Single Inbox for Everything

I have a nice workflow on Evernote that I would love to be able to duplicate in Devonthink.

Currently, everything in my world goes into an Evernote “Inbox” including, notes, emails from my Google Apps account (along with their attachments) and scans. A script currently forwards ALL of my Google Apps emails into the Evernote account (with a link back to the email).

I then process everything by going through the inbox at the end of the day and filing each item to the appropriate place. If an item needs to be acted upon in the future, I tag it “review” and then when I’ve gone through the inbox I run a script to send all the “review” items to OmniFocus with a link back to that. (I then process Omnifocus Inbox). However, despite this nice workflow, I do find Evernote to be somewhat glitchy and error prone.

Is there a way I can similarly get my Google Apps email to automatically go into my Devonthink “inbox” as it arrives (without manually selecting emails to import)? Preferably, I also don’t want to be dependent upon leaving the computer turned on and the software running 24-7. Is there perhaps a script that causes all incoming Google email to go into a Devonthink database in the cloud that then syncs to my desktop client? What is the closest suggestion that anyone might have?

Forgive me for speaking in non-Devonthink terminology Thank you!

The closest thing would be Mail Rules in Apple Mail but (1) we have no control over whether they trigger or not (though it’s better than it used to be), and (2) it does require the machine / Mail / and DEVONthink Pro Office to be open.

There isn’t and never should be a “DEVONthink database in the cloud”. If you had a Mac running headlessly (ie. unattended), it’s possible it could get incoming emails into a DEVONthink database and have that Sync to other devices.

Thank you.

You could use Zapier to send your Gmail messages and/or attachments to a Dropbox folder, which you index in the DEVONthink Inbox or in another database. (A folder can be indexed in multiple locations.) Periodically refresh the indexed group in DEVONthink, select the messages you want to incorporate in your database, and use Move Into Database from the contextual menu.

(The good bits of Zapier are not free - so YMMV.)

This is probably the single biggest thing I miss about evernote. A way to get emails into DT without having my Mac on constantly running scripts. A couple of options I currently use.

  1. Still use evernote to send emails to and import once a week or so into DT.

  2. I created a gmail address that I use to forward emails to and then periodically import the email from that account into DT.

Some type of solution from DT would be awesome. I understand there is no cloud based way since DT is not a cloud service. Surely there must be some way to do this though. I use DTTG 95% of the time. It would be nice to not HAVE to go to my Mac for this.

Are you referring to a mechanism on iOS or macOS??

I was specifically referring to getting email into DT.

With evernote I would quite often forward documents and email to my evernote account so that I could easily reference them later. With evernote, this didn’t require any further steps. I understand that the products are fundamentally different. But this is a feature that I really really miss.

Think of it this way, Evernote is one of your computers. In order to use Evernote in the way you describe requires the Evernote computer to be always on. But to get away from Evernote and bring everything “in-house” you need to have your personal computer on. Same thing. Actually you can turn off your computer and send data via email that can later be routed on your Mac to DT using mail rules and possibly another trick or two. I don’t do this but have read posts here that discuss the process. You might try searching the forum for such posts.

And there are other automations using a set of utilities that route data to a specific folder, search the text looking for specific keywords, rename the file, then route it to a specific indexed folder and voila, it’s in DT. I do this with scanned files that have been “OCR”ed. I throw them into a folder where they are renamed and eventually get into folders/groups in DT - all done in the background.

Could @_Adrian clarify the requirement a bit? Is it the attachments that they want to get into DEVONthink, or is the email’s message text, or both? And does “get emails into [DEVONthink]” mean “get emails into the Global Inbox” or does it mean “get emails into a specific database and group” – or something in between.

@pvonk’s answer, and others, depend on the requirement, somewhat.

I’m with @pvonk. In no case can you avoid some sort of “scripts” or automation or mail rule, etc., putting mail and/or attachments into a folder that DEVONthink indexes – or routines that kick off when DEVONthink is launched and import text or emails or files – or both. The question becomes how to simplify those bits so they operate as seamlessly as possible. Personally, I use a lot of different cloud folders when I want to “send” something to DEVONthink when I’m not logged into the desktop. The “SendToDropbox” service is also useful – though I’m not certain it is still working.

It would be for both. Which is how evernote works. You send an email to an evernote address and the entire email including attachments are included in one evernote note.

As far as where in DT it wouldn’t matter. Preferably the global inbox for later sorting.

Again. I understand the products are different. This really is the one feature of EN that I am missing. I will look into the send to Dropbox service.

Mmmh, wouldn’t it be possible to run DTP on a hiosted macOS server (like For private use probably financially no very viable, but it would be cool. 8)

For private use this would be cool, but financially not very viable, but it would be cool.

As I have found no solution to my above use case of saving emails into DT without a mac running, for the time being, for the one feature of saving emails I still use EN, and then import into DT once a week or so.