Backing up on separate platforms

I am working on a novel in Scrivener 3. I work both on an iMac and, when away from home, on a new MacBook Pro. The project files are on Dropbox. I keep the automatically generated backups on my local drives, so that not all my data is entrusted to the cloud. This means that backups are not in sync. Is this a potential problem? Should I be backing up to the same folder in Dropbox? Thank you.

You should difinetely NOT be saving your backups to the same folder as your live projects. Scrivener 3 throws up a warning if you try as real trouble can potentially occur if you do.

I have live projects in folders on Dropbox and on Sync, for access on other hardware and for co-operation purposes, as well as some, test projects, just on the hard drive on my main laptop. But all the backups, zipped and time stamped, on all my machines go to a folder on iCloud.

So my live projects exist on two cloud servers and three Macs—with the exception of the test projects. My backups are on a different cloud service and on the three hard drives.

What would it mean for your backups to be “in sync?”

When you think about it, your current layout means that work done on Computer A has backups on Computer A, and work done on Computer B has backups on Computer B. If the two were “in sync,” then new backups from Computer B could potentially overwrite old backups from Computer A. That could be bad, especially if Computer B’s copy was somehow damaged in transit.

Moreover, putting both your backups and the live project in the same place means that anything that damages one would potentially damage the other. I’ve helped people, for example, who had the entire contents of their Dropbox account wiped. (Forgot to disconnect a work computer when changing jobs.) Better to put your backups somewhere out of reach of that kind of carnage.

Which is a long and winding way of saying that I generally agree with Mark’s advice. If you’re going to put your backups in the cloud, put them in a different cloud from your live projects. Personally, I use Crash Plan, rather than iCloud, the difference being that it takes an affirmative action on my part to delete a Crash Plan backup. It isn’t going to magically disappear due to some unexpected synchronization quirk.


Thank you, both. It seems to me that my current practice is adequate. Good to know. (And no, I would not have put either backup on the same cloud account and certainly not in the same folder. I was born yesterday, but was up late last night.) Thanks, again.