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Evernote Sync overwrite


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I'm new to evernote, and I'm trying to understand the sync system. I must be misunderstanding something, since I lost a huge amount of work when evernote synced today. If someone could help explain what I did wrong and how to avoid doing so again, I would be grateful. 

 

I have evernote installed on my desktop, laptop, and iPhone. Last night I added new tags, notes and notebooks to evernote(laptop) and closed the app. I assumed that since the options have 'Sync changes on exit' active, that the EN server would reflect what was on the laptop. This morning, I opened evernote(iPhone) and found that it did not show any of the work I had done previously. I told it to sync, assuming that it would download the changes from the server, but it did nothing that I could see. When I went back to evernote(laptop) to force a sync to the servers, instead of uploading what was on my laptop, it removed all of the changes to match my iPhone. When I booted up my PC, Evernote(desktop) now shows the same thing as the other two.

 

I'm confused as to what evernote means exactly as 'Sync'. If the server and local app have different versions of a note, notebook, stack, or tag, is it meant to force the local copy to match the server, or overwrite the server to match the local version? It seemed to do both, but in the opposite order to what I was trying to accomplish. If it always goes with the server, then how can anything be changed, since it will simply revert back to the older server version of the item? If it always goes with the local copy, updating the server ,then why did it delete all of my work on evernote(laptop), forcing it to match the older setup?

 

 

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I'm new to evernote, and I'm trying to understand the sync system. I must be misunderstanding something, since I lost a huge amount of work when evernote synced today. If someone could help explain what I did wrong and how to avoid doing so again, I would be grateful. 

 

I have evernote installed on my desktop, laptop, and iPhone. Last night I added new tags, notes and notebooks to evernote(laptop) and closed the app. I assumed that since the options have 'Sync changes on exit' active, that the EN server would reflect what was on the laptop. This morning, I opened evernote(iPhone) and found that it did not show any of the work I had done previously. I told it to sync, assuming that it would download the changes from the server, but it did nothing that I could see. When I went back to evernote(laptop) to force a sync to the servers, instead of uploading what was on my laptop, it removed all of the changes to match my iPhone. When I booted up my PC, Evernote(desktop) now shows the same thing as the other two.

 

I'm confused as to what evernote means exactly as 'Sync'. If the server and local app have different versions of a note, notebook, stack, or tag, is it meant to force the local copy to match the server, or overwrite the server to match the local version? It seemed to do both, but in the opposite order to what I was trying to accomplish. If it always goes with the server, then how can anything be changed, since it will simply revert back to the older server version of the item? If it always goes with the local copy, updating the server ,then why did it delete all of my work on evernote(laptop), forcing it to match the older setup?

 

 

http://discussion.evernote.com/topic/20092-not-very-happy-right-now/?p=101095

 

In a nutshell, when moving between computers/devices/clients, sync DOWN first, make changes, sync UP. 

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Thanks for replying so fast, BurgersNfries! I read the discussion thread you pointed me towards, but it doesn't mention how to sync DOWN or UP. It only mentions syncing in general. Specifying a sync direction does not exist in the evernote client, so I'm confused by what you mean. How can I force evernote to sync down or up?

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Thanks for replying so fast, BurgersNfries! I read the discussion thread you pointed me towards, but it doesn't mention how to sync DOWN or UP. It only mentions syncing in general. Specifying a sync direction does not exist in the evernote client, so I'm confused by what you mean. How can I force evernote to sync down or up?

 

When you first start using EN on one computer device, sync.  This is what I refer to as syncing DOWN b/c you're syncing with the EN servers.  Make changes.  Then sync again, before leaving that computer/device.  This sync's your change UP to the EN servers.  Then when you move to the other computer device, sync & that sync's the changes DOWN from the EN servers to your second computer/device. 

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Your suggestion seems more like behavior advice than technical. However, Evernote doesn't know if i'm starting or finishing work, so I'm unclear how this covers the problem I'm having. Does evernote have some internal way of knowing that it should overwrite the local client on sync X, but overwrite the server on sync Y? When the local client and server have differing contents, how does it know which version to keep and which version to delete? 

 

Syncing when I started up Evernote(Laptop) is what caused the problem I encountered, wherein the EN servers overwrote what was on the local client. I think at this point EN must have made a mistake syncing UP last night, even though it gave the 'Sync complete' popup notice, but this does not explain why EN changed sync directions between devices. The results of you suggestion to 'sync down first thing' have thus far been inconsistent, since I hit Sync when I started EN each device, and it behaved differently each time, syncing UP on my iPhone, but Down on my laptop. 

