Thinking of Buying DevonThink To Go.

Is anybody using DevonThink To Go on a daily basis? I am not interested in listing all that is wrong with it, I am simply interested in whether people are managing add stuff to the database on the iPad and then have sync back with out issues. If they can get through a day without having to get up and go to main devonthink app on a mac. I don’t need DevonThink to read PDF’s because I have GoodReader which is great at that, though has a similar heritage to Devon products when it comes to usability.

I have a ~12GB database can I sync it all to my (64GB) iPad? Work on it and sync back and forth, similar to the way OmniFocus works… or??

Thanks in advance.

I just bought DTTG and can’t get it to synch after the first successful synch. Honestly I don’t think it is ready for prime time. If I were you, I would wait till you see on this forum that these issues have been resolved.

It seems that some can sync and some can’t. I have had no problems with sync, but with regard to the OP’s 12GB database, I have a 1GB database on DTTG that is very sluggish. It takes over 12 seconds to open (with no other apps in memory) and there is a noticeable pause in moving between folders. Not a showstopper, but I don’t know what 12GB would do to it.
DTTG v1.1, OS 4.3, iPad 16GB

That may be an iPad performance issue rather than anything to do with DTTG. My main iTunes database (40GB+) takes a while to do anything useful, as do GoodReader, Kindle, and all the rest if given files in the 10 MB+ range. It’s a slick little gadget, but it’s not going to match laptop or desktop performance.

Something to keep in mind, though, is that a larger database will be more likely to run into timeouts, network glitches, and other sync issues. Even more so if it’s big enough to bog down DTTG: to sync changes, the program has to examine and compare at least the metadata for each file.


Yes, I am sure the iPad itself isn’t helping, but I used the same database with the previous release of DTTG and I don’t recall having the same performance issues. Certainly not the 12 seconds waiting for it to open that I experience now with v1.1.

I bought it. It doesn’t work. Only spent 30 minutes on it but…

Syncing fails for anything other than the global inbox, and fails without an error.

Have you replicated any contents into the Mobile Sync group as suggested by the read me?

what is the mobile synch group?

The Mobile Sync group (in version 2.0.9) identifies the content selected for sync to the iOS mobile device.

You can select the desired content and replicate it to the Mobile Sync group, then Sync.

OK Bill
So I replicated some items into the sync group and its synching beautifully with my ipad, the iphone still hangs, although on the iphone it is trying to synch all the folders in the database, not just the mobile sync group. Still it is progress.
Just so that I understand, is the mobile sync group the only thin that is supposed to sync with the ipad?
If I create a document in the ipad DT, a test document, it goes to my Global Inbox on the Mac, is that how it’s supposed to work?
Dr Sterling

The expected behavior (as I understand it) is that the Global Inbox, plus the Mobile Sync groups for each database (there can be more than one), are the only things that sync with DTTG.

A file can be created (in DTTG) in either the Global Inbox or one of the Mobile Sync groups, and should sync to that location on the desktop.

Note that in order to sync, DT on the desktop must be running, and the individual database must be open.


You are absolutely right Katherine. I wonder if that is not the source of all the complaints about not being able to sync to IOS. I for one did not know that it was only those groups that would sync. When I saw the entire database name on the Sync view of my iPad, I just assumed that it was the entire database that would sync. I think perhaps that should be the first thing Bill mentions in his responses to sync problems.
As an aside, do you know what the time out limit is for an iphone synch? My ipad syncs even large book sized pdfs, but my iPhone times out after a couple, am I missing something again?
Dr Sterling

one more thing Katherine, I still get everything created on my iPad to only sync with the Global Inbox on the Mac, it does not seem to matter if I am in a particular database on the iPad or not, everything still goes to the Global Inbox, Do you think that is the expected behaviour?
Dr Sterling

If you are using DT Pro or DT Pro Office, you have a Global Inbox database in addition to other databases that you create.

When you initiate Sync from the iOS device, you will first be asked to confirm the name of the Mac to be synced with.

Then you will be presented a list of all the open databases in DEVONthink (if you are using DT Pro or DT Pro Office). Only those that you check will be subject to synchronization.

If you checked the Global Inbox, it’s contents will all be synced to the iOS device.

If you checked other databases, only the content you had replicated or copied to the Mobile Sync group will be synchronized to the iOS device.

This afternoon I synced a group from my main database that held some references I wanted to examine and make notes about. I opened that group, read a couple of the references. Then, inside that group, I clicked the button that offers the option to create a new note and typed its title and some comments. I saved the note to that group.

As noted elsewhere, what I miss most in iOS is that it doesn’t support creation or editing of rich text documents; only plain text notes are supported. I’m a hyperlink freak. The first thing I did in my Mac database after sync back to the Mac was to convert that plain text note to rich text, then insert links to the two references I had commented on.

Regarding the inability of iOS to create rich text documents, I think it is more correct to state this as the inability to create files in rtf format. The app Essay creates rich text documents in iOS with various text styles, lists and hyperlinks. It does this by creating an html document. Might DTTG consider this approach? It would mean that the html document could easily be converted to rtf in DT on the Mac after synching.

My iPad allows me to create files in any of the databases it has. (Note that this is presented in a slightly confusing manner. If you open one of the databases, you will see two plus signs at the bottom of the file list. One is a plus in a box, and will create the new file in the Global Inbox. The other is a plus by itself, and will create the new file in the Mobile Sync group of the current database.) The expected behavior would be for the new file to sync to the matching database on the desktop, but I can’t remember whether I’ve actually confirmed that this is what occurs.


PS Please note that I am just a DT user, and do not speak for the company.

I’m sure that’s the source of at least some of the complaints. Although in DTech’s defense, this behavior is documented in the Getting Started file for DTTG…


You are right again Katherine.
It is in the manual. I just switched to a mac 3 months ago, and so far I find everything is rather intuitive on the Mac side. I guess the old PC addage still holds here too, if all else fails RTFM :smiley:

Thanks for all your help
Dr Sterling

Did you guys do any focus group work on this? Where did this solution come from?

I have a database. I wanna sync it. If I want/need to subset it for some reason then I’ll create another database called mobile database and replicate stuff into that. But I don’t want to subset my database I just want to sync and work on it and sync it back. Why can’t I do that? Or can I?

You can stuff the entire database into the Mobile Sync group if you like.

For those of us with somewhat larger databases, though, that would be a terrible idea. The iPad interface simply isn’t up to the task. Syncing just materials for a particular project is much more effective for me.