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Conflicting Modifications


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I read the other posts on this topic, but I am still having trouble.  I just need to understand  how the syncing works, because it doesn't seem to be working for me, or I am just not understanding a timing thing.


Here is what occured:

I created a list on evernote on my laptop.  About an hour later, I added some items to the list.

I hit the sync button.

I left the house, went to the store, and opened Evernote on my cell phone.

I noticed that the added items weren't on my note - only the original list.


Fast forward to today:

I opened my laptop Evernote, and that is where I saw my added list items, but they were located under the heading of "Conflicting Modification" for two different times.


Since I hit the "sync" button before I opened the app on my cell phone, I should not have gotten this conflict.


Any advice??

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  • Level 5*

May not be the case, but do you have Synchronize on WiFi only set on the iPhone?  If so the notes may not have been synced when you opened EN at the store.  That would be a guess since the phone wasn't synced.  If this option is selected you have to manually sync when without a WiFi connection.


Not sure about what happened on the fast forward though.  Did you add/delete any items while at the store?  That could cause a conflict.  If it happens again manually sync before you start shopping.  


Sidebar, I use EN for all but grocery lists.  I use Wunderlist for those items.  It's free and easy to share the lists.

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Hmmm...I looked at my settings both under "general" and for evernote on the iphone, and I did not see a place where you can determine wifi only syncronization.  I did not alter the list in the store, only opened the note. 

However, since I tried it here at home, with wifi on, and it still had a conflict, I don't think that's the case.   I'll check out Wunderlist, thank you!

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  • Level 5*

Doesn't sound like I helped you solve the problem, but you're welcome anyway.  


The WiFi setting should appear if you tap the gear icon on the opening EN screen and then tap General.  It is the top item.  Syncing works for me between PC and iDevice.  You might want to try it again with a new note with a sync after you edit a note on either platform.  The key is to sync before you go to another platform to avoid conflicts.

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Sorry if this is a silly question, but are you remembering to manually Sync DOWN from the Servers one each device as soon as you open Evernote on either of them?

Best practices in addition to scheduled Syncs as set by you on each device, are:

* Don't attempt to work in Evernote on more than one device at a time. (This one is my personal advice to help avoid Sync conflicts.)

* The very 1st thing you should do when opening Evernote on any device, is to manually Sync. This will Sync the most recent successfully Synced (saved) version of your notes down from the servers to your device.

* The very last thing you should when ending a session working in Evernote, is to manually Sync again. This will Sync, as in save, the latest version UP to the Evernote Servers.

Remember, you are *not* Syncing from one device to another. You're Syncing to the servers, where your dated is stored online in a Cloud Service. The initial manual Sync downloads the most current version to that device only.

The final manual Sync before you exit out of Evernote is uploading, as in saving the most current version of your notes to the Evernote Server (or "cloud").

Regular, scheduled Syncs from your devices are also uploading the most recent versions of your Evernote database - as in saving it - to their Servers. But you should never rely on them 100% to catch everything. The same is true for ANY cloud based service, including Wunderlist. And any changes you make while your device is offline (without an active internet connection) will need to be successfully Synced to the Servers when you're back online.

Your computer should have no problem storing changes while offline as a copy of your database will be automatically stored on the hardrive. But a manual Sync when back online, will ensure the most recent version is uploaded (saved) to the Servers.

Your phone, however, may or may not keep copies of notes created or edited while offline. Unless you have a Premium account and can designate a Notebook for offline use, you're at the mercy of your phones temporary cache drive, which auto deletes stuff when it's running low on storage space. Again, this is why manually syncing when starting & ending an Evernote session, is so important. Even when you have a reliable highspeed wifi service, there are many things that can knock it out of whack and interfere with scheduled syncs. All it takes is a second or less of interrupted service that you might not even notice while you're working online, to mess up a Sync. Manual syncing is a safety net to avoid data loss and conflicts.

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Thank you Wordsgood.  I am a new Evernote user, so it is likely that when I opened evernote on my phone, I did not manually sync.  I will do that next time for sure.  Hopefully someday I can afford to upgrade to premium! :)

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  • Level 5*

Just to reinforce Wordsgood suggestion, I have a similar best practice:


I have developed a habit that helps me avoid 99% of sync issues:

  1. Manually sync, and sync often.  Don't rely on the autosync.
  2. Always manually sync after:
    1. Entry/Edit of an important Note
    2. The end of each session
    3. The end of each day
    4. You're finished with one device, and want to switch to another device
    5. You first start using another device
  3. For important work, view the Notes on the other device to make sure all Notes are sync'd
  4. Backup important and hard-to-replace Notes. Go to File > Export to export as an ENEX archive file.
  5. Make sure you have an active, frequent Backup system always running (at least once a day, hourly if possible)
    1. I use Time Machine on the Mac for hourly backups of changes
    2. A lot of people use the online backups like Carbonite and CrashPlan

I know it may sound/look like a lot of work, but once you get into the habit of doing this stuff, it becomes automatic, second nature.

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  • 5 months later...

I've been using Evernote between several devices since its conception. I find it quite disconcerting that there is yet a feature to merge the difference between conflicting notes. The sheer size and complexity of some notes makes it inefficient to manually search and edit. The benefits of mobility has exponentially increased conflicting note count. 

Please make such a feature available. 

Im currently outsourcing https://www.diffchecker.com 



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  • 2 months later...

To resolve the annoying Conflicting Modifications, I use Excel to find text changes

  1. Paste each version in a separate column at Row 1
  2. Scan the rows and insert cells to keep the same text on the same row
  3. In Row 1, insert this formula =IF(A1<>B1,1,"") in the first unused column
  4. Copy the formula right as many versions as you had less one
  5. Copy the formulas down to the last used row
  6. Wherever a 1 shows up, there's the conflict.

While a bit tedious, this does find all the text conflicts. Changed formatting won't be found. It also will find edits as well as new lines.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I am currently finding the "conflicting modification" thing a major PIA.  Synching appears to work quite arbitrarily with my PC and my IPhone battling it out with multiple copies of lists that expand to the point of unusability.  The WHOLE PURPOSE of the application is to provide synchronization from any device.  I am VERY technically astute, in fact I run a tech company.  All this nonsense about synch workarounds (Excel spreadsheets, synch every 5th breath) is a ridiculous waste of time.  Evernote.  Just fix the synching so that it works consistently across the devices that I use. 

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  • Level 5*

Syncing isn't arbitrary.  First, fix your existing conflicts.  Then be sure and force sync when you enter and leave a platform and you shouldn't have any more issues.  You can also increase the frequency of syncs using the Options menu.   

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