Tinderbox Forum

Watch Evernote folder?

I have used Evernote to capture my ideas on the go and used Tinderbox’s “Watch Evernote Folder” to automatically get them into an Inbox from where I could turn them into proper notes in Tinderbox. It worked well in the past, but it has stopped syncing and when I finally got around to redo the linking process the option to “Watch Evernote Folder” is not included any longer. Questions:

  1. Is this temporary, due to new releases, or has this functionality been dropped from Tinderbox?
  2. If not coming back, do you have any suggestions of apps to recreate (or ideally improve) the functionality?

Thanks in advance!

Best wishes,

The new version of Evernote does not support AppleScript, which was required for the “Watch > Evernote Folder” feature.

As far as I know it should work with the old Evernote version.

Possibly. I guess that’s a question for @Eastgate.

Should Eastgate provide software that integrates with an older, possible deprecated, and officially unsupported version of Evernote?

Evernote says (emphasis added):

There will be no future updates or bug fixes in older versions of Evernote, including Evernote Legacy. If you are having trouble with this app, our Support team may recommend that you update Evernote to the newest version.

That explains it! Thanks for the quick reply!

Even if Pete might be correct, I don’t want to include a dwindling software version in my workflow. Evernote just lost a user…

Now when Evernote is no longer a viable option, any suggestions on how to get the same functionality of collecting ideas across platforms (iPhone and Mac) that automatically appear in an “inbox” in Tinderbox?

The other options remain: Tot, a folder from Finder, Notes (on Big Sur – not working on Catalina), and DEVONthink:

  1. Folder from Finder. Use any note taking app on iOS/iPadOS that saves a markdown or plain text file to iCloud or Dropbox (or other cloud) service. Personally, I like 1Writer, for its simplicity. There are lots of other options.
  2. Tot directly integrates with Tinderbox. It’s very minimalistic == Tot has only 7 notes. It seems like an odd restriction, but, for quick capture, appending to one of the Tot notes can be pretty useful.
  3. DEVONthink. For this one, we go 180 degrees from Tot: one can watch any group in any DEVONthink database. The downside, if there is one, is that you would need to either use DEVONthink to Go on the phone and make sure it is synced to the desktop before updating the watched folder in Tinderbox. Or, use an editor on the phone that saves to a cloud-based folder that is indexed in DEVONthink on the desktop. Of course, by the time you do that then you could have done the “Folder from Finder” option.

Thanks Paul! You and a couple of other particularly knowledgable and active members really help making this forum into one of the most useful user forums I have ever encountered. I am happy that there are options, even if I am not sure what I should go for yet…

Thanks again!

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As a very heavy DTTG user, I find this isn’t really much of a limitation. DTTG is great for reading and small organizational tasks, like tagging. But for wholesale database rearrangement, the desktop version is the way to go. Which means both that there aren’t many changes to sync and that the underlying organization – what Tinderbox watches – mostly only changes on the desktop anyway.

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I didn’t say there was a limitation. Only that using DEVONthink to Go to capture data to a group that’s later “watched” in Tinderbox entails more care and feeding, so to speak, than the other “Watch” options.

Apropos of this, I discovered today that Tinderbox can watch a smart DevonThink group. Which opens up all sorts of possibilities, like using a DT search to pull results out of a large database for further analysis with TBX. Cool.

Thanks for pointing this out. I was not aware of this. @eastgate, I wonder if it would be possible to have the watch folder look for file extensions, like TSV, and if it sees one it recognizing it will perform an import function as if one were to drag the file on to Tinderbox. If this were the case then we could leverage the Devonthink AppleScript that @Pete put together with the Devonthink watch folder and now Devonthink Annotations could be pull right in. Perhaps something to consider, but clearly not urgent the two-step process with Pete’s script works just fine.

Why not just use the feature @kderbyshire described above? Create a Smart Group (can be a global Smart Group) in DEVONthink that collects the TSV or whatever files you want to watch in Tinderbox?

I tried this, and Yes, the watch group pulls in the TSV as expected. However, what it is not doing is parsing the TSV file (i.e. the annotations made in the PDF) into individual notes, which is the desired result that is accomplished when dragging a TSV file onto TBX rather than simply pulling it in via a watch folder. The pulling it in does not seem to trigger the parsing function that dragging the file not to TBX does.

Well, then drag the file(s) from DEVONthink to Tinderbox. Sounds like you’re looking for Watching to handle a one-time event (explode a TSV into notes), whereas there are already existing ways to do that. Automation is not always the answer.

We do quite a lot of this already, though I don’t recall if we recognize TSV. I’m not even sure you’d always want this: you might want one big table rather than a thousand individual notes. But it’s worth thinking about.

I agree with both your’s and Paul’s observation on too much automation, i.e. only apply automation where it is needed. Let me summarize my thinking:

Objective: Pull in Deventhink pdf annotations with as few steps as possible.

Current process:
In DT3

  1. Annotate PDF
  2. Apply summarize to markdown
  3. Drag file to desktop or finder

In Tinderbox
5. Drag file to TBX, TBX imports file and parses
6. Apply Pete’s stamp

If the watch folder could be set to recognize and apply the import parser automatically (possible through a watch folder boolean config attribute e.g. $WatchFolderTSV, then steps 4~6 (or at least 4 and 5) could be skipped and reduce file clutter.