DevonThink: How to sync in 10 Minutes

DevonThinkProOffice (DTPO) is a mighty tool and very flexible to use. There are loads of possibilities to change to your own needs and workflow in your own cloud. Today, we will sync all your data within 10 minutes.

With it's "little" brother DevonThink ToGo (DTTG) and DTPO you will have everything you need to have all your data with you on your mobile device and able to sync with your own cloud.

With both tools you will be able to work with your data management in your own cloud very efficient and safely. Let's start sync!

To me, a synchronisation is:

  • Access your data from everywhere - from home and on travel

  • Security is a very important issue

  • Encryption of data is necessary before they get syn'ed and should have at least AES 256 bit

  • All devices should have the same data available

  • Backup need - just in case something goes wrong - but that was never the case.

Preamble- Terms

I will just start with the desktop version as it is much easier to setup the synchronisation. If you like to do this on IOS first feel free to go this way.


A database will have a suffix ending with . dtBase2 and contains - how should be differently- your own data and :

  • Inbox folder (which is a separate database)

  • Structure of folders (you can setup a structure like in Finder/Explorer)

  • Tags

  • Information such as subject, text, links etc.

  • Intelligent Folder i.e. all PDF all images etc

  • Option „Mobile Sync“ - I will come back to this later

You are able to adapt your work environment by going to GoTo - Environment. This is really useful to get more space and just open the databases you really need.

I have to two environments on Standard and on for my blog with only one database open.


There are different cloud option available in DTPO:

  • WebDav - to be used with your own cloud

  • Dropbox

  • Box


  • Telekom Magenta Cloud etc.

The possibilities are just endless and for my own cloud I use WebDav only.


Bonjour is a service, which you can use to synchronise in your local network between all your devices.

This service is well implemented in DTPO and very quick! However, it will sync not your data outside of your local network.

Bonjour will sync your databases directly.


This stores are pretty new and to they will contain all your data in meta-data-format and makes your synchronisation just comfortable. It does not matter where you are - synchronisation is possible everywhere and this very quickly and efficient.

The suffix of the file is .dtCloud .

These Sync-Stores are the link between all your devices and databases and it is possible to have max. 16 connection at one time.

This Sync-Store-File you will save to your own cloud directly and all your data will be updated by WebDav.

Important Tip

It is possible to have only one Syn-Store for all your database available. But I think it is not good praxis because if there will be an issue all your database will have an issue and worse case they can not be synced. That has not been happen so far but there might be a possibility.

The easiest to do is :

  • One Syn-Store for one specific database

  • Name of SyncStore and Database should be equal
    (that makes sense if you have loads of database and Sync-Stores and it will make your life much easier to have a correlation between them).

The other advantage is that each Sync-Store can be encrypted differently with a unique password and that will improve your security.

Local Sync-Store

It is similar to the Sync-Stores but you will be able to chose a folder directly from your MAC. If you have implemented your own cloud via afp or similar protocols you can just choose your folder from where using the Finder.

As I do not know your own setup and how your own cloud is connected with your computer, I will here use also WebDav. The advantage is that this is a "fixed" connection there as some add-ons will change the file path used and this can causes troubles.

Synchronisation with DevonThinkProOffice (DTPO)

Have you created your first database yet?

If not, just to to File - New database - to do it now.

Save it to a folder on your hard drive i.e. Documents


It is just another security and backup strategy to have a version on your hard drive - Just in case!

Personally, I save the database on my hard drive under Documents- Sync Folder and all the Sync-Stores on my own cloud (NAS)

Create First Sync-Stores

Just go to „DevonThinkOffice“ -> „Preferences“ ->“Sync“ .


  • Bonjour
    I have already mentioned it and it will sync your databases within your local network

  • Location
    Here you will see a few possibilities to contact to your sync location. On the very bottom your will have there the "+" Sign to display further options.

  • Databases (right)
    Here all your databases get displayed for your specific Sync-Stores

  • Synchronisation to "automatic"

  • Maximal connections
    It is possible to have max. 16 connections at one time. You can adjust this setting depending on your Internet connection and speed.

  • Conflicts
    What should happen if DTPO detects same unique meta data? I go with the assumption that the latest (by date) is the current version and therefore all other versions can be overwritten.
    If you do not like to this, just go with "Duplicate Documents". Later you can filter all duplicates in DTPO and delete them manually or using a script to do it automatically.

