Yet another DevonThink topic


I also use DT indexing exclusively. It’s worked well and I do not have to rely as much on sync as the files are available through the files app. DT sync has been painful for me.

What is weird is that I found sync was more reliable with DT2 compared to DT3.

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Is it DEVONthink or the sych host your problem? Have you narrowed it down? If so how? Can you share your test results for this conclusion?

I’ve had the exact opposite experience, and find DT3’s sync to be quicker and more reliable that DT2’s was.

That said, I have the most basic “direct network” sync going, so my usage is nothing special or out of the ordinary.

Do however think though that the how/what/where of the sync, since it is so open to alternatives, no doubt plays a major role in issues (or the lack thereof).


You are absolutely right. I was using Dropbox sync and then moved to iCloud sync when I upgraded to v3.

I only recently started using direct sync as I figured I did not need instant sync. It’s too early to report whether direct sync has been working well. Will report back in a few weeks. Certainly is better than iCloud sync.

iCloud known to be unreliable for synching DEVONthink. I don’t understand why DEVONthink users keep trying to bend iCloud to their will and then blame DEVONthink. Dropbox works well for me (and ensure to NOT enable what they call “smart sync” even though they push it on their desktop app).

While Dropbox works (and I keep it running), doing a local sync with Bonjour works best (as I’m not doing any travelling or coffee-shop working now) and don’t need to rely on Dropbox. I keep both running. For Bonjour to work properly only ONE machine (the “server”) should have “accept incoming connections enabled”, e.g. do not turn on this option on any machines/devices but the server.

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I agree blaming Devonthink is probably unfair. However, when Devonthink says that it supports iCloud sync, I tend to take their word for it. Especially when Devonthink costs $200.

I agree, sync is no easy task and iCloud tends to be unreliable with certain apps. Devonthink is a complex app and so sync isn’t as straight forward as Apple notes or Drafts etc.

However, if I am paying $200 I kinda want sync to work well with all services they say they support.

Devonthink is important to me and as such, I am happy to use direct sync with my Mac mini server. I also respect the people behind it and I am sure they are doing the best they can and sync will only get better with time.


From the DEVONthink manual:

One thing to realize with iCloud syncing, the sync is done locally. After sync is finished, iCloud uploads to Apple’s servers, then to devices using your Apple ID. This means databases may not be immediately available to sync on the other devices. The initial sync requires patience, as DEVONthink has no control over the speed and reliability of iCloud’s process. It syncs to the iCloud folder, iCloud does the rest.


thank you @rms

I am very much aware of this. And I patiently waited for the initial sync to finish in all my devices. After this process is finished, I still had sync issues.

I call it like it is. Devonthink iCloud sync is not reliable. For now, direct sync is working well. But when I say something isn’t working, I do not base that on a day or two. It’s based a period of time after going through the necessary troubleshooting.

Agree that iCloud sync in DEVONthink is slow at best, unreliable at worst.

That broke my heart a bit, as I’m drawn to DEVONthink (and have used it successfully to organize large projects, like a book on Celtic folklore). I love the See Also feature, which I believe is the most powerful feature DEVONthink brings to the table. And results I got when using DEVONthink to analyze years of dream journal entries blew me away. (There’s a related post on my personal site, if folks are interested.)

But, I really don’t care for the gray, utilitarian, multi-pane environment … and, in the end, the unreliable syncing and the lack of a useful iOS app were deal killers for me.

Have to agree on that statement. DTTG development is extremely slow and desperately needs an update ASAP

I’d like to see that! Link, please?

Sure, @MitchWagner


Really enjoyed the article.Have started to write a dream journal. Unfortunately the half life of dream memory is about 2 minutes…


@Coulmac – it’s a bit off-topic, but I’ll quickly encourage you, I hope, by saying the more you pay attention to dreams, the more memorable they become. :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you. This was a great read. Added you to my Feedbin feed :slight_smile:

I am finding real joy in reading blogs/thoughts of other people.

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Found it, and one or two articles on your blog. And now I’m subscribed. Thanks!

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Thanks - very useful.

Re indexing v. Importing-this is my current issue with DT. I’m indexing and iCloud folder (and syncing via iCloud, which I don’t think is the issue).

Sync for me is fine; it works through iCloud on a number of devices (iMac, MacBook Pro, 2 iPads and iPhone). Seems quite robust. The problem for me is indexing the iCloud folder.

Anything deleted within DT syncs fine and the indexed folder in iCloud reflects the changes. But doing it the other way round (deleting from within the iCloud folder) does not prompt deletion within DT-the deleted item is still there. I have to do an ‘update indexed files’ menu item manually.

Do you have that issue? Love to know if you’ve found a solution :slight_smile:

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Interesting. Is this on DEVONthink 3?

I think indexing has gotten a lot better in DT3, but I do notice some weird behaviours once in a while—not often enough to discern a pattern, though, and nothing has really caused me problems.

Yes on latest version :frowning: I reached out to DT and they said

“That’s a known shortcoming to avoid data loss in case of synchronized databases containing indexed cloud folders as the deletion inside the [cloud] folder could be the result of using the command Move into database on another Mac.”


Hm. To be fair it is a tricky thing—Indexing a cloud-based file means tasking several different services with keeping track of it (and, in a sense, competing to do so). I would recommend trying to stick to a personal protocol that avoids the errors (and backup, backup, backup). Maybe someday it’ll get better!

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