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  • Level 5*

Evernote syncs in both directions each time it connects.  It decides what to overwrite by looking at the 'edited' time stamp on the database.  From the sound of it,  you made lots of changes and didn't allow enough time for the sync to update the server completely (or at all) before you disconnected by shutting the laptop down.  Then you connected through your 'phone to the 'old' version,  but by looking at the note you gave it a newer edited date than the note on your laptop.  So when you connected back on the laptop,  the 'new' web version overwrote the 'old' but updated laptop version.

 

What BnF is saying is that you need to allow enough time for the sync to complete if you're going to swop between devices.  Evernote will copy information in both directions to make sure all devices have the most up-to-date version. But "sync both before and after" is definitely a practice to follow.

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That certainly clarifies some things, gazumped, thanks. The edited timestamp makes more sense than how I understood it to work. However, there are a few assumptions you made that were incorrect, which may affect your advice.

 

When I opened EV on my phone, I did no editing at all; I noticed that the Tags I created were missing, then I hit sync. That's all. As I mentioned in the previous posts, I left the laptop on for over an hour after the pop up notice "Synchronization Complete" popped up, so if the app failed to sync with the server it was not due to user error.

 

Simply reading a note should not in any way constitute an edit, or else you could never read any notes just in case it is an old version that will now override the new version because I laid eyes on it. Date accessed and date changed should be separate conditions. 

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Simply reading a note should not in any way constitute an edit, or else you could never read any notes just in case it is an old version that will now override the new version because I laid eyes on it. Date accessed and date changed should be separate conditions.

Simply reading a note does not constitute an edit. However, if you open that note (in edit mode - for whatever reason) and only read it (or maybe accidentally add a space or carriage return), then when you tap 'done' (IE iPad), then that does constitute an edit.

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My bad - for 'looking at' please read 'syncing' - either way the timestamp was reset to the phone's access,  rather than your last edit on the laptop.  I know you've had a bad experience,  and you might want to submit a support request (see below) to register the situation with Evernote - I don't think they can help in any way since the 'lost' information was overwritten on the laptop and never reached their server,  but it's always worth a try;  and they may be able to work out how to ensure this is less likely to happen in future.  Despite the circumstances though I use both a laptop and a mobile and have never (to my knowledge) had a similar experience.  Once you understand that edits need a little time to sync to the server it should never arise again.

 

If you would like to add extra levels of security just in case,  you might consider either

  1. work using a word processor that saves to your desktop.  Drag and drop a copy of the file(s) into an Evernote note when finished editing and sync.  If the latest version isn't available from the server,  you;ll still have a backup on your desktop and can try again...
  2. backup your laptop database (in Windows that means copying one EXB file) at the end of your editing.  If a sync goes wrong you can restore the database from the backup.
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Your suggestion seems more like behavior advice than technical. However, Evernote doesn't know if i'm starting or finishing work, so I'm unclear how this covers the problem I'm having. Does evernote have some internal way of knowing that it should overwrite the local client on sync X, but overwrite the server on sync Y? When the local client and server have differing contents, how does it know which version to keep and which version to delete? 

 

Syncing when I started up Evernote(Laptop) is what caused the problem I encountered, wherein the EN servers overwrote what was on the local client. I think at this point EN must have made a mistake syncing UP last night, even though it gave the 'Sync complete' popup notice, but this does not explain why EN changed sync directions between devices. The results of you suggestion to 'sync down first thing' have thus far been inconsistent, since I hit Sync when I started EN each device, and it behaved differently each time, syncing UP on my iPhone, but Down on my laptop. 

 

 

To clarify, as Gaz said, EN syncs in both directions.  When I say sync DOWN first, it's in order to get the device current with what's on the EN servers.  The EN servers are the source of all truths.  If you load a note on your phone, then move to your laptop, change that note on your laptop & sync, then go back to your phone, your phone will have the outdated note, unless & until you sync the changes DOWN from the EN servers.  If you don't do that, then change the note on your phone (w/o syncing DOWN first), then sync the phone, you've now overwritten any changes you made on your laptop.

 

To reiterate, when moving between devices/computers, sync before making any changes.  Then sync when you are done.  It's really very easy.

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Thanks, both of you. If I came across as terse, I apologize; I lost a lot of work, and while EN may have bugged out on the sync last night, the rest of it was my own ignorance of Evernote and how to effectively navigate it. The work is gone, but it can be recreated in time; my primary concern was whether I can depend on the application to capture my notes without flipping a coin to see if the note is retained or disappears into the night.

 

Now that I know how the sync works, and that I can make regular offline backups, I think this will eliminate the chance of this problem repeating itself again. Thanks again!

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  • Level 5

For solving issues based on sync, and Note conflicts, follow this basic rule while using any Evernote client.

Start of session : force a sync. This should ensure that the state of all notes ( master copy) from the cloud server will get downloaded to your local client.

