PieceWorx Writing Studio includes the ability to automatically save backup copies
of your notebook. This is desirable when you want to consult an old version for
information which may have been removed since.
Backups, of course, also safe guard your work in the event your working copy of
the notebook is corrupted, overwritten or damaged for some reason.
An ideal scenario would be to maintain your notebook in a folder associated with
one of the many free, online storage solutions like
The backup folder location is automatically determined and cannot be changed. A
subfolder is created in the same folder as your notebook file using the same name
as your notebook file. All backup copies are stored in this folder. If you change
the name of your notebook file, then the new backups will start being stored in
a new backup folder. The old backups will remain in the old backup folder.
The reason the backup location cannot be changed is primarily to support working
on your notebook across many devices. Suppose you work on your desktop computer
at home and work on your laptop at the coffee shop. In order to support sharing
the same notebook you store your notebook file in a folder that Dropbox syncs to
the cloud. Whether you close your session on your desktop or your laptop, all backup
files get saved to the same backup folder and sync'd by Dropbox.
We may consider more options for the backup folder for the future, but this provides
an effective, simple backup solution that works across multiple computers.
Backup can be turned off completed by unchecking the box next to
If you want to perform an on-demand backup just click the Backup Now button.
If you have unsaved changes you will be prompted to save your changes and continue
with the backup. Note that the on demand backup behaves exactly as the automated
backups. It will still evaluate and apply your retention policies.
You could also cancel the backup and click the Open Backup Folder button
to explore all of your backup files in the backup folder.
In the following screen capture you can see the modified file names. A series of
numbers have been appended to each filename. These numbers represent the date and
time when the backup was created. This number is needed to prevent filename collisions.
The format of the number is quite simple. Take the first file below, for example,
Test2_20140107151540.nbook. The number is simply the concatenation of the
date and time fields beginning with the largest value first:
Year (2014) + Month (01) + Day (07) + Hour/24 (15) + Minute (15)
+ Second (40)
So you can see in the screen capture below that this corresponds to the time stamp
on the file as well:
January 7, 2014 at 3:15 PM and the 40th second.
If automatic backup is enabled you must choose a backup frequency. The options are
- Every time the notebook is saved
- Every time the notebook is closed
If you choose to backup every time the notebook is saved, then a backup copy will
also be made in the backup folder. The down side of this option is that you could
end up with a lot of backup files in your backup folder because I'm sure you save
your work frequently.
If you choose to backup when the notebook is closed, then, of course, you will probably
have fewer backups.
It is a good idea to close a notebook at the end of your writing session to ensure
you are prompted to save your work and to ensure the backups are performed if you have
chosen to do backups when the notebook is closed.
A better approach would be to just close the whole program. You'll still be prompted to
save your work and backups will be performed if needed, but PieceWorx Writing Studio will
also save all of your settings and will automatically re-open your last notebook when you
open it the next time.
Layout settings, preferences and the current
notebook file are remembered from the previous session and are restored when the
notebook is opened again. If you follow the practice of opening the notebook at the beginning
of each writing session and closing it at the end, then choosing to create a backup
each time the notebook is closed will ensure a backup for each writing session.
This is also a good practice if you work on multiple computers and share the notebook
via SkyDrive, Dropbox or some other cloud based file syncing service.
In addition to specifying the backup frequency you also have a choice about which
backups are retained and for how long.
There are three retention modes:
- Keep All - keep all backups
- Keep Last N - keep a limited number (N) of the most recent backups
Keep For and Per - keep all backups for a certain period of time
and for older backups keep one copy per chosen time period
Saving all copies of old notebook backup files means that none will ever be removed
If you want to remove old copies you can still do so manually in the file system.
Use this mode when you have plenty of hard drive space and want to be sure you can
always look at all old versions of your notebook.
Keep Last N
Choosing to save a certain number of recent backups will ensure that no more than
the specified number will be retained. Be sure this number is high enough for your
Use this mode when you want to limit the amount of hard drive space used and are
not concerned about retaining old copies of your notebook.
Keep For and Per
Saving all recent copies while retaining only a limited number of older copies balances
notebook retention and hard drive space.
For example, suppose it is January 1st and you've been writing every day for two
months. Suppose your backup settings are configured to backup every time you close
the program and to save all backups for one month but only one backup per week for
anything older. The result of this backup strategy will be that you retain all backups
for the month of December and one backup per week for the month of November.
Use this method when you want all recent copies and at least some older copies while
limiting the amount of hard drive space consumed.
Prompt Before Deleting
Finally, if you check the box next to Prompt before deleting any backup files,
then no backup files will ever be deleted without you first confirming it.
Each time a backup is performed, the retention policy is evaluated. If it is determined
that some backups need to be deleted to comply with the retention policy, then the
program will look to see if you want to be notified first. If so, you will see a
popup window like the following screen capture.
The delete prompt shows you exactly which files will be retained and which will
be deleted if you choose to continue with the delete operation. You can also choose
to keep all files. However, if you don't change your backup settings, you will be
prompted again the next time the retention policy is evaluated.