using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

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rmsk
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using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by rmsk »

This might be a rookie question, but I'm trying to setup synchronization of my attachments for the first time and am a little confused. I see in Preferences > General that there are options to choose Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, and "other." There's also an option titled "iCloud Folder For iOS Sync."
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I'd like to use iCloud Drive, and don't want to do anything in relation to Dropbox, Google, Microsoft, or iOS. I'm slightly baffled that there are pre-specified options for Db/G/MS, but not one for iCloud Drive, which I assume is as prevalent if not more so among Mac users. Is there a reason there isn't a pre-specified option for iCloud Drive? (I feel like I might be missing something important?)

In any event, to configure Bookends to synchronize attachments using iCloud Drive, do I select the "Other..." option, and then select a folder of my choosing within my iCloud Drive hierarchy?

Thanks for any advice.

PS: in case it's relevant, I've configured BE to use iCloud sync for my library. I assume one can combine this with using iCloud Drive for attachments -- is this correct?

Jon
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by Jon »

Yes, you'd select Other and then your folder in the iCloud Drive (which you can indeed use with Cloud Sync). Note that if you use Bookends for iOS those PDFs won't be synced with your iOs devices.

We could offer iCloud Drive as a dedicated option in that popup, but I think that would be very confusing since we also off an option for iCould Folder For iOS Sync (which is a special, privileged folder created by iOS, it can't be created by the user).

Jon
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DrJJWMac
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by DrJJWMac »

The primary choice you are making in this menu option is where to store your attachments regardless of whether you will or will not sync the attachments with some other system (e.g. a second macOS computer or an iOS device).

In this regard, the Other... menu option is there so that you could choose to store your attachments on some other *local* directory. I happen to store all of my attachments on a second volume on my internal hard drive. In this way, I can easily locate and backup just that volume, for example to a USB stick.

In this regard also, having the option "iCloud Folder for iOS Sync" directly in this list is initially confusing.

The option is there in case you a) know *in advance* that you will sync attachments in the current library with an iOS device using the iCloud folder approach or b) decide later that you want to sync attachments in the current library with an iOS device using the iCloud folder approach.

rmsk
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by rmsk »

Jon wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 8:40 am
Yes, you'd select Other and then your folder in the iCloud Drive (which you can indeed use with Cloud Sync). Note that if you use Bookends for iOS those PDFs won't be synced with your iOs devices.

We could offer iCloud Drive as a dedicated option in that popup, but I think that would be very confusing since we also off an option for iCould Folder For iOS Sync (which is a special, privileged folder created by iOS, it can't be created by the user).
Thanks for your response. If at some point in the future I decide I also would like to synchronize with iOS (in addition to synching with a 2nd Mac), would I switch my selection from an arbitrary folder within the iCloud Drive hierarchy (selected via the "Other..." option) to the "iCloud Folder for iOS Sync" option?

Actually, for my immediate purpose of syncing attachments between two Macs, is there any harm in choosing "iCloud Folder for iOS Sync"? Would this enable me to sync between two Macs in the present, and preserve the option of synchronization with iOS in the future?

Jon
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by Jon »

No, you can't use the iCloud Folder for iOS Sync between Macs -- as I said that folder is created by iOS). It's easy enough to switch attachment folders in the future if you need to.

Instructions on setting up Cloud Sync for iOS are here

https://www.sonnysoftware.com/bookendsontap/cloudsync/

Jon
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DrJJWMac
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by DrJJWMac »

When your intent is to share (not synchronize) a database of attachments between two or more macOS computers, you can take three approaches:

# Through a Shared Cloud Service

Set up the attachment storage to be located in one of the supported cloud services (Dropbox, Google Drive, or iCloud folder using the Other ... menu choice). You do not use the menu option iCloud Folder for iOS Sync because, although you may want to use iCloud for this purpose, you are not SYNCING, you are SHARING the database (again, this is likely why having this specific choice here where you are supposedly choosing the storage option not the sync method can be rather confusing).

The disadvantage of this approach is the danger that may happen when you do not cleanly log out/close Bookends on one computer before you start working on any of the other computers. You should have only one computer using Bookends that tries to access the database at any given time.

# Through a Sync With Local Folders

In this case, you would

* Create your initial storage location locally on one computer
* Sync the local folder to your other computers, either through a Cloud service or using the master computer as a file server itself

The disadvantages of this approach are that you will have separate copies of the attachment files on each computer and you will have to maintain a sync service to recognize which file is the primary or most recent file among them.

