Using Drafts & Hazel to add notes to DEVONThink

I’ve been experimenting with DEVONthink for the past couple of days as a replacement for Evernote and numerous files semi organized across my devices. So far I’m warming up to this approach, however I had a major problem: how to get notes I take on my iPhone or iPad into DEVONthink on either my personal or work computers. DEVONthink’s sync capabilities are notoriously limited and I’ve heard mixed reviews about their iOS app. I ended up potentially solving the problem of adding content to DEVONthink from iOS by using this by using Drafts for iOS and Noodlesoft’s amazing Hazel app on my Mac.

First, I created two folders in the two syncing services I am using:

Dropbox folder name: DEVONThink_Home
Google Drive folder name: DEVONThink_Work

Within Drafts, from the actions menu I copied the Save to Dropbox and Save to Google Drive actions. I then renamed those actions to be Dropbox – DEVONthink and GDrive –> DEVONthink respectively.

Custom actions to save a Drafts note into Dropbox or GDrive.
Custom actions to save a Drafts note into Dropbox or GDrive.

We then need to get these newly copied actions saving the note I take into the correct folder, which I set in the respective action’s settings. It is also here where I set the default title by taking the first line of each note, giving me some hint of what it means.

Draft settings for DEVONthink import folder in Dropbox
Draft settings for DEVONthink import folder in Dropbox

Next on my Mac, I create a Hazel rule that monitors the DevonThink_Home (or the Work version in the case of my Work computer). If any file is dropped in there, Hazel immediately moves it to the global inbox in DevonThink and adds a tag Drafts_iOS.

Hazel rule for DEVONthink import
Hazel rule for DEVONthink import

One stumbling block that I couldn’t figure out is how to find the DEVONthink Inbox folder for use in this action. The path to that folder is:

Path to the DEVONthink Inbox Folder
Path to the DEVONthink Inbox Folder

I tested this integration briefly and in maybe a second or two, the note in Drafts was synced up to Dropbox, to my home Mac, and into DevonThink.

First try. I’m impressed.

I can see some potential future directions to take these workflows. I can use a lot more intelligence on Hazel’s rules to detect things like titles formatted a certain way and containing keywords, then automatically dropping the file in the correct folder in DevonThink instead of the inbox. It also would be neat to send a URL to DevonThink and have it automatically clip the page, although I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.