How Do You Use Sync in 2.0?

I hope it’s understood that this isn’t a technical question but a usage scenario one. I know how to use the sync functions in Scrivener 2.0, but I’m finding they can quickly become quite difficult to wrangle given the way my projects are set up. Let me explain my experience, and I’m eager to hear yours.

I’m a blogger/film critic, so I write short form articles in Scrivener. My workflow for the past few month has been this: 1 Scrivener project per outlet, 1 folder per article in Scrivener project. Some have a more complex folder structure as I edit some sites, and everything goes through Scrivener before it ends up online, so I’ll have folders for other writers, then their articles in other folders so I can hold onto edits. (This is changing thanks to Scrivener 2.0’s Snapshots change tracking and revision modes, but habits can be hard to break.)

On the go I’m mostly in PlainText, though I sometimes use Simplenote. For my serious writing, however, PlainText is where I’m most comfortable (I’m a sucker for serifs and “folders” over “tags”). Since my projects are bulky, the oldest one containing work from March of this year, I have no need to sync the entire Draft folder. In order to only get the article I’m working on, I have to create a Collection (at least as far as I understand, tell me if I’ve got it wrong). My Collections are now starting to mirror my Binder in that each article has both a Binder folder and a Collection. It’s easy enough to maintain right now, but it becomes something of an issue when I have to keep changing where the files are syncing to in the PlainText folder. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Okay, I think that about covers my current sync workflow. It has made a world of difference already, so don’t take this as a knock on the sync function. Writing on my iPad on the subway, then getting home and opening Scrivener and having it tell me there are changes is absolutely phenomenal. However, I can see myself going down a path littered with superfluous documents, folders and collections that just take up space once they’re done being edited.

So, what have you all found works for the sync workflow?

Why don’t you just use one collection to hold projects you want to take with you, and just remove them from the collection when you no longer need to take them on the go?

(In case you were wondering, it’s not technically feasible to mirror Scrivener’s binder structure in the external folder sync, because despite superficial similarities there’s no good way of mapping a Finder folder hierarchy against a binder one - the Finder has no arbitrary ordering, for instance, and in Scrivener folders are just special kind of text documents, etc.)

All the best,

So one problem I run into with a Synced collection (as in anything I sync goes into one collection) is that the sync function recognizes “Folders” as “Documents”, a Scrivener feature, not a bug. However, in order to get all of my documents in one collection, I need to blow them out of the Folder, placing them all in as separate documents. Problem: Almost every folder has the same document naming structure “First Draft, Second Draft, etc.”. Even with numbering, and even with keeping the blank folder/document in line with the sync, this again gets confusing fast.

Of course, I could change the way I name documents, but even if I did, the fact remains that adding a folder to a synced collection only syncs that folder-as-document and not the contents. So when I add “Folder X” I also have to add “First Draft”, “Second Draft” documents. Moreover, when in the binder I later add “Third Draft”, I now have to drag that into the synced collection, instead of the collection seeing I’ve added a new document to that folder I’m already syncing.

Phwew. Any of that make sense?

For what it’s worth, you can option-drag to move the folder and its contents to the collection. Not sure that completely fixes your problem, but at least as far as the visual hierarchy and fewer keystrokes, that will work. (So in your example, option-drag Folder X and you’ll automatically include First and Second Drafts when you dump it in the collection.) I haven’t tried a sync with PlainText yet so though I know it uses folders, unlike Simplenote, I’m not sure how that corresponds to a Scrivener project.

For myself, I’ve at this point mostly used the Simplenote sync for notes, often going mainly Simplenote to Scrivener rather than back, and for moving recipes and things that I just need to view on a portable device. And then I use it in a way that Keith would potentially hurt me for, so I won’t mention my Scriv-to-Scriv sync for collaborative writing… :wink: