Using Automator to Backup

I have just starting out using Scrivener to organize a children’s series. Since I have learned so much browsing these forums, I thought I’d give something back and share my Automator approach to automatically backing up via FTP. I’ve seen the auto-backup request come up quite a lot.

To be safe, I like to back up after each writing session, and keep a local copy as well as remote copy. I use since they offer a Tiny account for $25 a year with 75MB space - plenty for my zipped backups. These guys are not only cheap but a top-notch company as well. I have used many hosts, but count on for anything I deem important. This should work with any hosting account, however. If you do use, consider using me as a referrer! …

Now on to Automator. First, download and install the free “Upload to FTP” Automator Action … toftp.html

Start Automator and add the following two actions to a new workflow. If you’ve never used Automator before, you just find the action on the left and drag it into the window on the right:

  1. Under the Finder actions, add “Find Finder Items.” For Where, choose the folder you save your backups in. For Whose choose “Date Created” and “Today.” This assures that backups will be uploaded only on the day they were created and not every time the workflow runs. I keep many incremental backups, but I don’t want all of them being uploaded every time I make a new backup.

  2. Under Terminal actions, add “Upload to FTP” and enter your FTP information.

Now save this workflow as a plug-in by going to File-Save As Plugin. Enter a name for the workflow, such as “Scrivener FTP Backups” Next to Plug In For, choose “Folder Actions” and then choose your Scrivener backup folder.

This creates a watched folder. Whenever something is saved to the Scrivener backup folder, the workflow automatically uploads it to your off-site server space. This is done in the background without you having to open a FTP client, drag-and-drop files, or even think about it. Hope this helps some of you trying to automate your off-site backups!


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Very cool. I’ve never used Automator, but will give this a try. Thanks, Dan!


Thanks Dan! I’ve never used automator either, but this looks exciting and really useful.

I’m going to give it a go!!!

Manalive! It works.

I’ve felt guilty for never doing anything with the endearing automator robotman and suddenly here’s something useful he can do.

Thanks Dan.

The only glitch seems to be that mediamax - the on-line storage provider I am using - has erratic ftp support: some days it likes my files, sometimes it doesn’t :confused:.