# Through an External Drive/Stick

In this case you would

* Create your initial storage location locally on one computer
* Copy that database folder to an external hard drive or USB stick
* Sync the database from the the external hard drive or USB stick to the other computer(s)

The disadvantages of this approach are that you will have separate copies of the attachment files on each computer and you will have to maintain a sync service to work with the files between the external drive/stick and the different computers.

If you are just starting with a relative small database of attachments, you can be reasonably OK with iCloud. As your database grows, you might also consider this other approach.

* Create a master library of everything with the attachments stored locally (not in iCloud)
* Create a (smaller) SHARE library with the default attachments folder pointing to iCloud.
* Copy citations from the master library into the SHARE library as the need arises to work on them across different computers.

rmsk
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by rmsk »

Jon wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:41 pm
No, you can't use the iCloud Folder for iOS Sync between Macs -- as I said that folder is created by iOS). It's easy enough to switch attachment folders in the future if you need to.
Thanks for the further instruction. So now I understand what options to choose if I want to sync two Macs, or sync a Mac and an iOS device. What option would one use to setup synchronization between multiple Mac and iOS devices (e.g. two Macs, and an iPad)?

Jon
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by Jon »

Follow the instructions for setting up iOS cloud sync, which are in the link that I posted above.

Jon
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ASlater
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by ASlater »

I've been using an android phone for a very long time and just recently switched to an iPhone. I can say with certainty that iCloud disappointed me the most. On Android, it was much easier to distribute my files in the cloud and not worry about the occupied space. Five gigabytes of free space? Are you serious? That's not enough. Although, if you look at today's apple policy, you should be happy that they allocated at least these five GB. I was looking for some articles on the internet for a long time, and I came across this site https://backlightblog.com/icloud-storage-full. It describes in detail how to use this free space in your cloud. Personally, it helped me a little, and I hope it will help you too. Good luck to you guys.
Last edited by ASlater on Mon Aug 16, 2021 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Jon
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by Jon »

Using iCloud to sync libraries works very well. Are you having some problem with Bookends cloud sync? If so, please start a new thread.

Jon
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MRH
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by MRH »

ASlater wrote:
Fri Aug 13, 2021 8:24 am
I've been using an android phone for a very long time and just recently switched to an iPhone. I can say with certainty that iCloud disappointed me the most. On Android, it was much easier to distribute my files in the cloud and not worry about the occupied space. Five gigabytes of free space? Are you serious? That's not enough. Although, if you look at today's apple policy, you should be happy that they allocated at least these five GB. I was looking for some articles on the internet for a long time, and I came across this site https://backlightblog.com/icloud-storage-full. It describes in detail how to use this free space in your cloud. Personally, it helped me a little, and I hope it will help you too. Good luck to you guys.
If 5 GB isn't enough for you, 50GB upgrade costs GBP 0.79/month, 200GB is GBP 2.49/month, 2TB is GBP 6.99/month.

On your iPhone go to Settings, tap on your name at the top of the screen, then iCloud —> Manage Storage and go on from there. 50GB for £0.79 or presumably something equivalent wherever you are is a steal compared with upgrading Dropbox 2GB free, etc.

:D

Mark

iandol
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by iandol »

Jon wrote:
Sun Jul 25, 2021 3:41 pm
No, you can't use the iCloud Folder for iOS Sync between Macs -- as I said that folder is created by iOS
Just to clarify a bit, if you did have an iOS device to create that folder (in my case at /Users/ian/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud~com~sonnysoftware~bot/Documents), then that folder should work just fine to *also* sync between desktop machines (at least that is how seems to work for me)?

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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by Jon »

Yes, that's correct. Although Mac <-> sync doesn't require using that folder to hold the PDFs, that folder works perfectly well. So in a mixed environment (macOS and iOS), that's the folder to use.

Jon
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Jon
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Re: using iCloud Drive for synching attachments

Post by Jon »

Update: Because Bookends 14 was updated to use native cloudKit, it can create this special dedicated folder in iCloud itself, there is no longer a need to create it with Bookends for iOS. This default attachment option in preferences will be changed to "Bookends iCloud Folder" in the next release and the documentation updated. Until then, if you are using Bookends 14 you can select the existing "iCloud Folder For iOS Sync" and Bookends will create it when it adds its first attachment.

Jon
Sonny Software

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