DEVONthink: evangelicalism & geekery (II)

[2] Script support
part of a series

One of DEVONthink’s best features is its great script support, which I love & use extensively. I’ll give three examples. One is based on John Wiegley’s GTD script, which I use to form the superstructure of the database. I have an inbox, where everything initially goes when it’s imported and gets sorted from. But Wiegley’s GTD setup also enables you to set up Notes and Tasks folders, and input quick notes or tasks into them via a simple dialog box.


If you use Quicksilver (and why wouldn’t you?) you can of course set up a hotkey trigger to call up this dialog box no matter what program you’re using — so you don’t even have to leave your current window. It’s the digital equivalent of scribbling a fleeting thought on a scrap of paper — except that you’ll never lose that scrap of paper again. When I’m done with a task or have dealt with a note, ticking the checkbox beside each entry sends it directly to my Trash.

DEVONthink also features smart groups, which are folders with particular scripts associated with them. In my database superstructure are four coloured folders, and these are set up so I can flag up certain files or notes buried deep in my database and make sure I don’t forget that I need to deal with them. To do this, I use DT’s label system to mark a given file or folder as one of seven (customizable) options:


and then tell the corresponding folder to automatically suck all files and folders marked with that label into it. This gives me a handy list on tap of things that I need to read (PhD), things that I want to read in general (AutoDidact), things I still need to make notes on, and a “Today” folder, which will have been filled the night before with four or five things I need to read or deal with — my way of making sure that I get through a certain amount of work every day.

I’ve also used DT smart groups to simulate a tagging system — DT Pro (at present) doesn’t come with one, though I hear it will in the future. Each of my tag groups is a folder associated with a ‘Comment’ script, which looks in the comments field (rather than the whole body of text) associated with each file or folder and replicates a given matched word into it.


Tomorrow: Sheets and semantic concordance!

5 responses to “DEVONthink: evangelicalism & geekery (II)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: