Done! Nuke/Pave, ALL files in iCloud, duplicates gone, new workflow

Well, after my ordeal several weeks ago requiring a Nuke and Pave, I have also:

  • Moved all of my DEVONthink files to iCloud to access through Spotlight (and perhaps Alfred). I’m hoping that if Apple does a good job with the implementation :crossed_fingers: of iCloud sharing that having all of my files on iCloud will be ideal.
  • Ran Gemini 2 on every folder
  • Ran CleanMyMac three times

The result of all of this work and hassle? A faster running MBP with plenty of storage left and one less application with which to deal (DT).

I’ve also simplified my workflow.

So, I’m feeling on top of things with a good handle on my projects and files. :slight_smile:

So much for my weekend! Ha!


I have been thinking about doing this as well, and would love to learn from your experience. I want to be able to access files on my iPhone as well as on my desktop. DT seemed like overkill, but I did want to be able to search. My question is, do I have to move my home folder to iCloud drive? How did you set it up?

Also, I want offline access on my iOS device to at least some files. Is that something you were able to do with iCloud drive?

I’m not sure what you are calling your home folder but ALL of my documents and files are in iCloud and available on all of my devices—MBP, iPhone, and iPad. Most reside in iCloud and are easily accessible when online. Any files that I have downloaded to my device are also available on that device when I don’t have internet connection, e.g., when flying. I use the desktop folders in Files for temporary storage of files I want to access quickly and easily on all of my devices, e.g., the screen shots I’m sharing for this post.

I will also add—and I don’t think this is my imagination—after everything finally settled down and was fully synced, iCloud has been nearly instantaneous in syncing across my devices.

I have also found that since I OCR nearly all PDFs and I use a good file naming protocol that I can find anything I need quickly using Spotlight. So far—but it is early—I’m not missing DT though it is a good program, albeit eccentric. :slight_smile:

I’m hoping that if/when Apple implements iCloud sharing that this will eliminate any need for Dropbox.

I hope this helps.

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This may risk threadjacking, but I’ll ask anyway, because this is a terrific story that gives me and all my digital hoarding hope.

So, at work, we use Microsoft One Drive. One thing that completely impressed me about the implementation is that it’s super easy to choose if any given file or folder lives only on your computer, only in the cloud, or both.

I’m no iCloud guru, but it seems like the system doesn’t work elegantly in this way. I find that data is almost always in both places UNLESS Apple somehow decides to do something about it, but I don’t know what magic is involved in making those decisions. It seems like it’s very hard to control where all the data is.

Honestly, I’d love it if there was a way for me to house ALL of my files in iCloud unless actively in use, and for the files that are on my local drives to automatically revert back to iCloud after a set amount of days, unless specifically designated otherwise.

Do you have something in place to handle this level of file management?

Let me first say that I am a strong end user but have no development, coding, or automation experience. There are those on this forum who will be in a much better position to answer your questions. That said, my understanding and experience (unless I’m misinterpreting what I’m seeing) is that now that I moved everything into iCloud, no documents are on my MBP unless I have accessed them, in which case they are both in iCloud AND on the device I used to access the file. For me this means that documents that I’m saving for possible use if and as needed, e.g., receipts, manuals, research remain in the cloud and not on my device unless I download them, in which case they are in both locations. Either way, Spotlight finds them.

Here are some screen shots that may be helpful. Please note the iCloud symbols.

OTHERS: please chime in if I have this wrong.

Thank you very much for your response. It seems like it’s pretty straightforward, with the only question being “when you’re done using a file you’ve downloaded, how do you get it back to iCloud only?” Knock on question being if this change can be made automatically based on time, I suppose.

Most of this line of inquiry stems from my having a mere half terabyte of storage in my iMac, so I’m always looking for ways to make life a little more airy in that thing.

I’m not sure of an easy way to return the document to iCloud only. My best guess is that you would make the changes, make sure the changed document is in iCloud and then delete–carefully–the version stored locally. That is a painful work around. The other option would be to use something like DT but you are still eating up disk space through the database(s) and backups of same.

Given what you have said, I think I’d find all documents that are probably archivable and seldom if ever needed and move them to an external storage device and/or a cloud service. If you can free up enough space that way, you will not need to worry so much about local storage and can process the files much the way I am.

HI - If you open the icloud drive and go to the items location - you can press ALT/OPT and drag the file to the desktop - this copies the file to the local drive - work on it and then drag it back to to the icloud drive and overwrite the older one - or just work on the file, this will then automatically update when you save

This may work for you:
Bailiff is a simple menubar app which lets you evict iCloud files and folders from local storage, or download them when you want. Saves your Mac’s startup disk from getting cluttered with files you don’t want or use. Update checks its integrity when run, and is compatible with Catalina.

@tjluoma originally posted about this.

@Bmosbacker Thank you again for sharing your workflow. I am curious after a couple of months of usage how it has gone and whether there are any drawbacks?