Cloud that Works

After getting Scrivener I struggled to find a place to store my project. I jump around from computer to computer and I wanted to take my project with me. Problem: USB drives can easily be lost or forgotten and cloud services like GDrive and Dropbox can be unreliable as they do not save often enough.

There are ways around this. Namely saving a backup to a cloud drive (among other places. Keep at least three copies of your work in different places!) works well enough But it can be tedious to backup, move, extract all the time. Not to mention all your links in the program are all screwed up now.

I am not a Microsoft “guy”. I dislike Microsoft products (ok, keyboards I give a pass) and would run Linux if I didn’t need Windows for work. Recently I was introduced to OneDrive, Microsoft’s offering for cloud storage. Sticking with my mantra of storing my work in as many places as possible I put my work on there. I liked that I could keep the folder in the same place on each computer so I wasn’t always changing it. But that was not the only benefit.

I am writing this from my phone right now because the power is out. It cut out just as I was writing a great scene. I was scared that I lost all my work. My last backup was hours ago. Quickly I checked OneDrive on my phone and… All there. Up until the last five minutes. And I found out why.

OneDrive is part of a larger suite that includes all the traditional office programs (word, excel, outlook, etc) and some online offerings like Office 365 and SharePoint. The purpose of which is interlinked collaboration in an office environment. Though it can be used separately it retains the high refresh and sync rate required to operate in a fast paced professional setting.

So I might not like Microsoft but I am sold when it comes to OneDrive and I hope this helps someone looking for a storage solution. Definitely keep other backups (I have automated scripts that do that for me now) but as a working folder can’t beat OneDrive

Just be sure to pay heed to this advisory if you want to store your ‘live’ projects in a OneDrive synced folder: … e-advisory

Note that OneDrive is not supported for use with iOS Scrivener.


You’re missing a central point. Each separate document in the Binder in a Scrivener project is a separate file. When you are writing, every time you stop typing for a few seconds, Scrivener saves that document. If you have the live project in a Dropbox folder, when you start typing again the Dropbox app uploads that single changed file to the server, in the background. So when you finish for the day, everything is already saved and done.

Also, if you have a power loss and your desktop dies, the project is still “open” so you can’t start editing it from another computer anyhow. You need to get the desktop up and running and close the project before you can edit it from another computer

OneDrive is a lot better than it used to be (especially since Microsoft ditched that horrible option as a default). I’d say Dropbox is on par in terms of picking up changes on the disk and immediately getting them uploaded to the server. I’ve only very rarely had issues with their engine.

You could open the project on a second computer if the original crashed or lost power. The problem isn’t with opening a project that is open on the disk, it is opening a project that another project has open. :slight_smile: I.e. the state of the project on the disk when it is open is safe to open again—otherwise you could never open a project after a crash—but it is not safe to open a project in two different locations at once.

I don’t understand what point I am missing

My job is all about automation: scripts, services and the lot. I know how most of these cloud solutions operate as I was trying to write scripts for them. Going to throw the Amazon cloud in there as well as it operates the same way. They scan the folder every so often then send changes to the server. Dropbox’s refresh is faster then Drive (which can have hours of lag) but it is still a timed refresh.

OneDrive is a service running in the background that activates a sync on ANY change to the watched folder. I think it is using the .net framework to do this but I could be mistaken.

But you know what, who cares? I was trying to be nice and share what I found but all I got was negativity. Unfortunately that is the direction of just about all support forums these days are headed in. I mean, really: someone up-thread just had to post in a windows sub-forum that a Microsoft product is not supported in an Apple operating system. Was that necessary? How is that relevant in any way? I guess to that one person that thought Apple and Microsoft are interchangeable because they have used neither.

So I just don’t care anymore. Figure this stuff out on your own.

Probably something about the part in your post that I was quoting, where you state that the Dropbox app isn’t saving changes often enough? :slight_smile:

How often would you say that the Dropbox app checks for changes and copies those to the server if you’re sitting on reasonably fast WiFi? Given your expertise in scripts, services and the lot, I guess you know that, and maybe you can be nice and share with us ignorant users? :slight_smile:

So far I’ve never experienced a situation where everything was not fully synced by the time that I have closed the project and then Scrivener.

I have an outgoing firewall to monitor all network activity. Whenever Scrivener saves, Dropbox syncs. I do not see delayed batched syncs (or the time interval in in the hundreds of milliseconds and not easily determined perceptually, or differentiable technically), at least on macOS, and I am surprised they use inferior mechanisms on Windows. I am no fan of Dropbox the company for entirely non-technical reasons, but it certainly is a “cloud that works” excellently for many users including myself. That is not to detract from OneDrive, and I think an official answer would be you can already use OneDrive; though it will not be officially supported and cannot sync with iOS, where adding the API interface would be non-trivial.

That was me. And I mentioned it because we have users who have both PCs and iOS devices, and we are often asked about using services other than Dropbox to synchronize between the two.


The original poster has asked Moderators to delete the thread. I’m not going to do that, as I believe it contains useful information. But I am going to close it, as it is veering into “piling on” territory rather than useful discussion.