On iOS, how do you get emails into DT?

On iOS, I’m using Spark and Mail.app and neither of those seem to talk to DTTG (I admit I was stunned with I realized Mail.app doesn’t use the share sheet). Of course, DT doesn’t have a way to forward emails, either.

A quick search brought up a recommendation for a new app (for me) called Preside. I’ll try that out.

That recommendation was made about two years ago, though–any other suggestions for archiving emails while on iOS?

Thanks!

Can these apps export a .eml file?
It’s then a question of directing the file to your Devonthink inbox

Despite many requests to Readdle by many people, Spark doesn’t work with DEVONthink on the Mac either :confused:

Never heard of Preside and no, Apple hasn’t made provisions to share emails. Who knows why?

You can drag email messages out of Mail on iOS and into DEVONthink To Go or the Files app.

Maybe it’s an iOS16 thing, but this didn’t work for me.

I rarely need to do this, but when I do, I print the email to PDF then share it.

How exactly doesn’t it work? Just long-press the email until it lift up, then switch to DEVONthink To Go and drop it. IMHO this already worked so on iOS 15 too.

When I drop the email onto the DT window, it just disappears, doesn’t get added.

IMHO this already worked so on iOS 15 too.

I’m on iOS16. Didn’t know to try this before I upgraded, so never did it on 15.

Anyway, reasonable chance the issue is my finger dexterity.

I use Preside, and it is the only application I know of that will export emails to DEVONthink to Go on iOS. I’ve tried all the others.

One tip. Preside has as many features and settings as a desktop email client. Maybe more. It’s like MailMate on iOS.

Work slowly when customizing Preside. There are many modes of settings. When installed, Preside will start with Basic settings mode. Once you understand Basic settings mode, go to Typical settings mode and then stay there.

Preside is very powerful; it’s designed for lawyers who have a master folder for every client with as many folders inside as types of forms/documents a lawyer would need. Meaning hundreds if not thousands of folders and multiple accounts.

@DTLow – FYI on the Mac, (I have a iPhone and not an iPad) exporting emails doesn’t work; either the header is missing or the body is missing. AppleScript must change the email file so it works on transfer.

iOS “Split View” is required to do this, correct?

I can get that view on my iPad, but not on my old iPhone. I understand some of the newer iPhones have it but I can’t try.

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No, split view is not needed. First long-press the email message to lift it up, then use the other finger to switch over to the app in question, here: DEVONthink To Go. Then move the finger that is holding the email message a bit so that the receiving app notices it and you see the green circle (you have to move it at least one pixel or iOS won’t send a notification to the receiving app). Now drop it.

Yes, it’s a finger exercise but doable :sunglasses:

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@rmschne please let me know whether that works on your iPhone. I now already tried everything I could think of but can’t make it work on a first generation iPhone SE.

(When I read your question I was sure that’s not possible on iPhone at all. But after reading Eric’s reply I really tried hard)

Well, it is feasible. Like, it is feasible to put tiny holes in an egg and blow out its content by breathing very hard in one hole. Or like running a marathon in under 2:20.

  • Use your index finger to press on the message until it “lifts up”,
  • use your thumb (or whatever other finger you can move safely) to swipe the e-mail app up
  • now you can get at the other apps on your home screen
  • again, use your thumb or any other finger you’re comfortable with to open DT
  • move the message with your index finger over DT and lift your index finger when you see the plus sign in the green circle.

Voilà. Another proof that not every desktop concept ports over well to mobile devices.

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That made me chuckle—damning proof, at that.

@sgtaylor5 , turns out, for all my irritation with it, Spark shares to DT. It’s not great, but it at least gets the text in there. I did take a look at Preside and, to your point, felt overwhelmed. Like, I can’t learn DT and Preside at once—not enough brain.

This is one of my few DT gripes, that getting email into it should be easier. I’m not pointing fingers at the devs, and I know sharing to DT is a function that has to be built by the other apps, just noting an area for improvement. Some sort of forward to function feels like a reasonable next step in terms of features.

Question on that note—will DT automatically index my email (on desktop) I’m using Mail.app? I could see a scenario where I index a specific folder, and just drop email into that folder to appear in my Inbox when it’s picked up. That’d work fine for me, I think.

Anyway, thanks for the help here, it is appreciated.

