organizational approach

Hi there,

I just bought DTOP and I am currently waiting for my ScanSnap 1500 to be delivered. While I am waiting, I am trying to lay out my future database(s).

How do you guys organize your scanned papers within DT?

I have two main areas in which I am going to go “paperless”. My business, and my private live. I am wondering if it would be best to just dump everything into one large database with two top groups (private, business) and then branch off subgroups from there, or to use two databases. What do you think?

Can databases be cross referenced? e.g. will all the intelligence work across both databases if I have both of them open?

Also I am thinking of how to organzie everything within the database. I am thinking of just creating a group per year and dump everything in there (corresponding to the year) and rely on search only, or should I create more specific groups, like… Insurances, Incoming Bills, Outgoing Bills Customer A, Outgoing Bills Customer B etc.

How are you organizing?


You can create cross-links from one database to the other but right now See Also/Classify are limited to one database. However, this will be improved by an upcoming release.


Does anyone have any thoughts about my other questions?

So how do you create a cross link between databases? I could not find this in the Help. Do you make a duplicate and store it in the other database?

Will this work for things like HTML, Bookmarks and Web Archives?




Thanks. Yes, I know all of this. What I am referring to is linking a document between databases. In other words, can you have the same article living in two different DTP databases that are “linked” I think the only way do to this is by Duplicating the file into each database. From what I understand, you cannot Replicate a file into another database, only in the database where it currently resides. So to me, Duplicating is one way to “cross link” a file. Then when you get Info on the document you will see that it is duplicated in two different databases. Its not really an elegant solution having to go the Info window to see this. You would just have to be careful not to delete the duplicate out of one of the databases. Does this make sense?

Maybe a nice additional feature would be a way of seeing what articles you have that live in more than one database. Maybe you can do this with a smart group that is similar to Duplicates but perhaps labels the articles as “duplicate, but keep”? Maybe I’ll try this and see if I can create a Smart Group like this.

I definitely know all about copying something to the clipboard and pasting it elsewhere :slight_smile:

The best solution is probably indexing in that case, see viewtopic.php?f=4&t=10358.

Thanks korm and Christian. Good advice. I see how that would work.


well now after my thread has been hijacked and your questions been answered :slight_smile: can we return to my questions?

The question “how to organize” has as many answers as DTPO has users, but here is my personal approach.

  • More groups rather than fewer - this is important for categorization as well has making the AI work better because more options for good matches are available to the AI engine. Same holds true for more documents rather than fewer - you’ll find that many users split up PDFs to help prime the AI pump, so to speak.
  • Plain language group names rather than cryptic. Mainly, in my case, so I remember what the heck I was thinking about.
  • Standard naming format for documents. I learned this from Bill DeVille - I preface all documents with yyyymmdd and suffix all notes and annotations with yyyymmdd@hhmm. My own style - gives specificity when I’m browsing lists. You don’t need to be as weird about it as I am, but use what is obvious to you and use it consistently.
  • Use tags as metadata and not to organize data. Other users will take just the opposite tack. I prefer the tags as metadata approach because it gives me another dimension to cut my data as I wish. Again, do what’s obvious for you and use it consistently.
  • Don’t worry about structure - meaning, whatever makes sense to you today can easily be reworked in the future. Actually - “relatively easily” - depends on how big your databases get.
  • Read everything Bill DeVille has or will post. Period.

Thanks for this. Very helpful. Cryptochrome, sorry to hijack your question. Hopefully this all was helpful for you as it was for me too. :slight_smile:

Yes indeed, it was very helpful. Thanks.

Haven’t found the time to make any progress yet though. Too much work :-/

I went “paperless” exactly one year ago, so here are my 2 cents :mrgreen:

-I use one database for work and private; i work freelance and these 2 things do overlap at times.

-Before i scan the original i stamp them with a number that corresponds to the physical folder i put them in after scanning. I use a name called “scan 001, scan 002 etc.”, and i therefore also have a physical folder called “scan 001” so i can find the original superfast. Handy for tax stuff, and i also think you are required to do so by the irs, at least in the netherlands.

-At first i was reluctant to scan small receipts, but i found that there is one golden rule in this paperless thing: everything goes in there. Otherwise you get totally lost in time. For small receipts i use the “set attributes” function to get the scanfolder data (scan 001) in the file.

-I organise by year, and like korm said the more folders the better & tags as metadata. So every year has folders corresponding to where it got from, and inside these folders another folder for what the thing is, invoice for instance.

Hope this helps, works for me!