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Working on a spreadsheet from 2 computers, losing data

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Hi gurus, I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. 


I'm working on a spreadsheet on 2 different Windows computers.  I keep losing data. and I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.  Spreadsheet is in Excel.  Do I need to delete the document from the note and re-attach it?  


I'm so confused.  Every time I've lost data, I have to go into that EN attachments file and search for my lost data. Then copy and paste it back to the most recent spreadsheet again.  I'm reentering data 3 and 4 times.  My boss thinks I'm an idiot.  I'm beginning to agree with her.  


Maybe when I open the document I need to "Save As" with the date?  Then create another note? I can't keep entering data for hours and it disappearing into the Cloud. Maybe I need to use Dropbox for working on attachments? I've never tried that program, but maybe it's better for documents that are constantly changing?


Thanks for any ideas.  



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So you have a note that contains a spreadsheet, and you're editing the spreadsheet on two different computers, at the same time? Sounds like a recipe for trouble.


So here's what happens when you edit an attachment from Evernote:

* Start editing via double-click on the attachment, right-click / Open, etc.

* Evernote writes its copy of the attachment to the Attachments subdirectory (which you've evidently discovered), and fires up the editing program (e.g. Excel, Word, etc.) pointing to that copy of the file.

* When you Save changes, Evernote sees that the file system copy of the attachment has changed, and pulls it back the note's copy of the attachment. You see the note's updated date change when this happens.

* At this point, you can keep editing or just quit. But you should always do a Save before you quit, so that Evernote knows to pull in the changed document.


So OK, now you're editing on two separate machines. That means that you have two instances of the same note active, so you had better have synced before you started, otherwise you might be operating on different copies of the attachments. Let's assume that you did this. You now fire up editing sessions on both machines. You now have two separate copies of the attachment, one on each separate hard drive in the Evernote Attachments directory. You make a change in one of these, and Save, and Evernote is going to pull it in to that machine's instance of the note. If you make a change to the other machine's copy of the attachment, then you are basically hosed. Your notes are at best in conflict, and at worst, losing changes.


If your must edit on two separate machines, you should always Save and exit, then sync your note up to the Evernote servers on one machine, then sync the changes down to the other machine and edit there. Don't edit the same attachment on two separate machines at the same time. Evernote will not magically go into Excel and sync changes in to the spreadsheet you're editing; it can't do this. Excel is running wholly independently of Evernote.


Another tip: the Attachments folder is not really for users to muck with. It's just a temporary landing zone for attachment files while they are being edited by outside applications. Most of the time, you Save and Exit, the changes get pulled into Evernote and the temporary copy gets deleted. Sometimes they don't get deleted, though, but that's not unknown with any program that uses the same mechanism that Evernote is using to trigger editing of attachments. If you're done editing, and the program is shut down, and Evernote is in sync, then it should be safe to delete the files that are left in Attachments.


Oh, and you're not an idiot. This stuff is a little tricky. But if you understand what's actually going on behind the scenes, then you should be OK.

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Thanks so much, Evangelist! This really helps.  I figured out what I'm doing wrong from your answer.  I'm never on two PCs at once.  I'm on a laptop at the jobsite with no WiFi.  After I finish for the day, I turn on my phone hotspot and sync EN.  Then I go back to work and work on the doc at my desktop, which is always online.  It syncs automatically.  Where my goof up is, the next day, I go back to the job site, and start up EN without syncing AGAIN.   The document has changed, but my laptop doesn't know it.  I enter in a bunch of new data, save it, and sync it over top of the work I did at my desktop yesterday.  So I lose all the work I did at the desktop.  I get it! I just need to sync before I get started at the jobsite.


It's funny.  I've been talking to my boss trying to convince her to use Evernote for our company.  I haven't told her I'm using EN and losing data.  I told her I'm saving "in the Cloud." LOL.  Maybe I can make Evernote the hero.  "I should have been using Evernote to save it....."


Thanks a bunch.



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