Wooooahh. It works. Thanks! :smiley:

(But I don’t think I’ll be using it … far too complicated)

I think that I understand what you mean. Nevertheless, I suggest taking a step back and consider your wish in the bigger context.

  1. Not all people use a desktop client for e-mail: many nowadays are using a web interface. There’s virtually no chance to import e-mail through that.
  2. Even of those who are using a desktop client, not all are employing Apple’s product (and for good reasons, I might add).

So, even if you ignore the first point, you’re still left with the second one: An unknown number of e-mail clients with unknown ability (and willingness) to let other apps get at “their” data.

The only viable (i.e. independent of platform and client) solution would be to provide an IMAP client within DT (which would not help POP3 users, but I doubt that there’s a lot of them left today). Would I want to implement that? Certainly not. Would I hold my breath waiting for the DT developers to implement that? Certainly not.

Hopefully not. I have mailboxes on different IMAP servers amounting to several GB of data. I would not want DT to index that. Especially since my e-mail client is working well enough with my search requirements.

I’m not sure about your terminology. Is “folder” a folder in the Finder or do you mean a group in DT? Is “Inbox” the inbox in your e-mail client or the Inbox in DT? What does “it’s picked up” mean – picked up how, by whom or what, when?

Too hard.

I do not need or will expect to use on iPhone, nor will I insist that DEVONtechnologies bend iOS to its will, but will use split screen on my (well into the) future new iPhone.

https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=which+iphones+doe+splitscreen&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

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Hey @chrillek thanks, as always, for your thoughtful response. I’ll power through a few succinct responses here.

So, even if you ignore the first point, you’re still left with the second one: An unknown number of e-mail clients with unknown ability (and willingness) to let other apps get at “their” data.

Absolutely–the technical challenges are clear to me here.

The only viable (i.e. independent of platform and client) solution would be to provide an IMAP client within DT (which would not help POP3 users, but I doubt that there’s a lot of them left today). Would I want to implement that? Certainly not. Would I hold my breath waiting for the DT developers to implement that? Certainly not.

I get it–I think. What’s confusing to me is that I don’t believe (tell me if I’m wrong) that the “how” of forwarding email into a system is new or needs figuring out. Any number of apps I use support emailing into their system, including Things, Matter, and a couple others.

Is there something specifically different about DT’s infrastructure that makes implementing this harder than other platforms? Genuine question, I don’t know DT well enough (yet) to speculate.

My team builds websites and apps. (Nothing as complex as DT, and we don’t do desktop software, so I’m very deferential to the folks here who have more expertise than I). I mention that to give context to my perspective, which, based on the research of my audiences:

  • Pandemic aside, information workers are increasingly on the go, working from mobile, with a need to get info into a system from their phones.
  • There is a decreasing dependence on email as a workspace, and a greater need to get the important info out of that particular inbox hellscape.
  • There is increased expectation that information managers, such as DT, have strong parity in terms of features between desktop and tablet.
  • A material amount of software (that my team uses) us getting better to use on iPads than laptops. (Adobe is the main actor there, which weakens my argument a bit, but I’m seeing the same trends in other software.)

So yeah, by no means would I expect DT to try to build a system that accommodates the plethora of (often not great) email software and browser-based clients (ugh)–but maybe that clarifies why I’m asking the question.

I’m not sure about your terminology. Is “folder” a folder in the Finder or do you mean a group in DT? Is “Inbox” the inbox in your e-mail client or the Inbox in DT? What does “it’s picked up” mean – picked up how, by whom or what, when?

Yeah, fair, I wasn’t very specific. Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Mail.app has a folder, something called “Send to DevonTHINK.”
  • If I’m on my phone, I drop an important email in there (to your point, I don’t need DT indexing the insanity of everything in my inbox).
  • DT indexes the “Send to DevonTHINK” folder, so when I manually drop an email in there, that’s what gets “picked up” by DT and moved to the DT inbox whenever it can run that rule.
  • When I do my daily reviews in Things and DT, I move that email that is in DT’s inbox to the proper DT group.

Hopefully that clarifies. Thanks again for all your help.

