Some text documents are losing their contents

I’m using DTTG 1.5.7b (build 2529) on my iPhone, whose system is iOS 6.1.3., and I’m having trouble.

At first, it’s fine. However, as times goes by, some text documents on DTTG gradually lose their contents. Only their titles remain. Once you open a document, all you see is just a blank sheet. About one eighth of my documents get content-less. Though the data on DEVONnote 2.8.10 remains fine, you will never get the correct data back to iPhone, how many times you sync.

Eventually you have no choice but to resort to resetting at Start-up. This solves the problem, but only for some time, it seems.

Could you please help me out?

The latest build of DEVONthink To Go is 1.5.8.
The latest build of iOS is 9.3.1.
If you are indeed running iOS 6, this is no longer supported.

I wanted to check if the syncing issues for DTTG have been fixed.

I am looking for two functionalities at the very least: 1. to read the documents and notes from the databases and 2. to add notes (stuff I think of, information I see on the web, or information from emails). Is this possible with the app? And is it seamless?

Syncing works very well for me, with GB’s worth of data in the MobileSync folders in various databases. But other people seems to have less positive experiences; it is not clear why. There have been issues in the recent past, for example related to items being in the trash, but that has been fixed. From my view, you should be good to go.

Adding notes: A big problem with iOS is the incomplete support of RTF. If you sync RTFs from the Mac, and then edit them in DTTG, some formatting can be lost. That’s why there is a warning. Same thing with OmniFocus. You can certainly create a note in DTTG, whatever minimal formatting is available will transfer to the Mac, in my experience.

Clipping information from browsers etc to DTTG is something I avoid. For one, it doesn’t always pan out as expected. I ended up with the following technique: Whenever I find a webpage of interest while on iOS, I will email the link to myself. When I’m back on the Mac, I open the link in Safari, and use the DT clipping extension to (typically) import the page to DT as “one page pdf”. I will then immediately crop the result to get rid of useless sidebars and advertisements in them.

To me, the computer is still the “hub”, the anchor of my digital universe. Claims that the iPad Pro (which I have and love to use) is replacing the computer are a joke, at least for my workflow. I use DTTG to make my information available on iOS. But all the organizing etc is done on the computer.

The one thing where the iPad is just perfect is annotating pdfs or even Word documents. The pdfs are in DT/DTTG and then I send them to iAnnotate for marking them up, send them back to DTTG and then they’ll sync home to the Mac. I love that workflow (except for the terrible, non-descriptive filenames that you get on the round trip from DTTG to iAnnotate).
Word is trickier, as it does not allow you on iOS to send files back to another application (typical MS move). Those I sync via Dropbox and have them indexed into DT on the Mac side.

I’ve got the iPad Pro and I am finding it to be surprisingly productive in my workflow. I used to rely almost exclusively on the iPad for work, and even wrote a fair chunk (most?) of my dissertation on it. At the time, I found a mixture of PDF Expert, Dropbox, Evernote, notesy (synced through Dropbox to Scrivener on the Mac), VoodooPad, DTTG, and Pages to be quite effective (when Pages got footnotes, that helped a lot).

How I got here (tl;dr)

As my teaching load increased, and my responsibilities inside and outside of universities grew, I found I needed a much higher level of security (mainly for other people’s data that came through my hands) than Evernote could (or would even consider) offering, so DTTG (and DTPO on the Mac) became a lot more critical to my workflow. VoodooPad became abandonware, and I spent more and more time with the Mac (the Macbook made it a lot easier to work anywhere). I actually didn’t expect the iPad Pro to be of much use. I just wanted the Pencil for marking up papers and other documents. I’ve been thrilled with the Macbook, and even if I cannot use it in many situations (in meetings, standing in front of a classroom, traveling, etc.), it has still been quite effective.

The iPad Pro Works

But, a couple of weeks after getting it (the 9.7), I think it is fair to say that I now do about 80 or 90% of my work on it (as I used to, but this time, with fewer pain points). It is nowhere near as flexible or powerful (mainly limited by iOS) as my Macbook. But, it is always with me, and a lot of apps have improved considerably over the years. Basically, I’ve found that the closer I work with Apple stuff, the better off I am (in my workflow). Pages is inferior to Word in terms of functionality, but does what I need, and is a lot easier (and more enjoyable) to work with on the iPad. Numbers has never been very pleasant, and it is somehow less so these days, but it does what I need (I tend to keep my attendance and grade records separate – attendance in iCloud and grades unsynced on my computer; I just don’t feel comfortable putting data like that unencrypted onto the cloud). Keynote is great for the relatively simple presentation slides I use – I’ve never been into flashy transitions and so forth anyhow. For more heavy-duty formatting and functionality, Microsoft products generally come out ahead, and they exist on the iPad, but I think they are still a poor fit for the environment.

Apple Notes

The big surprise has been Apple Notes. It is a real app now. I had know idea I would like it, because it is still shockingly primitive in terms of sorting, organizing, searching, formatting, and exporting content. It does, though, have reliable formatting, excellent support for the Pencil, a rock solid sync (not so in the past), and one-touch encryption / decryption (exactly what I need). My biggest problem with it at the moment is that I need to get stuff out as PDFs to save into DTPO for archiving / organization (finding connections via the AI). I have given up trying to write my own script to get everything to export as PDF files, but I am on the hunt for one (anyone want to help?). Once I get this export thing figured out, I am all set. A cool alternative to Apple Notes is GoodNotes, which has fantastic handwriting recognition (inferior to Evernote’s, in my experience, but secure without syncing to the cloud, so possibly the best product out there for the security-conscious). The less worried you are about security, and the more willing you are to make use of the cloud, the more you will get out of the Pro. I am probably an outlier for using the cloud so little (a little iCloud, a little Dropbox, and a lot of Spideroak).


DTTG I am mainly using to sort, organize, and search data. To the OP’s point, with the exception of a nasty RTF bug a year or so ago that converted my Japanese notes to gibberish, it has not had any significant data loss / corruption issues (beyond user error), as far as I can remember. It isn’t quite there yet for me in terms of content creation. How can DTTG step up and compete more effectively with Evernote and Apple Notes? Pencil support. I don’t even want to suggest this, because I know that adding support for another feature will delay the release of DTTG2, and it is more important to get that out the door than have support for everything under the sun. After using the iPad Pro, though, and seeing how the keyboard, iOS, and Pencil combination work so well (finally, the iPad seems to be realizing its potential), I can see how this might be a game changer (it has been for my workflow, but I cannot speak for everyone else, and I don’t know how the Pro sales are doing). And, if possible, DTTG needs to find a way to rationalize / streamline the iPad experience. This is something that Evernote (to a significant degree) and Apple (even more so) have managed, but often with the sacrifice (unnecessary, in my opinion) of functionality.

I cannot sync between my iphone and mac. I use the latest versions of DT on both, tried creating a network from my mac, reset the iphone, and followed other advise in older threads of this blog. Nothing works.

Do you have your firewall turned on and disallowing DEVONthink traffic?

Are you in a corporate / public environment that disallows Bonjour or unknown ports / devices on its network?

Do you mean you’ve tried an ad hoc network from your Mac?