DEVONthink and Backups

DEVONthink and Backups

(Ja'acov Goldberg ) #1

Hi Justin: I decided to move forward with DEVONthink Pro & To Go for my iPhone. Can you share with me your thoughts on what back up system you recommend, eg. iCloud or Dropbox. Also, do you suggest an external hard drive device too??? Please let me know & hope you are having a productive week.

DEVONthink To Go 2.6.5 Released
Holidays are About People 🎅 — December 2018 Pro Newsletter

Thought I’d throw in my experience with DEVONthink which I’ve been using for four years now (I cannot believe 2014 was four almost five years ago!). For my sync store, I use iCloud as the primary, I’ve found it incredibly fast, and I’ve never had an issue. I also set up a sync store with Dropbox and its only purpose is if iCloud fails miserably one day I can easily switch to Dropbox, but since the release of the beta with iCloud support earlier this year I’ve never had an issue.

For backups, they provide a script that will create a ZIP archive of your database. I have a Keyboard Maestro timed macro that runs on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 3 A.M. that creates individual ZIP archives for all open databases. Hazel then moves these ZIP files onto my Synology which is backed up by Arq to BackBlaze B2 Cloud. I’ve occasionally had to recover a file from a database archive and found it to be straightforward to do so.

@Wilsonng, I was skeptical at first, but when DTTG version 2 was released, they made it into its own application rather than trying to port DTPO to iOS. I’ve never had an issue with the iPhone screen size, but it’s possible that is because I mainly use the iPhone app for quickly capturing data and reading text files or PDFs which auto size due to the PDF rendering in DTTG.

(Justin DiRose) #3

I definitely agree with @joshsullivan. If you can do iCloud, do that to start with. However, if you’re worried about your data, configure some secondary options. It never hurts to have a backup, especially if you don’t have an automatic backup like Backblaze running or something like that.

Thanks so much for sharing your sync/backup workflow. This is really helpful in framing how I might do this if I dive into DEVONthink whole hog.

(Ja'acov Goldberg ) #4

I will use iCloud as my primary back up. But also BackBlaze for extra protection for my database. Question then, why would I need an external USB drive? I am not a techie guy, so sorry if I ask presumed stupid questions.


These aren’t stupid questions at all. If you aren’t using Time Machine currently on your Mac you could set up time machine to back up to that device; otherwise, I don’t think you will need one. Or if you have a smaller hard drive space when your database becomes large (it would take a lot), then you could store it on that external USB drive.

(Ja'acov Goldberg ) #6

Hi Josh: Thank you for those kind words. I set up Backblaze B2 Cloud today. I will sync DEVONthink Pro Office & To Go with iCloud. Is this a good start moving forward with back up my computer & DEVONthink??? Lastly, is it a must to have an external USB drive back up, since I have Backblaze??? Or more for “peace of mind”??? Thank you again for all you for sharing your knowledge and incredible support with me. Thank you, Ja’acov.


I think that is a great start Ja’acov and definitely, recommend iCloud for syncing DEVONthink.

For the other question, I think it is always a good idea to have a local backup, just in case you need to grab a file quickly and know it’s on the local backup. Or if your internet connection is down and you need to recover a file, then the local backup will be available. In my opinion (and a lot of others) more backups are better, and with storage becoming cheaper by the day it’s worth having local and remote backups. Overall it’s best practice to have a local and remote backup, therefore, giving you peace of mind that you have more than one way to recover data if something happens.

(Ja'acov Goldberg ) #8

Hi Josh: I will then get an external hard drive, based on your expertise in this area & thank you.

In regards to cloud backups; I have Backblaze set up right now. But in an earlier post you stated that you back up to Arq to Backbaze. Question? are you using Arq & Blackbaze to back up your computer?

(Ja'acov Goldberg ) #9

Hi Josh: Back again. Latest update:

  1. In regards to DEVONthink - use iCloud for my MacBook Pro, iPad & iPhone
  2. Backblaze - (Personal Backup) - for my MacBook Pro
  3. Purchased - Seagate Backup Plus 4TB, External USB Hard drive

*Do you suggest I stay with iCloud or go with Backblaze B2 Cloud for storage?

Let me know if I am, “good-to-go” with this set up?

Thanks again for all your incredible help & expertise :slight_smile:


BackBlaze B2 Cloud storage is more for development or backups not active file storage, so definitely stick with iCloud for active file storage and syncing DEVONthink.

I think that is a good set up, good luck with everything and let us know how it goes!

(Ja'acov Goldberg ) #11

Thanks again Josh, and hope you have a successful week. :+1:

(Ja'acov Goldberg ) #12

Hi Josh: Your thoughts on Arq backup vs BackBlaze backup? Which makes more sense for my current situation. Thanks again


I think regular Backblaze will suit your backup needs. I use Arq only because I sometimes need to restore a backup of a file older than 30 days and I need to backup my Synology which you can do with a Shell Script and Arq.

For your needs I think Backblaze will work well for you as it is a set it and forget it.