Moving between machines


Been using Scrivener since 2008 and evangelizing about it to my writer-friends. What’s the best way to move my huge novel project between machines (i.e., I have a laptop I use when I go to an artists’ colony, etc.) Backup the project to a zip file and overwrite each time? Help, please!


Zipping up the project using File > Backup To is probably the best way, yes, probably using Dropbox ( to hold the zip files. You can sort your Dropbox folder in the Finder by date so that you always know which is the latest version you’ve placed in there of course.

All the best,

P.S. Thanks for evangelising!

Keith’s advice is sound (as it should be, since he’s the creator of Scriv), but I have an alternative method for you:

Keep you active copy (the one you work on directly) on a thumb drive. When you go to open the Scrivener project, always use that copy. Religiously use “File-> Backup to” to create a backup on your local machine, or Drop Box/iDisk/whatever. By “religiously,” I mean EVERY TIME you finish a bit of work that you don’t want to loose. Even if you’re just taking a break. BACK IT UP.

The big risk with using my method, however, is if you ever forget to quit scrivener before the thumb drive is removed. That could potentially corrupt your project. BUT if you are obsessive about backing up your projects to the local machine/internet storage, then you should always be able to get back to the latest version of your work, no matter what.

Thanks! Didn’t know about this dropbox…I’ve indeed been having trouble sorting out timestamps, etc. Thanks for the alt. method, too–have corrupted the project before and couldn’t figure out why (using flash drive). … ves-t.html

I routinely move Scrivener projects among three machines, a home desktop, an office desktop, and a laptop. It’s taken me some time to figure out the best way to share to files. Here’s my solution.

First, I create a copy of the most recent version of the active Scrivener project (this usually means unzipping a backup) and append the updated date (MMDDYYYY) and time to the file name. For example, I would highlight NovelOne_03182010_309pm.scriv. in its folder, use the key command apple key + d to make a copy, which would automatically be named NovelOne_03182010_309pm copy scriv. I might then update to file name to the current date and time to: NovelOne_03192010_936am.scriv. When I am finished working on this file I create two zipped backups from within Scrivener, sending one copy to a SugarSync folder that is synced across 3 machines, and one copy to a SpiderOak folder that is synced across the same 3 machines. (SugarSync and SpiderOak are both remote backup services.)

Before opening any Scrivener file, I check the synced backups for the most recent version of this file. Having two remote backups allows me to compare folders from each backup service, reducing the risk of opening an older file that wasn’t updated properly when it last synced.

I should note that when you create a zipped backup of a project from within Scrivener, it will add the time and date to the file name. The above is just my way of doing of things.