In my perpetual effort to get out of work, I’ve developed a suite of automation tools to help file statements that I download from banks, credit cards and others. While my setup described here is tuned to my specific needs, any of the ideas should be adaptable for your particular circumstances. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you already have Hazel. None of what follows will be of much use to you without it.
In DEVONthink, I tag a lot. It’s an integral part of my strategy for finding things in my paperless environment. As I wrote about previously hierarchical tags are a big part of my organizational system in DEVONthink. For many years, I tagged subject matter with tags that emmanate from a single tag named topic_, but it was really an unnecessary top-level complication. So, the first item on my to-do list was to get rid of the all tags with a topic_ first level.
Since DEVONthink is my primary knowledge-management and repository tool on the macOS desktop, I constantly work with mechanisms for efficiently getting data into and out of it. I previously wrote about using Hazel and DEVONthink together. This post extends those ideas about and looks into options for preprocessing documents in Hazel before importing into DEVONthink as a way of sidestepping some of the limitations of Smart Rules in the latter. I’m going to work from a particular use-case to illustrate some of the options.
Following up on my recent article on cleaning up Zettelkasten WikiLinks in DEVONthink, here’s another script to solve the problem of linking notes. Backing up to the problem. In the Zettelkasten (or archive) - Zettel (or notes) are stored as list of Markdown files. But what happens when I want to add a link to another note into one that I’m writing? Since DEVONthink recognizes WikiLinks, I can just start typing but then I have to remember the exact date so that I can pick the item out of the contextual list that DEVONthink offers as links.
Organizing and reorganizing knowledge is one my seemingly endless tasks. For years, I’ve used DEVONthink as my primary knowledge repository. Recently, though I began to lament the fact that while I seemed to be collecting and storing knowledge in a raw form in DEVONthink, that I wasn’t really processing and engaging with it intellectually.1 In other words, I found myself collecting content but not really synthesizing, personalizing and using it. While researching note-taking systems in the search for a better way to process and absord the information I had been collecting, I discovered the Zettelkasten method.
An AppleScript to create year and month groups in DEVONthink
Hazel and DEVONthink make a great pair as I’ve written before. Using AppleScript, it’s possible to take the import workflow even further by tagging incoming files automatically. Use case I download a lot of mp3 files containing pronunciation of words in a language I’ve been learning. I keep a record of these words and tag them appropriately using my hierarchical tagging system. I’d like to download the files to a directory on the desktop.
I’ve been moving to a tag-based system for organizing content in DEVONthink. All of my content for each database goes into a single group called “reference.” If I want to find something, I search the hierarchical tag structure instead of diving into some arbitrary list of groups. But I still have groups that I’d like to collapse into the reference group. So I wrote an AppleScript to perform this action. Notably, most of the action is in the processGroup() handler which is recursive because we do not know how deep the group hierarchy goes.
My main organizational tool DEVONthink Pro Office, a tool I’ve used for many years. I’ve written previously about it and how I use it to find things and how I synchronize databases across machines. I’m a relative newcomer to Hazel though. Hazel’s tagline is “automated organization for your Mac.” Hazel works as an agent to keep folders organized on the Mac. It’s an engine that applies per-folder rules to take actions on files and folders.
I’ve been a DEVONthink user for many years; it’s an amazing piece of software. Currently I’m using DEVONthink Pro Office because I use all of the higher level capabilities. Over the years, my database structure and workflow have gone through many changes. In this post I’ll describe my approach to finding things in DEVONthink. Databases At first, I dumped everything into a single database. Over time, however, I realized that finding things was difficult because of the number of false positives when searching.