Smart group sync

Hi there

this one has been discussed a few times already but maybe meanwhile perception of the issue itself changed.

In the end it comes down to I’d like to create smart groups that can be synced to DTTG. I understand the issue of the smart group’s content on the desktop may change after syncing but maybe it would already be enough to give the group another name and define it as a one way sync (desktop -> DTTG) @ runtime only.


Smart groups don’t have document content. They hold search criteria, and the search is performed when the smart group is opened, to show the list of search results (automatically updating to include new content that meet the criteria, each time the smart group is opened).

A problem in attempting smart group syncing to an iOS device is that search functionality isn’t as powerful as on a Mac, so that not all search criteria are functional under iOS. Which is to say, opening a smart group in iOS would often not match the list shown on a Mac.

Given that issue, about the best that could be done would be to try to copy at Sync time the current list of search results of a smart group on the Mac. That would not be a true, functional smart group in iOS. I’m not sure how useful that would be.

I don’t read the OP’s request as wanting to sync smart groups. I believe the request is wanting to use something like a smart group to tell DEVONthink what to sync to DEVONthink to Go. There’s a difference. If I’m headed to a client site and I just want to load my iPad with Word documents from the past 30 days with “merger” in the name, then a smart group is a great way to quickly find those things. Yes, I could then select the found documents in the smart group and replicate them to Mobile Sync. But maybe it would be simpler for some users to merely have a “Sync to DTTG” option in the smart group editor – or something else that would satisfy the suggestion. I like the OP’s idea and would use it. I have no idea how to make it happen (beyond my pay grade :laughing: ), and I’ll admit my first reaction was the usually response to this question (“you can’t do it because you can’t do it”), but I’ll bet there is a germ of an interesting concept to improve the features of sync.

Interesting suggestion, korm. Use the list displayed in a smart group as fodder to be synced to DEVONthink To Go.

Why couldn’t that be as simple as replicating the displayed documents to the Mobile Sync group (perhaps to a new group created for that purpose)?

This is above my pay grade also, but I’ve always thought the bigger challenge is what would happen to documents created in the synced smart group in DTTG? They would need to appear somewhere when synced back to the database. Inbox, Root level, or ??

Having said that, didn’t someone at DEVON indicate that they were looking into the possibility of adding this functionality in DEVONthink to Go 2?

Putting them into the root of MobileSync might be a likely place, since MobileSync is “home” for DTTG synchronizations.

(That said, I think MobileSync is also a bit old fashioned – not many apps these days require us to use bespoke groups like MobileSync for cross-platform syncing. But, that’s a different rat hole to chase down. Where’s the rocket scientist when we need him? :laughing: )

Ok, sorry for the confusion let me try to be more precise: it would be cool if there would be kind of special smart group sync that - at the time you start synchronization would take the actual document contents of the smart group search on the desktop and sync them into a static folder on the iOS device (no need to search on iOS), I just want to carry with me all the documents that were displayed in the smart group the last time I worked with DT.

This - in the end - is the manual workaround for what I am suggesting here. But it’s a pain to do so and and would be neat if that @syncTime approach with a static sync folder on Ios would be taken into account. :slight_smile:

Exactly what I’m asking for … smart group on Mac → static folder on iOS (but maybe not a single default one but one per smart group on Mac so that you can still kind of organize things on iOS in creating multiple smart groups).


It would be fully ok (for me) if this would be a clear one-way-street, just Mac to iOS … if not the document ID within DT is kept and updated documents would be synced back to the original doc (but that would be the platinum version)

Or, even easier … IF we would consider this a one-way-sync Mac to iOS and IF you would then change the document, why not in this case put it into some other location on DTTG in order to enable you to sync/ merge later as you like.

I cannot imagine where one-way sync/moving documents to a holding location/etc. would/could ever be an option with DEVONthink. Better to lobby for a full sync that also provides a means to sync the contents of smart groups.