Newbie: Databases and Other Questions

Hi everyone,

I recently bought DevonThink Pro (not Office - I don’t have a scanner) and DevonAgent Pro.

I’m absolutely in love with the potential of it all. However, I did have a few questions about usage of DevonThink.

I read that it’s advisable to create different databases, and I understand why of course. But I’m wondering: how many is too many?

Currently, my breakdown is:

Design (for design blog articles)
Funny Pics
Misc DB
Important Documents (bills etc…)

I’m wondering: is that too many to handle? When I search for something, does it search all the databases at once from the search window? Or Quicksearch bar at the top?

Also, I’m not exactly sure how to add tags other than at the bottom of the preview window of the document. Is this the only way to add tags after I import something?

I’m also wondering how people use Agent in conjunction with DT? I really love Agent so much that I think I’m gonna dispense with researching a lot of stuff on Chrome and use Agent instead for looking things up - I just have to get the hang of it. Any suggestions on use? I research a lot of IT stuff/design stuff/CSS/etc… but random things as well.

I have to say, the power is a bit overwhelming because it’s like a re-invention of the entire Finder in a few windows. It’s basically Spotlight done right is the way I see it so far.

Also: I take it that an item should be in a database before I hit “Autoclassify”? IE: If it’s in the inbox, waiting to be dropped into a database, hitting “Autoclassify” won’t send it to the appropriate database or something, right?

Anyway, just a few random thoughts. Thanks for any tips/tricks/info. I’ve been watching some tutorials and I’m literally going through more than ten years of stuff to organize my life around DevonThink (not sure if that’s entirely a good thing but I think it might be the best thing ever so far…or maybe I’m crazy).

DEVONthink can handle many databases at a time - “too much” depends more on your preferences than the application’s capabilities. Generally, I believe most users prefer fewer rather than more databases. Experiment. If you find you have too many databases to manage, then move material into fewer databases, or even a single database.

Tools > Search searches across all currently-open databases (not closed databases, however). The search box on the toolbar searches only in the database that currently has the focus.

Basically, yes, though some users have submitted scripts to tag multiple documents. Check the Scripting forum.

Have you browsed the DEVONagent forum? Lots of advice there.


Take your time. It’s better to explore the features slowly and experiment with what works for you rather than jump into a grand organization scheme from the get-go and later find it’s not working. I especially find this true of tagging (not that that’s what you’re doing). Many users invest enormous amounts of time into tagging and then find it’s not all that useful and can actually be a hinderance. The AI, classify, search, see-also, etc., features of DEVONthink are actually far more useful and flexible to meet your developing needs than a major investment in static things like setting up group structures, tags, etc.

Thank you for your reply! :slight_smile:

That helps a lot. And yes, I’ve been using it constantly the last few days and learning a lot. It has a bit of a learning curve unlike some other things in the same vein, but it sure is far more powerful than anything else I’ve come across.

I’m definitely glad I bought this software. :slight_smile:

I work with one database.

1 head, 1 database.

DT works in 1 database at a time (at least it used to…still true?), and there is enough interconnectedness that I want to be able to access and work with everything from one spot.

My understanding is that db can become quite large with no impact on DT’s functionality.

Everyone finds what works for them. I just wanted to voice the “1 is enough” side of the question. :slight_smile: