04/13/11 16:57:04

Sync DEVONthink using Dropbox

No matter whether you’re using DEVONthink Personal, Pro or Pro Office. All flavors of DEVONthink are able to sync over Dropbox. In case of Pro and Pro Office it’s even easier, because all created databases also sync flawlessly (not just the Inbox database, which is a limitation of DT Personal.)



The process is actually the same as if you want to sync iCal or the Address Book.

  1. Open ~/Library/Application Support
  2. Drag the folder DEVONthink Pro 2 to your Dropbox. (Mine is ~/Dropbox/HOME/Library/Application Support)
  3. Open Terminal
  4. Write ln -s /Users/YOURNAME/Dropbox/remaining/path/to/DT folder/ /Users/YOURNAME/Library/Application Support/DEVONthink Pro 2

This will create a symbolic link in your Library. Repeat the ln -s on every other computer that should use the synced data.
The syncing works like this: Whenever you open DEVONthink it will look in your Library for the Inbox data. It will find the link, which detours DEVONthink to the Dropbox folder where it sees the data file and opens it.

Resolving Problems


Remember: Just one DEVONthink instance is allowed to access the data at once. You have to close DEVONthink on one machine before opening it on another.
In case I ever run into this issue, I use Folder Actions (or Hazel):

  1. Create a Folder Action for a folder in Dropbox and attach a script.
  2. The script basically watches for a certain file. If it is in there it will go ahead and close all instances of DEVONthink.

This way I can remotely close DEVONthink and regain access to my data by dropping a file named “quitdevonthink” into Dropbox. This is the script:

on adding folder items to thisFolder after receiving addedItems

    repeat with currentFile in addedItems

        if (currentFile as string) contains "quitdevonthink" then
            tell application "DEVONthink" to quit
            tell application "DEVONthink Pro 2" to quit
            tell application "DEVONthink Pro" to quit
        end if

    end repeat

end adding folder items to


One last note: I would highly recommend trying DEVONthink Pro. Before I had DEVONthink Pro or Pro Office I didn’t know how big the differences really were. Personal users really miss out on some of the greatest features this software has to offer!

Download DEVONthink