difficulty with external folder sync - unable to achieve a perfect integration of DevonThink - Finder - Scrivener.

DevonThink Pro 3.5.2
Scrivener 3.1.5
Catalina 10.15.7

I stumbled in my attempt to reach Nirvana which is a perfect integration between DevonThink - Finder - Scrivener.

My setup is the following:

  • I created an empty folder in Finder.
  • I created a Scrivener project that syncs with that folder → all documents in the Scrivener project appeared in the Finder folder
  • I indexed the Finder folder in a DevonThink Group.

I then tested the behaviour of the DevonThink - Finder - Scrivener setup


  • I tried both adding and editing a file in DevonThink → both additions and deletions appeared in the Finder folder.
  • I tried both adding and editing a file in Finder with an external editor → both additions and deletions appeared in the DevonThink Group.
  • As far as deleting a document in DevonThink is concerned, it is a non issue because the user can decide if the document is deleted or not in Finder

Any document addition or edition to any document made either in DevonThink or with an external editor in Finder was deleted by the Scrivener Sync. Scrivener deleted anything (document or edition) which did not pre-exist in Scrivener

My conclusion is that the complete integration is not possible because of the deletions by Scrivener external folder sync process

I just want to make sure that I understand correctly and that there is no workaround before abandoning the idea.

thanks in advance for your time and help

I just tested this and had no problem. Here’s what I did:

  1. I made a new copy of the Tutorial project, and set up External folder sync for both draft and all other text files in the project. I made no other changes to the defaults. Note: this means the External Folder sync is writing and reading .rtf files.
  2. I clicked the sync button, and the draft and notes files all synced.
  3. I opened TextEdit, and made two new .rtf files. I saved one in the Draft folder, and one in the Notes folder. I closed TextEdit.
  4. In Scrivener, I then chose File->Sync->with External Folder Now.

My new Draft file showed up at the bottom of my Draft folder, and my new Notes file showed up at the bottom of my Research folder.

One thing you didn’t mention explicitly in your post was the step of choosing File->Sync->with External Folder Now after you’d added files to the Draft or Notes folder inside your sync folder. EFS doesn’t run in the background; you have to close your project, (forcing a run), open your project (forcing a run), or explicitly run a sync. If you carefully arranged your new files so that you thought they would be inserted anyplace other than the bottom of the Draft (or in the case of notes, Research) folder, well, that doesn’t work. You’ll need to re-arrange them in Scrivener manually. Finally, only files of the type you choose in your setup will be synced. This is not a way to add anything other than text files of a specific file type.

Hope this helps!

I will copy your procedure and give you a follow-up. Thanks very much