Starting over...please help!

I feel a little like Dante, whose poem begins:

Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita
mi ritrovai per una selva oscura,
ché la diritta via era smarrita.

Ahi quanto a dir qual era è cosa dura
esta selva selvaggia e aspra e forte
che nel pensier rinova la paura!

I’ve used Devonthink for years–long enough to have tens of thousands of documents scanned, but all of it chaotic. I’d like to find a way to start over.

  • I want to store all the files off my Mac’s physical hard drive, which has scarcely any space left. I have a good SSD drive, 500 gigs, which is more than adequate. I will back up the files to another external hdd.
  • I want to be able to put all the files on that external hdd, and have only the DT Pro program files on my laptop.
  • When I use DT Pro, I’d plug in the external hdd and open the database there.

As things now stand, when I run the “verify and repair” utility, it tells me that lots of files are missing. I have a hunch that’s because I use iCloud, and with the lack of space on my hdd, iCloud seems to upload a lot of the files to the cloud, where they’re not available.

Forgive me for the scattered nature of these comments. It’s the sort of post written by a guy who’s a bit per una selva oscura. Thanks in advance for any help!

Other than running your databases off an external SSD drive – what does “starting over” mean for you?

You speculate that the “missing” reports in V&R are due to iCloud offloading files because of the space limits on your boot drive. Are you sure that the files exist in iCloud?

If your boot drive is almost out of space, you are likely to encounter other issues. Can you uninstall apps, offload other (non-DEVONthink) data to free-up space on the boot drive? Have your removed duplicates?

While it is certainly possible to use DEVONthink databases stored on the external SSD, you need to practice first to ensure you are comfortable with the experience. So, like anything else, just start. Create a database stored on the SSD, or move a database to that location – although moving will possibly cause indexing issues – so import the files into the database before closing the database, then removing it from “Recent Databases” and “Favorites”. Move the database to the external drive, then File > Open Database….

I assume you have more issues concerning database organization – apart from your issues with what drive your data is stored on. Please explain what the organization issues are and what you want the outcome to be. (For what it’s work “be better organized” is not a goal anyone can help you with without knowing what the goal means to you.)