What is the point of the global inbox DB

I implement a sort of GTD with DEVONthink. For that I have one go to database with all of my materials, my digital life. I set it up separately from Global Inbox. Any new filings go into the Inbox of Global Inbox and from there I file them to wherever they belong. It works well, but what is the point of having a separate DB only for the global inbox?

  • Every time I move an item it changes database, so it is uploaded to a new database to sync to all devices.
  • In DTTG it is more cumbersome to move stuff to a different DB than within a DB (deeper navigation menus).
  • My separate database also has an Inbox. Why not use that?

My usage is historically grown, it has always been like this and I remember encouragement to leave it like this, but no details.

So, what is the point of the global inbox as a second DB in 2021?

If I migrate away from it, how can I use the Inbox of my separate DB globally (on all devices)? It seems like in DTTG there is no option for this. New documents go into the inbox of global inbox. Or should I just sort everything in the global Inbox DB. (I guess up to renaming DBs this is no difference).

From Help > Getting Started > DEVONthink Simplified > Databases

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OK, thanks. I vaguely remember reading that. It answers my question as “that’s the way it is” but not really why. What’s described in the help can be implemented with the INBOX group of any database or just a configurable group that serves as the global inbox. OK, sure, one might be in a situation where that inbox is not available because the database is closed. I can see how the model simplifies some things from the programmers point of view, but especially filing stuff is cumbersome in DTTG when stuff moves from one DB into another. So maybe it’s a DTTG design issue…

How do you add “Global Inbox” to the Finder?

See page 130 in the DEVONthink Manual (ver 3.6.2). Outstanding document that @BLUEFROG authored… Also can be found in Help.


It is highly useful in organic searching and even when procrastinating :slight_smile:

You don’t always have a database for every subject you may encounter. And there may be things you don’t want to or have time to deal with now. The Global Inbox is a good place to just put things to get to later.

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What is organic searching?

Also, I have only one database other than global inbox. I organize stuff into groups in the one database. It would feel more natural if INBOX would be just a group in the one database and the whole databases interface was hidden.

I understand that it can be useful further layer of hierarchy though, eg when it comes to sharing in bigger teams etc.

Sometime known as rabbit-trailing, organic searching is either general, unfocused browsing, or tangential browsing where something captures your attention and your searching diverges onto other subjects.

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