Moving from Paperless to DT

I have been experimenting with moving my documents to DT Pro from mariner’s Paperless (which I have been using for about a year). I have found the biggest drawback is tagging a statement’s date to the DT file somehow. When I imported the docs into Paperless, I added the date (if it’s not done automatically). I can’t find an easy way to do it in DT Pro. I like some of the more advanced search features and customization of DT Pro, but I can’t spend hours re-entering dates. Any thoughts?

It isn’t completely clear to me whether you are asking about “re-dating” the documents you already have in Paperless when moving them to DT, or adding dates to new additions.

If it’s the latter, what I do is scan in documents when received and then use a text-expander (Typinator in my case, but Textexpander or TypeIt4Me are alternatives) to stamp the start of the document name with “today’s” date in the form yyyy-mm-dd. Not exactly the date of the statement, but close enough for me, and easily searchable. There may be better ways.

So I have 1600 documents already in Paperless. Each one has been dated in that program. If I transfer the documents to DT Pro, do I have to relabel them? Would DT Pro Office do a better job of classifying the date?

For any document in the database DEVONthink knows about date created, date modified, and date added (added to the database). Any other attribute dates have to be stuffed in the document’s text or a freeform comment field. DEVONthink does not have custom attributes – for example, Paperless’s invoice date – and has no place to put such custom attributes (let alone read them). So then, with regard to that exact, particular field, DEVONthink is not going to do better than Paperless.

(Is there any app that can import Paperless records and recognize the invoice date field? I don’t know of any.)

OTOH, many people use DEVONthink to manage their financial records, so maybe searching through the forum you’d locate some user suggestions along those lines.

Great question.
We have thousands of documents, receipts, statements etc in Mariner Paperless. Here is the problem. Eg. A bank statement may be dated 31st December 2011, but it was “created” on the 29th Feb 2012 (and then batch-added and/or modified later). That document date (2012-12-31 in the Paperless metadata) is critical (for sorting, searching, smart groups, etc). However, it seems to be removed from the MetaData when migrating the documents over to DTPO. Obviously, even if a script were available, this would be a nightmare to fix hundreds of docs by hand, file-by-file.

Also, the files from Paperless seem to append a date to the file name (in reverse order) for some reason. Would prefer to migrate it all over to DTPO, but this is a problem. And there does not seem to be a simple way to change the “create date” even if you decided to do so manually.

Anyone found any solutions to any of this?

The Change Date script is available at Help > Install Extras - Scripts. It will change both the creation and modification dates of a selected item, and when installed is available at Scripts > Dates in the menubar. (Be sure to update the Scripts menu after adding scripts to it.)

Thanks, but that downloaded script does not work on my DTPO setup.
Getting “date and time” format error messages from DTP.

What date format are you using, MM/DD/YYYY, or DD/MM/YYYY?

We are using DD/MM/YYYY for all applications, which is the worldwide standard. (And far more logical)! All of the DTPO date fields on my setup are populated correctly in that DD/MM/YYYY format.

The change-date scripts come up as MM/DD/YYYY. However, if only the day is changed (for example) it still objects and shows an error message. So, does the script need to be edited to match the DD/MM/YYYY standard?

Perhaps I should look at other applications to change the dates, such as “A Better Finder Attributes”. Thou I don’t know how that might impact the metadata. And it would be a lot of extra work.

And is there any chance that this could be fixed in a future release?

This is a good discussion. It seems that moving all my tagged files to DTP or DTPO would be cumbersome. I think DTP is more stable and better that Paperless. I guess I need a vacation to do it!