Smart rules for database inboxes

I would like to create a system where files and groups that are drag-dropped into each database are automatically placed into the inbox in each database.

I have been experimenting with Smart Rule, and I ended up creating two Smart Groups to make both files and groups operate that way.

However, I don’t feel comfortable creating two Smart Groups for each database, so I’m trying to merge them into one, but it’s not working.
If there is a way to make this work, please let me know. :neutral_face:
Monosnap 2021-05-21 10-44-07
Monosnap 2021-05-21 10-44-51

Drag & drop is either a move operation (from another database) or an import operation (e.g. from the Finder), therefore it’s not necessary to perform the smart rule regularly. The following conditions & triggers should be sufficient:


[Slightly OT…]

What would be really useful (I believe thesis on the ‘feature request’ list at DEVON HQ?) is a way to expand the predicates of a Smart Rule such that a new item (in the Inbox) could be moved to different Groups according to the criteria set there… e.g. if the file has ‘2020’ in its filename move to one Group; if ‘February’ move to a different one; if ‘2021’ to another etc - just examples :slight_smile:

Would the different destinations be yearly groups, e.g., if the name contains 2021, move it to the 2021 group in this database?

And of course, a script would be an option here.


It would be a script, I’m sure, thanks. Until DT has a ‘Case of’…‘Endcase’ (or similar) construct.


Thank you very much!
Thanks to you, I am able to do this operation.

My only concern is that after this operation, the manipulated files and groups cannot be moved out of the Inbox for an hour.
If I do, they will be returned to Inbox immediately.

Is it possible to add something so that once they are in the Inbox, they can be moved freely?

Currently, I can put them in other groups within the same database, or duplicate them, and they can be moved freely within an hour, so the immediate operation is not a problem.

Also, my hope for the developers is that since there is a Unify Inbox option, this operation should be included as a standard option in the default settings. :grinning:

I’m not sure why you’re under this impression. Can you clarify?

With the application of the previous Rule, the files dropped into the target Databese are now stored in the Inbox of that Database.
It was good,

However, the file is applied to the “Date Added 1 Hour” rule, so if I remove the file from the Inbox within the hour, the above rule will be applied again and the file will go back to the Inbox.

Have you actually tested to see if this is true, if this is what happens, @ham1?

Hi, please take a look this screenshot(mp4)
Last one I was able to copy it, (with option key down)

The simple solution to this would be for the original rule to add a marker - that could be a tag, label or flag, and for the conditions of the rule to state marker is not marked (e.g. Tag is not Inboxed). Depending on how the files which you want automatically moved to the inbox actually arrive in DT, you could forgo the on moving trigger and use only the on import trigger - that too would allow you to handle the files within the hour without them being automatically moved back.


Thanks a lot for the detailed explanation!
I’ll try a little trial and error based on what you wrote.

I usually just let the Global Inbox do the assignment to a particular database with a color label for each of my databases attached to each file and which gets placed in by Global Inbox folder in my finder. A couple seconds later the file has been dealt to my personal project database, financials, or my research library.
Also, one of the real gems I discovered was the “Classify” action in the smart rules. I do a fair amount of Pre-dvt processing with Hazel for bills, statements, and other documents and then deposit them to the Global Inbox. I was tied in knots trying to figure out how to specify in the rule the nuances of distinguishing the electric bill from the payment receipt for each month etc. I was amazed when I noticed the classify action how few learning trials were necessary (for my use anyway) before Devonthink was placing items exactly where I wanted them time and again. Maybe worth a go?

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Thanks for sharing that experience! It’s a nice example of the AI working in action. :slight_smile: