Tinderbox Forum

Possible problem with Watching DEVONthink Groups in Tinderbox

Dear all,

I think I am having a problem with Watching DEVONthink Groups in Tinderbox.


  • Created a group.
  • Right-clicked on it and selected “Copy Item Link”.

In TB, I:

  • Opened an existing document.
  • Created a new note.
  • Opened the Attribute Inspector while the new note was still selected.
  • Selected the System tab.
  • Selected Category Watch, Attribute DEVONthinkGroup.
  • Pasted in the Default box the content of the clipboard.
  • Checked the box “Key attribute for selected notes”.

Within seconds, each note in the document, including each Adornment, turned into a Container that contained the note I had created in DTPO. Is this the desired TB behavior or am I doing something wrong?

Thank you for your consideration.

Best regards,

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All you should do is paste the item link into DEVONthink group of a single note. Tinderbox will grab the children of that group and import them as children of that single Tinderbox note.

What you did instead by “Checked the box ‘Key attribute for selected notes’”(1) is cause every new imported child note to repeat the process endlessly. You inadvertently created a monster by doing so.

(1) In other words: don’t do this :smile:


Thank you for your prompt reply, @PaulWalters. I think I must also be doing something else wrong, though, because even if I do not check the box “Key attribute for selected notes”:

the behavior of the notes in my document remains the same, i.e. all the notes, including Adornments, turn into containers in a matter of seconds. Am I perhaps pasting the DEVONthink item link in the wrong field?

Best regards,


We don’t have your document so we have no idea what you are doing.

So try this, throw out that file and start again with a clean test.

  1. Create a single note in an otherwise empty new Tinderbox file.
  2. In DEVONthink copy the item link for a group that has no child groups – just documents.
  3. In Tinderbox, add the DEVONthinkGroup attribute to the note you created in step #1
  4. Wait

Tinderbox will grab the child notes of the group whose item link you copied in step #2

BTW in your image you have inserted the item link as the Default for DEVONthinkGroup.

(A) That’s not how we add values to key attributes for a note;

(B) by doing that, every note that inherits DEVONthinkGroup from “Work - Content copy 2” will be polluted with that value and attempt to sync with DEVONthink.

I assure you, what you are describing above is not normal at all.

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Thank you very much, @PaulWalters:

That was my mistake! Indeed, as soon as I followed the instructions on how to enter KAs in “Getting Started with Tinderbox”:

everything worked as it should.

Thank you very much for your help and patience.

Best regards,

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What you did, I think, is changed there default value of the attribute $DevonThinkGroup to “3A10A-xxxxx-xxxxx…”. That would have the effect of making everything in your document into a watch folder, all watching the same group! Yikes!

You’re right: that’s what I had done! The stuff nightmares are made of!

On the bright side, a good example of experiential learning: I will not easily forget how to turn every single note into a watch folder… :smile:

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