send new content to the Global Inbox. Most of the time, my setting in Preferences > Import—Destination is Select group. That allows me to choose the appropriate open database and even a specific group within that database, in which to file a new item.

I don’t spend a lot of time in filing new content. My hierarchical structures of groups in my databases usually don’t go very deep, but emphasize main topical groupings. I’ll confess that I’m cynical about the return on investment of my time and effort in applying tags to documents. I almost never tag anything as it is added to a database. I’ve been working with information management since the 1960s, back when the only way to find anything added to a computer collection of items was by searching for keywords/tags, before full text indexing became available. I became all too familiar back then with two fundamental problems of applying keywords/tags: comprehensiveness (were all the important elements of information identified?) and consistency (different people often used different terms, and even the same individual was likely to do so at different times).

I fell in love with DEVONthink precisely because it provides tools to help me find the information I need, without forcing me to spend a lot of time and effort in organization or tagging of content. :slight_smile:

Do I use tags? Yes, usually at the stage in which I’m working on a project and want to identify resources for that purpose. I’ll apply tags to remind me of those resources and help classify them. Often, when the project is finished, I’ll delete those tags. Why? Because the next project may use some of the same documents, but in a different context, so that older tags may be counterproductive.