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Clip from Safari (iOS) to DEVONthink (Mac)

Workflow to dropbox to devonthink

Since I first wrote about using DEVONthink Pro Office in my law practice, I’ve increasingly been using it for additional work projects. I’m currently preparing a case for trial, and have copied all of the documents and research for that case into DEVONthink, so it is easily accessible. I’d like my research to be in DEVONthink, too, which led me to figure out how to clip webpages from Safari on iOS into DEVONthink on my Mac. Here’s how I did it, using the Workflow app for iOS, and Hazel on the Mac.

Step 1: Setting up a Workflow

The first step involves using the iOS Workflow app to grab the page, process it, and send it over to Dropbox. I’ve actually set up two workflows in the Workflow app, depending on the format I want to use when clipping. One clips the page as a PDF into DEVONthink, while the other clips it as an HTML document (i.e., how you typically see it when browsing in Safari). You can see a screenshot of each below.

PDF Devonthink  HTML Devonthink

You can install the HTML clipping workflow at this link, and the PDF version here. You don’t need both workflows if you know you always want to clip using one method or the other.

To get this process to work, you need to customize the “Destination Path” in the “Save to Dropbox” step (see the screenshots above). The path you see above (000_FIleTransfer/DEVONthink) is a subfolder in my Dropbox folder. You should modify that to a Dropbox location of your choosing. You’ll use that path in Step 2, below.

Step 2: Set up Hazel

Next, you need to set up Hazel on your Mac to monitor the Dropbox folder you designated as your Destination Path in Step 1, above. Hazel is a handy Mac app that monitors folders, and performs certain actions of your choosing. In this case, you want Hazel to monitor that folder, and move any file into the DEVONthink “Inbox” folder.

The DEVONthink Inbox folder is a folder that should be set up automatically when you install DEVONthink. If it isn’t, click on the DEVONthink title in the DEVONthink menubar, and choose “Install Add Ons.” The option to install the global Inbox into your Finder sidebar should appear as one of the options.

Here is a screenshot of this simple Hazel rule:

Hazel rule for clipping from Safari to Devonthink via Dropbox

This Hazel rule takes any page you’ve clipped into Dropbox in Step 1 and moves it into the DEVONthink Inbox. Anything in that Inbox will be automatically added to DEVONthink the next time you launch the app.

That’s all there is to it. When you’re using Safari on your iOS device, use the Share menu, pick “Run Workflow,” and then pick the workflow you just created. You’ll have to wait for a few seconds while the workflow runs, but it happens pretty quickly.

If you wanted to, you could use Hazel to tag any clips you make. I use that same Hazel rule to get notes from the iOS Drafts app into DEVONthink, so I don’t use tags.

If you have some other ways to get a webpage into DEVONthink, let me know in the comments.