DEVONthink and Trickster integration

Starting with version 3.8, Trickster added support for integration with DEVONthink, a popular and powerful personal information manager for Mac, from DEVONtechnologies.

A special Smart Rule for DEVONthink (download below) will notify Trickster of files that you browse in DEVONthink. You can customize the conditions of the Smart Rule to only apply to databases or files that you want Trickster to track. The files that Trickster receives through DEVONthink will show their path with a DEVONthink icon and relative location in its database, like in this screenshot below (if you want to display the database name, too, download the alternative script at the bottom of this post):

Hitting Enter or double-clicking to open a file that came from DEVONthink will open the file back in DEVONthink.

Download the Smart Rules by clicking on the icon below. Then double-click the downloaded rule file to open it in DEVONthink.
Screen Shot 2021-06-20 at 21.54.35

The Smart Rules will then appear in DEVONthink’s sidebar in the Smart Rules section, like this:

You can then double-click on it if you want to narrow down the activation of the rules to some condition.

Note: Files added through DEVONthink bypass the regular filtering of Trickster’s File Tracking Settings. This means that you don’t need to add folders where these files are located to Watched folders for them to appear. But if you want Trickster to show its preview, you need do include the folder of your DEVONthink database in Watched Folders.

Here’s a video walkthrough of setting up the integration and how it works:


UPDATED July 12, 2021:

Here’s a modified version of the original integration script (courtesy of @DEVONtech_Jim (post), which I just restyled) which also shows the database name in Trickster, at the start of the path. I chose to show the database name in like [database] but you can edit the script to restyle it. Download by clicking on the link.

Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 17.45.57

Here’s what it looks like in Trickster:
Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 17.46.44

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Thank you for adding this feature. This is great news. My workflow is 95% in DevonTHink.

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Thank you for joining the forum, Michael.
Trickster and DEVONthink customers have been asking for an integration like this for some time. I’ll be happy to know how it works for you and if you have any suggestions for this or future integrations.

I also appreciate this important and welcome feature. I do not see, however, the DNT icon used by the file, it’s just a blank “paper” icon. Am I missing something?

Hi,
where do you not see the DEVONthink icon? It should appear when you use the larger item display, in the beginning of the path, like in the image below, under the number “30”.
Screen Shot 2021-06-21 at 09.00.44

Silly me! Of course the icon is there. I was expecting the full blown DNT icon instead of the “HTML” icon in your picture. Everything is fine, thanks.

I see. Sorry about the confusion. The HTML icon is the preview of the document itself. The location icon shows the DEVONthink monochrome icon, like it does for Dropbox or iCloud.

This is a terrific feature - many thanks

Question - is it possible (or would you consider) including Devonthink Groups in Trickster rather than only files as currently implemented?

I would also welcome that feature

I installed this, but can’t seem to get it to work. I must be missing something easy.

I followed the instructions, but opening DEVONthink files doesn’t make them appear in Trickster like they do in the video.

I’m also new to Trickster, actually learning about it via this DT integration, but I think I have it all set up correctly.

What could I be missing?

Hi,

It could be a few things:

  • Make sure you see the downloaded Smart Rule in DEVONthink. If it’s there and you didn’t modify it, then it should be good on DEVONthink side.
  • Make sure you’re running Trickster version 3.8 or later (current version is 3.8.1)
  • Make sure Trickster is on the top-most “All files” filter, so that we know that everything that Trickster has will show
  • Make sure in Trickster’s window, nothing appears in the title except Trickster. If there’s some text in parentheses or brackets, it means that you either have a search filter text on the bottom or some other filter, like an app filter (the “current app” icon button, second one on the bottom of Trickster’s window). This also filters what you see based on the app used.
  • Is Trickster running from /Applications folder?

Hi, @rkaplan and @yfs

I looked at this briefly and I don’t think this is possible right now, not from DEVONthink side and I’m not sure about Trickster’s side either. DEVONthink’s Smart Rules operates on an “Open” event and it appears that it doesn’t send the Open event when a group is selected. I looked at other events and I didn’t see anything there that would work. So for this to work there at least needs to be a new option in DEVONthink itself.

From Trickster’s side, Trickster as you know is all about files and folders right now, which are on the file system. All DEVONthink documents are also on the file system so this works nicely with Trickster - Trickster is able to get an icon for them and has their path in case you want to do anything with them. A DEVONthink group, on the other hand, is not a real folder in the file system, so for Trickster to support stuff that’s not in the file system, this will require more changes in Trickster. We may add support for this approach in the future for other integrations, if there are good ones, but it’s not there yet.

But could you both please tell me what you are trying to achieve with this feature request? Sometimes there are other solutions that can work or may work better, once the developers understand the reason behind a feature request.

Thanks for the clarification

What I am trying to do is to easily/quickly open a window related to a Group I previously visited.

Currently I can use Trickster to go to a recent document, then Reveal that document with Comand-R, which brings me to its enclosing Group. That is certainly very helpful, but it does not open a new window but instead changes the current window to the desired Group.

I use DNT groups a lot for organising my work, and replicate docs into various groups all the time. If I then have a meeting coming up, I would open that group in DNT and find mails, docs, presentations etc. in that group. It might lead me to replicated groups where I cross-referenced information. I would take notes (mostly on paper) during the meeting. Later during the day I would go back and summarise the note into DNT, or scan the paper notes, and then it would be good to be able to go back to the DNT group through trickster. I can always use DNT’s search, but sometimes I am not sure about the name of the group. I have a smart group in DNT that does the same (“has been modified the last hour/day”), it’s a little less convenient.

Here are two solutions for you using existing capabilities of DEVONthink and Trickster. I’ve recorded two videos, one with just DEVONthink and Safari and another with Hook, which I know at least @rkaplan uses. It’s a bit faster with Hook.

With Safari:

With Hook:

Those are both excellent ideas - it may be possible with Keyboard Maestro to automate them even further - I will try both - thank you for the prompt follow-up and suggestions.

FYI - this is Devontech’s suggestion on this topic:

Enabling the hidden preference DisplayGroupsInPreviewPane might be sufficient as soon as Trickster supports items without paths (like groups in DEVONthink).

The hidden preference can be set with this in Terminal:

defaults write com.devon-technologies.think3 DisplayGroupsInPreviewPane -bool TRUE

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Oh, this is interesting. I wasn’t aware of this hidden setting. I can later try to look at enabling it and seeing what needs to be done in Trickster itself but for now the file-based solution will need to be used.
Note that Hook has a shortcut for Copy to a Hook file, so it’s just a shortcut away, if you’re using Hook.

Sounds great - much appreciated

I enabled this but what I see is that (except this failing at AppleScript stage because it’s not a file) is that the rule is triggered only if the folder is opened in the main list of item in DEVONthink (which would make it show in the preview pane), not just clicked in the sidebar. This is what the hidden preference’s name implies, too.

That would be very helpful if it worked in that situation.

Plus the workaround to get the Open event in that situation is likely simple - just click the parent Group name in the breadcrumb path above the main list.