Collaborating with Scrivener 3 - Backups and Cloud Sync

Hello! A friend and I are using Scrivener to collaborate on a writing project we have together via Dropbox syncing. The master file is located in the shared dropbox folder, so we both have access to it, and notifications are on so that we know when it’s in use by the other person. Thing is, this is the first time we’ve ever done this (and her first time using Scrivener) and I’m going away for a week and then she’ll be gone for a week. So we’d like for the file to be set up before then so it’s not an issue while away.

So I’m mainly concerned about backups: I don’t backup to Dropbox because I hear that can corrupt the file. So I backup locally. So my question is: her Scrivener will backup to her computer locally, right? Or do we need to set that up somehow?

Another question I have, actually, is if we could use Mega for syncing instead of Dropbox. Since Dropbox only has the 2GB free vs Mega’s 20GB and Mega also has a desktop app like Dropbox. Anyone use Mega before that can tell me if it is known for corrupted Scrivener projects?

The main risk of putting both your backups and your working project into the same service provider is that if something goes wrong with that account, all your eggs get smashed at once in the single basket. The way you have things set up now, if a hacker (to give an unlikely example) blows away a bunch of Dropbox accounts maliciously, you’ll both be fine because you’ll each have a separate stack of backups stored safely offline, and can figure out which is the best to restore from by sharing the date stamps on those files.

So for that reason, a separate service to share a community backup folder together (or even two separate parallel backup folders), makes the most sense to me. If you do decide to share a backup folder, then it would be a good idea to make sure you are both using identical settings in the Backup options tab. But I can’t think of too many reasons to do that over having two separate folders shared. Just do be aware that if you point your main backup folder to a share folder, you’ll be sharing all your backups, not just this one project. It might thus be best to use the Project ▸ Project Settings... menu command to set a custom backup folder for this one collaborative project.

Anyone use Mega before that can tell me if it is known for corrupted Scrivener projects?

Well… setting aside for the moment whether “corruption” is something that commonly happens anywhere (very rarely, lightning strikes and backhoes damaging fibre optic cable level stuff aside, more likely people are incorrectly using this word to describe how they messed up)—I don’t really know anything about Mega’s client performance or reliability.

I would say if you’ve got a solution that works well, you might as well stick with it. Backup storage is way less risky with the .zip file approach, so I’d go with using the less well-known system for backups, personally. Contrary to what you heard, I don’t even understand how a .zip file backup would get corrupted unless the network itself is somehow badly broken (and most of the infrastructure that powers the Internet is going to detect that problem immediately and either route around the failed systems or just throw an error and stop).