682: Full of Surprises

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Thanks for another great episode! I have a follow up question or two. I heard David say he is synching his Devonthink databases between his Macs via iCloud (or perhaps “the cloud”) and this is working fine. I would like to know specifically how this is being accomplished (i.e. are the databases simply in a folder nested under Documents with both Macs pointing to the same databases)? If so, I assume there haven’t been read/write conflicts? Database corruption? I ask this because in general I don’t believe DT endorses databases in cloud settings other than for backup/archival purposes.

I have to say, if this works, it would be very helpful as even Bonjour synching between my Macs has created issues from time to time. Also, is this configuration compatible with DTTG?

David’s DevonThink Field Guide actually got me involved with DT; took me down the rabbit hole as the popular saying goes… Can’t recommend it highly enough if you are a new, prospective, or even seasoned DT user. (All his guides are well crafted and helpful.

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When I hear about an acquisition like Evernote’s, I assume the new owners are vulture capitalists, whose goal is to extract maximum revenue from a locked-in user base while providing minimal upgrades and support. The export limit on notes reinforces this impression.

I live not far from @MacSparky . I’ve been grumbling to my wife lately that I can’t wait to stop complaining about the cold weather and start complaining about the heat again.

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Unless things have changed since I closed my EN account you can still export entire Notebooks

  • Evernote currently supports exporting up to 100 notes at a time or entire notebooks.
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Hmmm… unless I need to clean the wax out of my ears, I’m pretty sure I heard the MPU podcast this week say that there’s now a 100-note limit on the number of notes that can be exported from Evernote.

That appears to be a serious error, based on the page you linked to.

While it’s true that your only choices are up to 100 notes or an entire notebook, as I recall it is super-easy to select a group of any number of notes and break them out into a separate notebook.

Still: I would be reluctant to switch to Evernote, based on its current ownership situation. And while I would not switch away as long as the application was working for me, I’d try to have an escape plan in mind.

I switched away from EN a few years ago when the performance on my Mac became so slow as to make the app hard to use. Also, I noticed search wasn’t finding content on the iPhone and iPad–and search was a major reason I was using EN, so switching away became very attractive.


For DT Sync I use Dropbox. It seems to be the recommended path. I’ve not had any corruption issues. Since a DT database is just a folder of files, I don’t see whole ton of risk, short of changing the same file on two devices at the same time.

You can export an entire notebook in the new Evernote. I’ve done this recently (173 notes from a particular notebook) and it works perfectly.

And even if it was 100 notes or 50 notes as a limit, it’s more than the Apple Notes app they recommend lets you export – that is to say, more than 0. So I’m not sure why Evernote is so evil and Apple Notes is so open and amazing. Their judgement in the note-taking space is heavily biased IMO. They obviously didn’t bother to research any of this – just hop on the Evernote hate train.


I still use Evernote for a few things. I can attest, I’ve had no trouble exporting a whack ton of stuff in recent months - mostly into DevonThink.

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This is one of the main reasons I use Obsidian. In the end, they are all just text files on my hard drive and I never have to worry about lock-in to an app.

I suspect he is using DEVONthink’s built-in option where you select iCloud as the method to sync (in Sync tab of the app’s settings pane), as opposed to just putting his databases in iCloud. iCloud was added as an option there a few years ago. They had one method initially, and they came up with a better method.


@MacSparky The AppleScript to toggle the analogue clock ON or OFF didn’t work on my iMac running macOS 12 Monterey simply because the key ‘IsAnalog’ was missing in “com.apple.menuextra.clock” (screenshot


It’s only after running the command “defaults write com.apple.menuextra.clock IsAnalog -bool false” in the terminal that I was finally able to toggle the analogue clock via AppleScript (screenshot #2)

No hate train to jump on, Evernote is just a garbage app and they just had a massive increase in their subscription price

The app David uses to switch screen resolutions is called Display Menu, I thought it would be helpful to provide a link here since I went looking for it. It’s free but I believe if you want the Apple Script support, you need a small IAP ($2.79 CAD).

My personal use case is when working on my laptop screen and doing some dev work, having the extra pixels on screen is really helpful on the 14" display.

Here’s the basic Apple Script that I added:

tell application "Display Menu"
	select resolution "1800 x 1169 120.0 Hz" on display "Built-in Retina Display"
end tell

@MacSparky you mentioned having IFTTT connected to Day One. Does that not circumvent the privacy protections offered by Day One?

I’ve been very hesitant to allow Make, Zapier, or IFTTT access to anything sensitive. I just tried to add IFTTT integration to day one and it asked for my day one password.

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