sharing between two people and minimizing duplication

I have been using DTPO myself for a year now and it’s worked OK. Now I’d like to share my database with my wife. We’re living in Europe for a while so we are trying to be paperless, to save keeping track of papers and also because it allows for easy copy/paste to Google Translate. Each of us has only a single laptop with SSD, so our use case should be simple but we don’t have a lot of disk space. She hasn’t yet purchased DT so we aren’t locked in to any particular version.

My first thought was that I could use the sync functionality to sync to dropbox. This fails for a couple reasons. First, it seems that it would require 3X the size of the DB for it to work (2DBs + the sync store). Also it seems pretty much impossible because Dropbox won’t allow sharing of a directory created by an app.

My second thought was that I could just sync to a local store, that happens to be in Dropbox. This suffers from the same disk space problem.

My third idea was sort of like the previous one in that it would still use a local store on Dropbox, but my DB could be filled of primarily indexed items. In this way I could keep all of our PDF scans in a directory on Dropbox that would have an identical path for both of us. However, it seems that regardless of if the files exist in the file system for both users, DT does not allow this. It seems to be syncing the DB along with all of the files, meaning that we still end up with two copies of the data and I’m not sure what sort of things might occur when the second DT instance tries to sync and create new files which just happen to be in the path that already exists for both of us. This would really be the best option if we could somehow sync and have DT trust us that the files will exist on both ends so it wouldn’t sync the whole DB.

I may resort to just having her use the raw directory of files in Dropbox while I use DTPO to index them. I’m not too sure what happens if major changes happen to an indexed directory.

Are any of you in my situation? This seems to be such a basic use case so I’m surprised it’s so difficult. Thanks!

Why not run the Server (Preferences > Server) on your machine and she can access that on her machine? Save your money for the second copy of DTPO and have some fresh croissants.

So what version of DT would she need in order to access a server?

I was hoping not to go that route by the way, as I am usually at work during the day so we aren’t always on the same LAN.

There has definitely been some croissant eating. Thanks.

None. She accesses the server through her browser.

See the Help topics “Web Sharing” and “Accessing your data over the Internet” for advice on setting up the local and remote access.

Hmm. I’m still a bit concerned, being that this is a laptop and it’s not always on. Plus for some reason where I work just about every type of traffic is blocked. I can’t even send email.

Perhaps I could do a hybrid approach- keep all the files indexed from a Dropbox directory, so she can go straight to the source if she likes. But maybe take advantage of the DT features if we both have internet access.

I still don’t think this is going to be flexible enough though.

Your hybrid seems workable. Or instead of your laptop, put DTPO on her laptop and run the server there.

I suggest better than speculation is experimenting at home with all three options you’ve mentioned – DEVONthink Sync (try it, it might work for you); DEVONthink server; shared Dropbox folder.