DevonThink Dropbox Setup

DevonThink’s Dropbox setup involves local storage and a sync store:

  • local storage: the Database you create the first time you run DevonThink on your Mac regardless of whether or not you ever intend to use Dropbox
  • sync store: the folder created by DevonThink to put a ‘copy’ of your local data in order to facilitate the Dropbox-based automatic synchronization of data between your Macs and iOS devices

Due to MacOS 10.12 Sierra’s new Optimize Storage feature, it is NOT SAFE to store your DevonThink library (i.e.: local storage) in either the Documents or Desktop folders of your Mac’s user account:

  • The developers of DevonThink warn of possible corruption and data-loss if your DevonThink databases are saved locally in your Documents folder AND you have enabled MacOS’s ‘Optimize Storage’ feature [source: Thread in Official DevonTechnologies Forum)
  • Heed this warning even if you decided not to enable this new MacOS feature when you upgraded to Sierra; despite possibly being different from how you normally organize your files, knowing about the feature’s side-effect on some types of files may help you prevent data loss with other apps in the future.

Given this warning, create the local storage folder (e.g.: DevonThinkDB) in the root of your user folder, alongside the Desktop, Documents, Movies, Pictures and Shared folders. By default, Dropbox puts it’s own storage folder here, so it’s not unusual:  /Macintosh HD/Users/Peter/DevonThinkDB/

DevonThink Setup

  • If you have not already done so, then download/install Dropbox on your Mac, create an account, log into it and ensure that it is syncing properly
  • Before opening DevonThink, create a folder using the Finder in your User folder called DevonThinkDB like this:
  • /Macintosh HD/Users/Peter/DevonThinkDB
  • REMEMBER: do NOT create your DevonThink data folder in your Documents or Desktop folders
  • Open DevonThink and create a new database in the newly created DevonThinkDB folder
  • For example, name the database AuntAgatha (DevonThink Pro and Pro Office allow multiple databases; DevonNote and DevonThink allow only a single database)
  • If you have already been using DevonThink with a database prior to trying to set up Dropbox sync, then simply open DevonThink, close that old database, create a new database in the new location, copy the old database to the new location using Finder and then open it from the new location from DevonThink’s File/Open Database menu

DevonThink Dropbox Setup for 2 Macs and multiple iOS devices

  • Create a sync store on your Mac by opening DevonThink’s preferences and clicking the Sync pane

  • Click New Dropbox Account to add your existing Dropbox

 

  • In the Sync Store Name field, type an alphanumeric name without any spaces (e.g.: DT-DB-Db)

 

  • In the Encryption field, type a strong password and retype it in the next field
  • Ensure that all the Options are ticked except Verify uploaded items, then click Ok
  • If you haven’t already set up and authenticated Dropbox with DevonThink, then you will be asked for permission to do so; a web browser (e.g.: Safari, Chrome or Firefox) window will open

 

  • Click the Allow button
  • Type your Dropbox credentials and click Sign In

 

  • If your Dropbox account is configured with 2-Factor Authentication, then you will be asked to enter the code generated by your authentication app
  • Your Dropbox account will open in the web browser
  • Then click the Go to DevonThink Sync button
  • Click the Allow button in the “Do you want to allow this page to open “DEVONthink Pro?” window (it may not appear in versions of MacOS prior to 10.12.x Sierra)

  • Open the Dropbox for Mac app’s Preferences by clicking the Dropbox icon in your Mac’s main menubar and then clicking the Settings icon (gear icon)
  • Open the Account tab
  • Beside Selective Sync, click the Change Settings button
  • uncheck Apps/DevonThink Packet Sync (This is very important so do not skip this step)
  • Click the Update button

 

  • Close the Dropbox for Mac preferences window
  • Return to the Sync pane of DevonThink’s Preferences
  • in the left column, click the Dropbox Sync Store item you created earlier (eg: DT-DB-Db.dtCloud)
  • in the right column, you will see any local databases you have in DevonThink (eg: AuntAgatha)

 

  • Tick the checkbox next to any databases you wish to sync via Dropbox (e.g.: tick AuntAgatha)
  • Ensure that the Synchronize option is set to Automatic
  • Set Max. Connections to 8 [Source: Thread in Official DevonTechnologies Forum; see third (by Jim Neumann) and fifth (by Christian Grunberg) posts]
  • Under Conflicts, tick Duplicate documents so that any conflicts are resolved by simply duplicating the file in question rather than possibly deleting something important by Using the latest version
  • When the database sync is complete, a timestamp of the last successful sync will appear underneath the database name – now we just need to add a second Mac or an iOS device

 

Setup on Additional Macs

(or click here to jump down to the ‘Setup on iPhones/iPads’ section)