WebDav - Connection

Go on the Plus-sign and choose WebDav server

The Option panel will be displayed to enter your credentials for your WebDav.

Just enter all your information:

  • URL
    Your IP/DNS including the folder of your own cloud
    i.e. https://DeineEigeneCloud/MeinDMS/MeineSyncStores

  • User and password
    Both should correspond to your credentials of your own cloud.

  • Sync-Store Name
    Just enter the name of your SynStore ending with „.dtCloud“ This suffix is very important and the Sync-Store name should be unique.
    Because it is important to enter exact the same name with .dtCloud into IOS and if there is a mistake somewhere MAC and IOS will use different SyncStores and sync not to the same unique file.

  • Encryption AES  256 bit
    Just use a very long unique password for the encryption. The easiest way is to use a password manager like Enpass.

  • Options
    What should be synchronised? This depends how you like to use DTPO and DTTG.
    It makes sense to me to sync everything including the TAGS, Colours, positions and content. Check documents sync'ed - YES

After all this, your panel should look like this:

After clicking on "OK" you should see the following screen:

On your right hand side, all databases will be displayed now which can be added to the Sync-Store.

Note: The Global Inbox is a database too and be sync'ed!

After assigning the database to your Sync-Store a little cycle can been seen and after that you will see under your database "Last Synchronisation on...."

Now you can close the settings and return to your main screen. The Desktop synchronisation is now setup and will work automatically once a change in your database of Sync-Store occurs.

Synchronisation with DevonThinkToGo

The setup on Ipad and Iphone is the same and easy to do.

Do Not Create a Database

First of all, please do not do the same mistake I did! Even if there is nothing in DTTG - just do not create a database now. I will show you now how to get your database in IOS using the SyncStore just created on the desktop version.


This is the little symbol on the very bottom right hand close to the question mark. Just tap on it.

Different Options can be adjusted and if you like just buy the Premium functions which enables you to work nicely with PDF and more.

Got to Location - Edit and choose WebDav

WebDav Connection

The panel looks pretty similar to the Desktop version:

  • Address
    Your IP/DNS including the folder where the SyncStore is saved

  • User and Password
    Credentials of your own cloud

  • Sync store
    The exact same name which you have used in the Desktop environment with the ending of .dtCloud

  • Password
    This is encryption password used in your Desktop Setup

  • Get Data
    Depending on your space of your IOS device you can either choose to load all data or do it manually. The difference is that if you have chosen manually all meta data will be on your IOS device but to display your documents you would need to have to tap on them in order to initate the download.
    Having said that, you still can search all your documents.

  • Tags, Colours and Check transferred data
    are the same as in the Desktop version and depending on your needs.

Ready? Steady? Sync! Just tap on Save.

First connection

In the case you have not got a certified SSL certificate for your own cloud, you will get a warning if you really want to connect. Just say Connect and allow DTTG to connect to your own cloud!

After this, you will be redirected to the menu "Location".

Get your databank in

Now, you just need to get your database into IOS but that is easy!

Do you have some Sync-Location already then you will see the other servers and sometimes it takes a moment to display everything. This is no bug at all! It just waits to finish the other sync location before you can add your database.

As I have said before - just wait a minute to display your options.

Look for your database with the right word "not local". Here it comes handy, if you have chosen the same name for both database and SyncStore especially if you have more than one database.

Switch it on and just check if it is not local.

Now your IOS database will be created from the desktop database respectively from the SyncStore. You will see a little "waiting cycle" right.
After the synchronisation is done you will see the "last synchronisation time"

That's it! Just close all windows and go back to DTTG's main menue. There you will find your brand new database!

The Ultimate Test

Now it gets exciting - just create a new document, text or image in DTTG in your database. After some seconds you will have the same file on your MAC!
To initiate a "fast sync" just swipe from top to bottom on your screen and the synchronisation will start immediately.

Just try the other way around and change the document on MAC and sync. The IOS file will be updated with all the changes.

Everything works? Brilliantly - You are a Star!

Mobile-Sync-Folder in your Database

The „Mobile-Sync-Folder“ was used in previous versions of DTTG and DTPO and if you use WebDav you would need it any more and you can delete it.

Ready to get productive now? Happy Syncing! Works everything?

Just let me know using the comment function here. Any questions ? Just drop me a line and I will help you as always.

Best regards,



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