-Jefferson

From “Things”, I gather that you might be referring to their “Mail to Things” setting.
Which works because there’s “Things cloud”: Some kind of not very well detailed service sitting somewhere in “the Cloud” doing something magical (and hopefully respecting your privacy). BTW:

With Things Cloud, all your network traffic is securely encrypted using the latest SSL technology, ensuring that everything you do is for your eyes only.

(quoted from their website) That means they do transport encryption. Not a single word on data at rest, i.e. in their cloud. Not a single word on where the data is located (US? Europe? China?). Nothing on the cloud provider (Google? AWS? Azure? Apple?). Hopefully, not the latter. This lack of detail would make me want to avoid their service.

Yes: DT does not offer a cloud service. Which I, for one, do not regret. But I remember a discussion on that here in the last several months, so you might also want to search in the forum (which could prove a bit difficult given the ubiquity of possible search terms).

Given that the OS for desktop and mobile are vastly different (and probably will remain so for some time), not everything possible on one platform can be implemented on the other (there is no “swipe up” to terminate an app on the desktop, for example). Then there’s the question of real estate and limited resources – you do not have swap space on a mobile device as you do on a desktop. Heck, you don’t even have a real file system in iOS.

Catering to unrealistic expectations is pointless, in my mind.

Well, that again excludes all other mail clients. It also requires Mail to sync its state and content across devices. Unless you mean an IMAP folder (of which you’d need one per account). Which again leads back to my earlier point: DT would need a kind of IMAP client to work across platforms and around clients.

What you really (seem to) want is
a cloud service that integrates with DT and DTTG in that it magically keeps your data Somewhere™ and offers a (secure!) API to talk with it, including sending e-mails (or whatever documents) to these services and then do Something™ with them.

Something like “iDEVONthink.” While I see your point: That’s not where DEVONtechnology seems to be coming from. The product has been placed as a single-user, two-machine app (apart from the server, that is). It was not conceived (apart from the server, again) to be running 24/7 and waiting for requests to arrive.

Even if there were an iDT software, it would probably come with a very different price tag, rather with a subscription model: ingress/outgress as well as data at rest have to be paid for by Someone™.

In my mind, it would be a lot easier for everybody if Apple implemented a “share” menu in their Mail program. Well, one can dream.

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Yup! You get me.

Notebooks (https://www.notebooksapp.com/) is a good example of that idea. I used Notebooks for a week or so, before starting to run into “I wish I could…” mostly related to file management. In fact, this is where I clarified what I needed from an information manager, and realized DT could do most, if not all, of the things I felt Notebooks was missing.

So yeah, do I wish there was an iDevonTHINK product? For sure. But I get what you’re saying–that’s not what DT is and it does not appear to be evolving that way. Turns out, the capabilities of DT outweigh my desire for a cloud-first service. I was surprised, too.

Even if there were an iDT software, it would probably come with a very different price tag, rather with a subscription model: ingress/outgress as well as data at rest have to be paid for by Someone™.

Agreed. The thing is, and I don’t say this often because it’s a surprisingly hot topic, I don’t mind the subscription model. I get it; software is moving (has moved) towards a cost model that reflects the expenses of the infrastructure behind it. It’s not my favorite thing about the software world, but I understand the logic.

Yes: DT does not offer a cloud service . Which I, for one, do not regret. But I remember a discussion on that here in the last several months, so you might also want to search in the forum (which could prove a bit difficult given the ubiquity of possible search terms).

I get it now–a lot of things a making much more sense in the “not a could service” context. Not the least of which is why my description of what I’m trying to do with Mail.app is probably still not clear. Let me experiment a little see if I can make it work and I’ll add my experience, positive or negative, to the forums.

Catering to unrealistic expectations is pointless, in my mind.

One clarifying point here, that admittedly does advocate for my POV–I said “strong” parity, not one-hundred-percent. The latter is wildly unrealistic for sure. Either way, yes, MacOS and iOS are fundamentally different and will, for quite a long time to come (I hope), require different experiences.

Generally, re: security: fair points all around. I guess my justification for continuing to use cloud services is that I have always been careful about the entry point–I have always been cognizant of what I’m putting into the cloud, so in theory, most of it should be pretty boring. But everyone has different tolerances and approaches.

In any case, sincere thanks for engaging in the details here. Understanding how DT works is personally interesting and certainly helps me figure out how to make it work better for my use case. I’ll add whatever I learn (that is useful) to the forums over the coming weeks.