  • If you haven’t already done so, then download/install Dropbox on your Mac, create an account, log into it and ensure that it is syncing properly
  • Open the Sync pane in DevonThink for Mac’s preferences
  • Add the sync store to this Mac by clicking New Dropbox Account

 

  • In the Sync Store Name field, type the exact same name you used on the other Mac (e.g.: DT-DB-Db)

 

  • In the Encryption field, type the exact same password you used on the other Mac
  • Ensure that all the Options are ticked except Verify uploaded items
  • click Ok
  • If you haven’t already set up and authenticated Dropbox with DevonThink, then you will be asked for permission to do so; a web browser (e.g.: Safari, Chrome or Firefox) window will open

 

  • Click the Allow button
  • Type your Dropbox credentials and click Sign In

 

  • If your Dropbox account is configured with 2-Factor Authentication, then you will be asked to enter the code generated by your authentication app

 

  • Then click the Go to DevonThink Sync button

 

  • Your Dropbox account will open in the web browser; you can close the window and move to the next step
  • Open the Dropbox for Mac app’s Preferences by clicking the Dropbox icon in your Mac’s main menubar and then clicking the Settings icon (gear icon)

 

  • Open the Account tab
  • Beside Selective Sync, click the Change Settings button

 

  • uncheck Apps/DevonThink Packet Sync (This is very important so do not skip this step)
  • Click the Update button

 

  • Close the Dropbox for Mac preferences window
  • Return to the Sync pane of DevonThink’s Preferences
  • in the left column, click the Dropbox Sync Store item you created earlier (eg: DT-DB-Db.dtCloud)

 

  • in the right column, you will see any remote databases you have in DevonThink (eg: AuntAgatha)
  • find the database you created and added to the sync store on the other Mac (e.g.: AuntAgatha) under the remote section (not the local section)
  • right-click the database and choose Import Database

 

  • Save the imported database to DevonThink’s local store folder (eg: /Macintosh HD/Users/Peter/DevonThinkDB)
  • When the database import completes, it appears in the local section of the Sync pane’s right databases column
  • Ensure that the Synchronize option is set to Automatic
  • Set Max. Connections to 8  [Source: Thread in Official DevonTechnologies Forum; see third (by Jim Neumann) and fifth (by Christian Grunberg) posts]
  • Under Conflicts, tick Duplicate documents so that any conflicts are resolved by simply duplicating the file in question rather than possibly deleting something important by using the latest document

 

  • When the database sync is complete, a timestamp of the last successful sync will appear underneath the database name (eg: Last Synchronization: Today, 8:14:15 AM)

Setup on iPhones/iPads

  • If you haven’t already done so, download and install the free Dropbox app (App Store link)
  • Open the newly installed Dropbox app, log into your Dropbox account or create a new one
  • Ensure that the app is working properly (eg: files are synced so you can view them on your device)
  • Open the DevonThink To Go app
  • Open DevonThink To Go Settings
  • Under the Sync section, tap Edit Locations

 

  • Tap New Dropbox Account as the kind of location you will use
  • New Dropbox Account: Tap Sign In
  • A Dropbox window will open to request access permission for DEVONthink Sync to access it’s own folder
  • Tap Allow
  • You will be taken back to the DevonThink To Go Location settings pane where you must enter the Sync Store information created earlier on your Mac

 

  • Account: your Dropbox account’s username should now automatically appear here
  • Sync store: type the exact name of the Sync Store you created earlier on your Mac (eg: DT-DB-Db)
  • Key: type the encryption key (ie: password) of the Sync Store you created earlier on your Mac and retype it to confirm it
  • Tap Done on the keyboard to hide the on-screen keyboard
  • Configure the Download Files option to Always if you have sufficient storage capacity on your iPhone/iPad to accommodate the size of your database
  • Ensure that Labels and Colours and Reading Positions are ticked but leave Verify uploaded items unticked
  • Tap Save (top right corner of Location pane)

 

  • Once the Location has been connected you will see your Sync Store listed in the Locations pane
  • Tap the new Dropbox-based location name (eg: DT-DB-Db) to see the databases available in your Sync Store

 

  • Tap to enable both the database we created earlier on your Mac (e.g.: AuntAgatha) and the Global Inbox
  • When the database sync completes, a time stamp will appear
  • Tap the Back Button twice to step back to the main Settings pane
  • Exit the Settings pane by tapping the X in the top left corner of the screen
  • Your database will now appear under the Databases section of DevonThink To Go (along with Special and Smart Groups)

 

  • You can now access, read and edit the contents of your database on your iPhone/iPad and any changes will be synchronized to the same database on your other iPhone/iPads and Macs