Jump to content
Meld51

How do I resolve Sync Conflicts?

Recommended Posts

I'm new to this so please excuse my naivity!

 

I read the knowledge base which says that there is a special folder where conflicted notes go, but I can't find one in Windows, or in Android.

 

Well, I have a conflicted note but I don't know how to resolve it...

 

Please could someone explain how to resolve conflicts?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Unfortunately, Evernote seems to deal with conflict in two ways:

  1. Put the conflicting Notes in a new Notebook named "Conflicting Notes ..."
  2. Append the conflicting Note(s) to the bottom of one of the Notes (the original?).
    1. With this method you may never be aware of the conflct

Supposedly, Evernote will also notify you via the Notification Antenna in the toolbar.

 

Now, how do you determine the conflicts, and resolve them?

 

Well, Evernote is not much help here.

Some choices:

  1. Visual inspection
    1. OK for small Notes, but terrible for long ones.
  2. Use external file compare tool
    1. Save each note to a file
    2. Use a 3rd party file-compare tool to identify the differences

Once you know the differences, you can resolve by:

  1. Selecting the Note you prefer, and delete the other(s)
  2. Use Copy/paste to merge the parts you like from one Note to the other.

None of this is very satisfactory, but that's about the best I know of.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Click on the "conflicting notes" forum tag at the top of this page to see other thread about this issue.

Share this post


Link to post

You may be able to do a search on "conflicting modification on", in quotes, and see all notes with conflicts.  That text is a part of the banner used to separate the versions of the conflicted note. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

You are welcome. Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post

I've not really had a chance to look at this properly yet, but one thing I have to say first...

 

There is not a folder called "Conflicting Notes"

 

Where would that be? I can't see it in Android, in the web version of in the Windows version. It's not on my phone, tablet or PC!

 

I'n using the premium version by the way.

Share this post


Link to post

Hi.  You get a 'Conflicting Changes' notebook in some versions,  which contains the notes about which there are queries;  others have the conflicts appended to the original content - which are difficult to find unless you also get an error message of some sort.  Try looking at recently updated notes,  or sort your note list view by note by size and check out your largest notes,  or see the search above.

Share this post


Link to post

Unfortunately, Evernote seems to deal with conflict in two ways:

  • Put the conflicting Notes in a new Notebook named "Conflicting Notes ..."
  • Append the conflicting Note(s) to the bottom of one of the Notes (the original?).

  • With this method you may never be aware of the conflct

Supposedly, Evernote will also notify you via the Notification Antenna in the toolbar.

 

Now, how do you determine the conflicts, and resolve them?

 

Well, Evernote is not much help here.

Some choices:

  • Visual inspection

    • OK for small Notes, but terrible for long ones.
  • Use external file compare tool

    • Save each note to a file
    • Use a 3rd party file-compare tool to identify the differences
Once you know the differences, you can resolve by:

  • Selecting the Note you prefer, and delete the other(s)
  • Use Copy/paste to merge the parts you like from one Note to the other.
None of this is very satisfactory, but that's about the best I know of.

How does one save each note to a file? I did not see the option on my copy of the app. BTW any database programmer knows how to solve the issue of conflicts.

Share this post


Link to post

How does one save each note to a file? I did not see the option on my copy of the app. BTW any database programmer knows how to solve the issue of conflicts.

 

Select the Note of interest

File > Export Notes... > HTML

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, JMichaelTX said:

Sorry, but I don't trust this process.  How does it know which lines are the ones I want to keep?

Hello. Thanks for your question. I've amended my blog post with the following answer:

This procedure will only delete lines that are identical to lines it has previously seen. So, in the following simple example, lines a and b are duplicated in the conflicting note, and the second instance of them is deleted:

BEFORE:

a
b
c
Conflicting modification on 28 January 2016 at 12:30:23
a
b
d

AFTER:

a
b
c
Conflicting modification on 28 January 2016 at 12:30:23
d

You'll see that the "Conflicting modifications" notice is still in place; you'll have to delete that manually.

If you are still worried that you might lose text for some reason, you could always just copy all the text from your old note into a new note (ie duplicate the note) and just perform this procedure on the new note, so you've still got the old note as a backup.

I hope that helps.

Ian.

Share this post


Link to post
5 minutes ago, Ian Howlett said:

This procedure will only delete lines that are identical to lines it has previously seen. So, in the following simple example, lines a and b are duplicated in the conflicting note, and the second instance of them is deleted

OK, so it only deletes dup lines.  That does not really help resolve the conflict, and conflicting lines may be physically separated.  

