Multiple drafts/versioning workflow?

Hi! I’m brand new to DT, and still getting my feet wet, but I’ve run into one stumbling block I haven’t yet figured out how to get around.

A big part of my job is sending drafts and redlines of contracts back and forth. I need to keep a copy of each iteration, so that I can go back and see the negotiation history and who suggested what changes when, etc.

The way I have been doing this is I have a separate folder for each contract, where I save all versions as they come in or out. When I get the latest draft from someone, I save a copy into the corresponding folder, then make my edits to it (almost without exception these are MS Word files and use “Save As” to save it as a new version. Often I will do it twice: once in redline and then again clean. It’s not unusual for me to have 20 or 30 versions of a single contract.

Where I am running into trouble is “Save As”:

  1. I receive a draft in an email from Joe; let’s call it v.1.
  2. I drag and drop the attachment into the appropriate DevonThink database & group.
  3. When I’m ready to revise it, I go to the DT group for that contract and open the file in Word.
  4. I make my changes, and now I want to save a copy of v.1 as v.2.
  5. When I choose “save as” MS Word takes me by default to the folder inside the database file where v.1 is saved (at least, I think that’s where it takes me. the path is something like “Contracts.dtBase2/Files.noindex/docx/a”).
  6. I rename it to v.2 and hit the “Save” button.

But when I go to look for it, I can’t find v.2 anywhere in the DevonThink database. I’m assuming, therefore, that a document saved to the database in Finder is not indexed. So, I have to figure out another way to get the new version into DT. What I’m doing now is saving it to a folder on my hard drive, then importing the document into DT from that drive. This is a somewhat cumbersome process, and now I have to maintain two separate folders for each contract: one in Finder and one in DT. There’s got to be a better way, right?

I’d love to hear how others handle multiple drafts or similar circumstances within DT.



A classic question.

I too frequently have a dozen or more drafts of work products. So …

Two methods I use:

  1. Duplicate first. Select, then ⌘D the draft that will be revised, rename it according to your naming convention, then open in the external editor (Word, PowerPoint, Numbers, MS Project …).

  2. Keep documents for active projects in an external folder and index the folder(s).

Just to let you know, this method is creating orphaned files - files that are “in” the database’s internal structure but DEVONthink has no idea what or where they came from.