Selective Syncing

I have one very big Scrivener file for all my projects. In that file, I have a folder which is personal notes. The problem is that I use Dropbox to sync between devices, and Dropbox is also on my office computer where I would rather not have personal information stored. Is there a way to select which files to sync or projects? I could potentially make the personal folder a separate project.

I’m sure other people have different solutions, however … the first thing is to move your personal stuff into a separate project. To do that create a new project. Scivener will ask you where you want to save it. If you’re only going to use it on a single computer just save it to anywhere convenient; if you also need access to it on more than one device, then it’s only a little more complicated.

In Dropbox, you can designate certain folders as shared with other devices, so create a new folder within your Dropbox folder and designate that as shared between your own computers, but not the office computer. So for instance, I have a folder that I share with my wife only for family matters, and another which I share with my wife and a friend for other matters relevant to the three of us.

So when you’ve set up or identified the right location, create the new project ensuring it is saved there, then with it open, open your current project, moving the windows so you can see both binders and simply drag your personal stuff from the binder of the existing one to the binder of the new one.

Does that help? :slight_smile:


EDIT: Oh, and remember to delete all the personal stuff that is accessible from the office computer.

Another question is whether the whole of your Dropbox account is accessible from the office computer. If so, the quickest and easiest way is to set up an account on another cloud service—NOT, emphatically NOT iCloud or Google Drive, and I’m not too sure about One Drive—for your personal stuff. I use Sync from which works well with Scrivener, though others recommend Box too.

I think it is just good general advice to keep your work and personal stuff separate. So, I would definitely split them up no matter what.

Having said that, I am unclear whether any of your Scrivener project needs to show up on you work computer (as opposed to it just being an accidental side effect of needing dropbox for other things at work). Do you need the Scriv project to be accessible on the work computer? If not, then a version of Mark’s suggestion is to not share the project-containing Dropbox folder at all with you work computer.


Belated thank you to both of you!

I do not have Scrivener on my office computer, so I created a split account from Dropbox–one for work and one for personal materials. Essentially, I now consider my Scrivener file personal even if it contains work documents.

Glad you found a workable solution for your set up.


Dropbox does have a selective sync feature, which lets you individually select which of its folders to sync on the computer you’re at. So at work, you could also just de-select the folder(s) where your personal Scrivener projects are stored. You’ll have to do that at your work computer though, I’m pretty sure.

Rdale, yes, I just have not had time to figure out the selective Dropbox syncing. I disabled the syncing of the personal folder in Dropbox, but I have not deleted it from my office computer because I am afraid I will delete it completely.

This is a legitimate worry. As long as Computer A is configured to synchronize a folder with Dropbox, deleting an item there will delete it everywhere. Once syncing of the folder is disabled, though, it’s safe to delete “disconnected” items.

I would recommend testing, by creating a file in the folder in question and making sure it doesn’t propagate to your other systems.


Great tip, Katherine! I will definitely use it.