A much better method is to copy each section (that is from an original note) to separate files, and then use one of the many tools that show differences and allow merges.

But what we really need is for Evernote to (1) prevent as many conflicts as possible; and (2) provide a tool to resolve the conflicts.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, JMichaelTX said:

OK, so it only deletes dup lines.  That does not really help resolve the conflict, and conflicting lines may be physically separated.  

A much better method is to copy each section (that is from an original note) to separate files, and then use one of the many tools that show differences and allow merges.

But what we really need is for Evernote to (1) prevent as many conflicts as possible; and (2) provide a tool to resolve the conflicts.

You are of course  correct on all counts. The procedure you describes is more suitable if your note is more detailed (mine are really just lists of individual items). It would likely take longer to perform than the simple method I showed above, and requires a little more technical skill, but could provide better results for you, depending on the content of your notes.

I've updated my blog post to include your comments, since people will find them useful. Thanks for helping me to improve my post.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Yeah it can be pretty annoying. I'd love Evernote to come up with a simple tool that temporarily highlights the areas of difference (like in pink or something) if there is only missing / removed text with the additional ability to have any additional text in the duplicate note put in bold with the text changed in colour to pink or red. It would then be glaringly obvious what has happened so no info is lost. Shame they don't seem that interested...

Share this post


Link to post

This is handled in a terrible way by Evernote. This is the one issue that will drive me away, having spent quite a bit on notebooks and associated Premium status. Evernote should make my life simpler, not more complex. To do lists copied three or four times with small changes between them just slow me down.

Evernote: Keeping and syncing notes should be the one thing you are good at. Without that Evernote falls apart.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree that this is burdensome when using Evernote for to-do's in particular.  I use Evernote on 5 different devices, and don't always remember to close the list on one before editing on another.  And as you search the Web for answers, you realize this has been going on for years.  In 2014 they specifically posted an article about trying to resolve these issues throughout 2014.  It is 2016.  What happened?  I just opened a Note that had 12 different "Sync Conflicts".  12!   Ridiculous.

One simple idea: time stamp changes in metadata.  Then Evernote could easily append multiple changes on multiple devices into one note, even if they were disconnected when the change was made, based on the time.  PROBLEM SOLVED.  I realize this is probably a major architectural change, but with the size of Evernote and the number of users, it is time.  Time to solve the problem once and for all. Because if not, more and more people are going to leave in droves.  I am close.

 

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, J Jones said:

One simple idea: time stamp changes in metadata.

Would the note history feature help in serving this purpose?

Share this post


Link to post
21 minutes ago, J Jones said:

One simple idea: time stamp changes in metadata.

And if your devices all have different times?  Takes the edge off of simple. 

In any case, as much/little a PITA it may be, syncing when entering/leaving a device is still the safest way.  The addition of instant sync on Windows helped reduce the issue since a changed note now syncs within a minute or so, same as on the IOS platform.  FWIW.

Share this post


Link to post

Devices having different timezones could be solved by having a master time zone just for Evernote (regardless of the device).  A setting in Evernote that sets "Evernote timezone" so that the timestamp is the same everywhere (we do this in my company which handles a global userbase with different devices in the cloud).  

I totally agree that syncing every time you enter/leave a device is the safest way, but that puts the burden on the user.  In this modern day/age of Cloud everywhere, this type of function should not be the burden of the user, but a feature of the software.  Take Google Docs for example: multiple people editing the same document from anywhere, at the same time, and all changes staying in sync.  Maybe have an option for "always connected" mode, where all change are sync'd automatically, and you are warned if you are not connected to the Internet?  

Just thinking out-loud here, but there have to be multiple ways to solve this problem, and none seem to have been implemented in the software.  It still seems to be the "users problem".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, J Jones said:

Devices having different timezones could be solved by having a master time zone just for Evernote (regardless of the device).  A setting in Evernote that sets "Evernote timezone" so that the timestamp is the same everywhere (we do this in my company which handles a global userbase with different devices in the cloud).

I was thinking less time zone (most devices keep some reference to GMT I think), more about minutes.  If your desktop thinks it it 1:05 and you phone thinks it is 1:10 and your tablet thinks it is 1:07, or if you changed your device time since your last sync.  You need some universal chronometer of record someplace.  Which requires some thinking that is a bit more than simple in my view.  That's all.  Or I am just over complicating a simple thing.  It's happened.

