Transaction date?

I’m considering moving from Mariner’s Paperless to Devonthink Pro Office. I’ve used DPT for a few years and been very happy with it, but I have not used it for entering receipts. Primarily this has been because I have not found a way to have a “transaction date field” in DPT. This may or may not be the same as the “date created.” For example, if I want to use a smart collection to show all receipts containing the tag “tax” for the year 2011, I want to include those receipts with a transaction date within 2011, not the date of the created record. The only option that I see is to use a tag “tax” and a second tag with the year, e.g. “2011,” in order for the smart collection to work.

I would appreciate any other suggestions.

I like to use a Name such as ‘Receipt Acme 20110710’ so that I’ve got the vendor name and transaction date in the document’s name. By expressing the date as YYYYMMDD, I can do a Wildcard search using the ‘’ character to find all the receipts for a year, using the query 'receipt 2011’ to pull all of them for the year 2011.

Or the Creation Date can be set as the transaction date, using the Set Date script (Scripts > Dates > Set Date). Then, in the full Search window, the Advanced button can be set up to select date (or in an upcoming release, a range of dates) as a filter on a Name search for ‘receipt’. To turn the search into a smart group, press the ‘+’ button to the right of the Query field in the full Search window.

The ability to create custom date fields has to be far and away the most requested feature since I’ve been browsing this forum. I don’t know if its on the list of features to be implemented but if it is, it has to be very high on the list.

Tom S.

It occurs to me that my reply was not very helpful. Let me try again.

iCal does a better job of handling dates than DT probably ever will anyway. Here’s how I handle such things:

  1. Create a calendar called “Transactions”
  2. Create an appointment in this calendar called “My Item, ACME Co.”
  3. Copy the appointment to the clipboard
  4. Go to DT and select the item with the receipt.
  5. Right click and choose “New from Template” -> “iCal Event”

This should create an item which has a link embedded to the receipt. It will also have a “UID”. Copy the UID and do a search in iCal to find the entry with the date.

I might also add that copying the item link and pasting it into the URL field of the appointment will provide a link back to the receipt if you think that’s necessary. Obviously you will want to leave the calendar unchecked so that you don’t have to see it when looking at your appointments for the day.

The disadvantages to this method are:

  1. Its just a little clunky (though not as bad as it sounds if you actually try it).
  2. You have to search for the dated item and the receipt separately because they aren’t the same item and they exist in two different applications (though if you use Spotlight you can find them with the same search).

The advantages to this method are that:

  1. You can use it for as many date types as you like. All you have to do is create a new calendar for each type.
  2. You get to keep the creation date field for the use it was meant for.
  3. You get all of the advantages of being able to search for and manipulate the entries that a real calendar application can provide.

Tom S.