Sync Hurts My Brain

I’m working on a screenplay.
I have lots and lots of research slash brainstorming documents OUTSIDE of my drafts folder.
I want to have a SUBSET (read: COLLECTION) of them synced to an external folder.
BUT i also want my DRAFTS folder synced to this external folder.
Am I crazy, or can I not do both?

If I want ONLY a specific COLLECTION synchronized I need to:
[ENABLE] Sync all other text documents in the project
[enable] Sync only documents in the collection: COLLECTION

If I do this then indeed, my subset collection sync perfectly.
My drafts folder no longer will synchronize because I enabled the “Sync only documents in the collection” option.


It would seem that I cannot sync my drafts folder AND a specific collection at the same time.
Right? Wrong?


The easiest way you to do this is to hold down the Option key and drag the Draft folder to your collection. That will dump the entire tree into it, then do likewise with any other items you want to include, and then switch the sync settings to use that collection.

That isn’t automatic though, you will need to refresh the contents of the collection whenever new items are added. So another way would be semi-automatic. That method would use a saved search collection to assemble everything you need, and then some handy form of meta-data that the search could pull from. Keywords would work best for this in my opinion, as you can have as many as you need for any particular item in the binder, meaning you can use keywords for multiple purposes. To batch apply keywords, select all of the items that you wish to apply it to, and then drag the keyword from the project keyword list. Some handy tips to make that work better:

  • Create a document template that has the keyword already assigned to it. Then assign that template as the default type for new items created in the Draft. To do that, select the Draft folder, and use the [b]Documents/Default New Subdocument Type/[/b] sub-menu to select the template you created. This works in a top-down fashion, so if you apply that setting to a root folder like Draft, all containers beneath the Draft will also use this default (unless you tell them otherwise).
  • To initially find everything in the Draft folder so you can easily select it all, do a project search for a single asterisk character, and set the search scope to draft folder only.

Once you get it set up it would be pretty seamless to continue using from that point on. All new items in the Draft would automatically get that keyword, and anything else you want to selectively add to the saved search collection used for syncing can have the keyword applied manually—arguably no more work than curating a standard collection in the first place.

wow. Thanks for this but…WOW
That seems a lot of work just to be able to sync the drafts folder AND a specific collection.
Surely…this should be an issue to be addressed in the future?
It seems a fairly critical limitation of the boolean logic of the external folder sync…?

We’ve had no feedback at all in regards to wanting something like this, so I wouldn’t agree that it is critical. Most people just turn both checkboxes on if they want everything because it is easier and safer to have too many text files than missing the ones you need because you forgot to curate your collection before walking out the door that morning.

That said, I reiterate my closing comment: the workflow I designed above would in fact be arguably easier to use than a dedicated feature, but even at the worst, they could be considered identically easy to do. Adding an item to a collection and adding a keyword to an item are roughly equivalent. I’d vote for Keywords myself because I’m a keyboard fan, and you can add a keyword to a document without lifting you hands from the keyboard. That is generally not possible with collections.

That’s part of what makes Scrivener powerful. It’s tools are generic, flexible, and often open-ended so you can design custom ways of working with the software that are unique to you. Hopefully that makes sense and is agreeable to you.