 

1 hour ago, J Jones said:

Take Google Docs for example: multiple people editing the same document from anywhere, at the same time, and all changes staying in sync.

And where are those changes being made?  At the server or on each device or both?  Can you do it if you are offline?  I would be interested to know, from an understanding how they do it basis and how easy it was when implemented.  Never used Google docs.

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, J Jones said:

I use Evernote on 5 different devices, and don't always remember to close the list on one before editing on another.

So it seems that your main issue is self-inflicted.  ;)

6 hours ago, J Jones said:

One simple idea: time stamp changes in metadata.  Then Evernote could easily append multiple changes on multiple devices into one note, even if they were disconnected when the change was made, based on the time.  PROBLEM SOLVED.

I don't see how this helps.  The last Update date/time is already maintained in the Note header record, in both the device local database, and in the EN Cloud database for your account.

Sync conflicts occur when you do a sync, and the Note on your device has NOT been synced, but has a date/time older than the date/time in the EN Cloud.

A more significant issue occurs when the Note on your device has NOT been synced, but has a date/time LATER than the one in the EN Cloud, BUT you had made changes on another device in the interim.  This sounds confusing, and it is, so let me detail the events leading to this issue:

  1. Create a Note on Device A, and Sync.
  2. Edit the Note on Device B, but do NOT sync.
  3. Go back to Device A, edit, and sync.  (of course you will NOT see the changes you made on Device B )
  4. So now, the EN Cloud latest sync is from Device A.
  5. Go to Device B, do NOT sync, and continue to edit the Note.
  6. So now, the Note on Device B has a later date than the EN Cloud, but does NOT include any changes from Device A.
  7. On Device B, sync.
    1. Since the Device B date/time is later than the EN Cloud, the EN Cloud is overwritten by the Device B Note.
    2. All changes made on Device A are no longer in the EN Cloud.
  8. On Device A, sync.
    1. The EN Cloud version is downloaded, overwriting all of your changes that you made on Device A.

I've seen this very scenario reported many times by users who state that Evernote has "lost their data".

You're only hope of recovery is if you notice the changes from Device A were "lost", and you go to Note History (a Premium feature) to try to sort it out.

This is a complicated scenario, and I'm sure I have not considered all of the issues/possibilities, but it is one that IMO Evernote needs to address and solve.

Until/IF Evernote fixes this issue, my suggestion is to be proactive, sync, and sync often, just like you would do when saving a document on your PC/Mac/Phone/Tablet.

Although sync, IMO, is one of Evernote's primary features, it still is not as solid or robust as it needs to be.  So, I never rely solely on Evernote to automatically sync.  I always do manual syncs, and I rarely have a sync issue.

 

I have found the following to be helpful in preventing sync issues:

  1. Use multiple short Notes rather than one long Note that has many/frequent edits
  2. It is best to consistently manually sync, and sync often, especially after:
    1. Entry/Edit of an important note
    2. End of Session BEFORE you close or put your machine to sleep
    3. End of Day
    4. Start using a different device
      1. Even if you notice the Sync icon spinning on EN iOS when you switch to the app, do a manual sync anyway after it finishes spinning
      2. I have noticed that the initial sync does NOT always do a full sync.
      3. I'm not sure about Android devices, but I would do the same just to be safe.
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

THis has happened to me multiple times. Thanks for identifying it.

Share this post


Link to post

I have a similar problem. I have used EN over Google Chrome. One day later, I tried to use Windows App to check those notes and I saw that all work done in that note was not saved. And there is a yellow exclamation mark over those notes. In acitivity log, I have seen conflicting changes error. 

Could I recover these notes? Is it possible to reach them?

Evernote_error.png

Share this post


Link to post

Hi.  It sounds as though the Windows computer,  which carries a copy of your notes updated from the server,  hasn't received the last update.  Check your notes on the web again - you should find the originals are still there.  Check How to troubleshoot syncing issues for possible fixes...

Share this post


Link to post

Possible FIX: 

I think this might be a timezone issue. 

Try this: Check the timezone set in your browser matches your actual timezone (e.g. if you live in London, set to London). 

To do this in Chrome, you need to log into the active Google Calendar account and go to settings... I think...

Seems like a background service of is pulling the timezone from the browser in the evernote web client. This then conflicts with the local evernote client. 

Just a hunch. Keen to know if this works for anyone else.

KJ

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

×
×
  • Create New...