Make changes or create new notes : now, you can create new notes or make changes to existing notes. Now, depending on your device settings, as you continue working , you will find that periodically, the client will keep trying to sync with the server. Don't bother about that. Keep continuing your work.

End of session : when you know that the session has ended. Click manually on the sync button. Now. The client will attempt to connect with the server. Now, all the changes of notes that you made in this session will get uploaded to the cloud.

If you follow this three step approach, you will face no issues with sync in Evernote.

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  • 5 months later...

Hi - I´ve been working for several days on a note. I synced it several times before I left the office, since I was leaving my laptop behind.

At night when I was home, I tried to check my note on my Ipad - the note was several days old, so I thought I needed to update it and pushed the sync button -  nothing happend.

Back to my office today and all the  work i did on the new note is completely gone. The note has the old version now.

 

How can this happen? It makes me loose trust in EN.

Is there  a way to restore the note I lost on a Mac?

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Hi - I´ve been working for several days on a note. I synced it several times before I left the office, since I was leaving my laptop behind.

At night when I was home, I tried to check my note on my Ipad - the note was several days old, so I thought I needed to update it and pushed the sync button -  nothing happend.

Back to my office today and all the  work i did on the new note is completely gone. The note has the old version now.

 

How can this happen? It makes me loose trust in EN.

Is there  a way to restore the note I lost on a Mac?

 

Check for Conflicting Changes notes and also in your Trash Notebook.  If there are no copies of the note in either location and you're a Premium user,  check the Note History on your laptop.  If you're not premium it would be worth upgrading for a month just to check that out - you might be able to pull back the note data from its earlier copy.

 

I don;t know if this was a sync problem - if your laptop synced successfully,  your iPad should have downloaded a copy of the note.  But if the connection to the server was incomplete for your laptop,  your sync on the iPad simply updated the 'old' shorter note.  Always good to have backups of essential documents...

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  • Level 5*

I'm new to evernote, and I'm trying to understand the sync system. I must be misunderstanding something, since I lost a huge amount of work when evernote synced today. If someone could help explain what I did wrong and how to avoid doing so again, I would be grateful. 

 

I have evernote installed on my desktop, laptop, and iPhone. Last night I added new tags, notes and notebooks to evernote(laptop) and closed the app. I assumed that since the options have 'Sync changes on exit' active, that the EN server would reflect what was on the laptop. This morning, I opened evernote(iPhone) and found that it did not show any of the work I had done previously. I told it to sync, assuming that it would download the changes from the server, but it did nothing that I could see. When I went back to evernote(laptop) to force a sync to the servers, instead of uploading what was on my laptop, it removed all of the changes to match my iPhone. When I booted up my PC, Evernote(desktop) now shows the same thing as the other two.

 

I'm confused as to what evernote means exactly as 'Sync'. If the server and local app have different versions of a note, notebook, stack, or tag, is it meant to force the local copy to match the server, or overwrite the server to match the local version? It seemed to do both, but in the opposite order to what I was trying to accomplish. If it always goes with the server, then how can anything be changed, since it will simply revert back to the older server version of the item? If it always goes with the local copy, updating the server ,then why did it delete all of my work on evernote(laptop), forcing it to match the older setup?

 

 

Tamoko_Pakeha, while there are some best practices (mentioned by others above) to help ensure you lose nothing in the sync process, you should never lose anything NEW that you added to your EN app (unless you delete the whole Evernote folder).

Even if a sync of your NEW items did not complete before you shutdown your laptop, it should complete when you next open your laptop & EN app, even if you have added/changed Notes on another device.

 

You said:  "Last night I added new tags, notes and notebooks to evernote(laptop) and closed the app. I assumed that since the options have 'Sync changes on exit' active, that the EN server would reflect what was on the laptop."

 

I believe your expectations are valid and correct.  The EN app should NOT have quit before the sync was complete.

If it did quit prematurely, and you have lost your new items, then this might very well be a bug.

 

I suggest you Submit a BUG report via an EN Support Ticket. Just start the Ticket Title with "BUG:  " to make it clear.

 

Meanwhile, to protect yourself, I highly recommend that you sync, and sync often (manually), especially after adding/changing important data, at the beginning of a session, and at the end of each working session.

You have no control over sync up or down, just syncing in general.  Evernote will (should) sync as needed in both directions.

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I'm interested in the phrase "closed the app" - that doesn't necessarily suggest logging out or exiting;  I know I tend to close my laptop's cover to send it into standby and open it again the next day.  If something like that process is used,  it's not File > Exit.  it's just continuing a session and only an automatic sync (usually every 30 minutes) or a manual one would save the data.  It would be interesting to know exactly how the OP exited Evernote...

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