Writing from multiple PC's - Suggestions?

Hi all.

I am nearing the end of my trial for Scrivener and I am fairly confident that I will be purchasing the full version. It has made writing my web-novel so much easier. Not sure how I managed without it for so long.

I do have just a little bit of an issue though. And I would not even call it an issue with Scrivener per-say and won’t change my mind about buying it. However, I thought you guys might have came up against the same problem. My issue is saving my work. More specifically, saving it in such a way that it is accessible from the three different computers that I write on.

Sometimes I am in the middle of nowhere and get an idea, so I grab my laptop and start bashing out a few scenes. Other times I could be playing a game in my office and my brain just clicks over to writing mode, so I drop out of STEAM and into Scrivener. Then on my lunch breaks at work I have gotten into the habit of re-reading my work and making minor tweaks. So here I have three PC’s that need to access the same info. Simple right, just use the cloud.

Except it isn’t that simple. I have noticed, more often than not, that GDrive has a bit of a lag when syncing and sometimes does not sync at all. Can’t use DropBox at my work (blocked) and my attempt to manually upload/download my work has resulted in a sync nightmare with folders all over the place and me not being able to remember which one is the most current. I have not lost much work because of this though I had a few scares. I always managed to revert back to the most recent backup. But the annoyance factor is through the roof. I find myself spending more time trying to access my work than actually writing.

Has anyone figured out a sure-fire method of syncing work between multiple computers?

We DO NOT recommend Google Drive for use with live Scrivener projects. It has known synchronization issues that can result in unrecoverable data loss.

We use and recommend Dropbox internally, but I understand that’s not an option in your case.

The only “sure fire” method of sharing work between multiple computers is via removable media (SD card, external drive, thumb drive). Any network-based solution will fail if you lose connectivity. To avoid the multiple version problem, here’s what I would do:

  • When you finish work on Computer A, use the File -> Backup -> Backup To command to backup to your removable media (or the cloud location of your choice). Check the box to create a ZIP file, and name the file in a way that clearly identifies it. (Project_May31_1030, say) (Using a ZIP file keeps all the components of the project together, so nothing gets lost in transition. ZIP files are safe for use with Google Drive.)

  • Copy the ZIP file to Computer B. Unzip. Go to work. When you’re done, repeat the backup, again giving the file a name that clearly identifies it. Repeat as needed.

  • Every day or every week, depending on how many copies you accumulate, either discard old versions or move them to an Archive directory where they’ll be out of the way.


I used the same method Katherine describes (zipped backups + MS OneDrive) to share Scrivener projects between work PC and home PC. Worked well, and I always knew the latest version of the project was in a zipped backup on OneDrive. (I had to manually upload/download the zipped backups from OneDrive via the web, as my workplace does not allow installation of DropBox or OneDrive apps.)

Then I bought iOS Scrivener for iPhone & iPad, and began using DropBox for syncing between them and the home PC. Works flawlessly.

Do you by any chance have a spare iOS device? :slight_smile: If you do, you could use that instead of the work PC, and move to DropBox as your sharing solution.

In my experience, iOS Scrivener on an iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard is pretty capable for most writing and editing tasks. (Less so for research.) JimRac’s suggestion is a good one, and would also guard against any issues that might arise from using a work machine for personal writing.


Unfortunately in this case I am an Android user :p. I know it might be a bit much to ask for a 'droid version of Scrivener. One can dream, right?

I guess I will use the method you both described. Zips sound cleaner anyway. Thank’s for the advice

This is a little late to the party but just in case someone else has this question: what I do is keep the project files on a dedicated thumb drive. When I use the project on my primary desktop, I save a backup but continue to use from the thumb drive.

It actually gives me an idea of something I want to suggest in the wishlist forum.

Note that we do not recommend working directly from a thumb drive. Partly for performance reasons, partly because they are generally not as reliable.


:smiley: This is my first post on L&L, though I’ve had Scriv for a couple of years.
I’ve found BT Cloud to be perfectly reasonable for back up and syncing between computers, no probs at all.