Reference material is a big challenge, and I find if I don’t set myself up for success from the beginning, then I am most definitely doomed to fail. I found DEVONthink some years ago and really like it for managing my reference material.

I realized a while ago that creating a place to store material related to a project when I create my project is critical—if it doesn’t happen then, when will it happen? As I have a strong tendency to reach for my iPad or my iPhone rather than a Mac, I solved this problem with a little help from Shortcuts and X-Callback URLs!

When you import the shortcut, it asks you for a DEVONthink destination. I keep all of my project material in one database, so I used that as my destination. You could also use a group - or remove the destination components entirely to put everything in the global inbox.

Copy the item link in DEVONThink so you can get the ID for Shortcuts.
Copy the item link in DEVONthink so you can get the ID for Shortcuts.

When you run the shortcut, it asks you for a name, you can cheat and add lots of names though (use a return to separate them), and it will run through each item.

For each one, you can choose if this is a project or a task. For projects, the shortcut automatically creates a group, and for a task, you get the choice of markdown, text, or a group.

The shortcut creates the DEVONthink item first, then creates the project or task in OmniFocus with a link back to the DEVONthink destination in the note. It’s a simple system but works well for me!

You can download DEVONthink And OmniFocus here.