Export/archive entire library?


#1

Hi Charles,
Perhaps I’m missing something, but I cannot seem to find a way to export my entire library. This became a critical ritual for me (you may remember that scare I had early on with Findings 1). I see you can export an individual experiment, but it’s missing the option to select entire library vs experiment like you can in Findings 1.

thanks
Adam


#2

Actually, we made it even more flexible in Findings 2: you can select multiple entries and export that selection! To select all entries, simply click in ‘Entries’ in the sidebar, then ‘Select All’ from the Edit menu in the entry list in the middle. After that, you can use the ‘Export as Archive’ menu item.

Note that the best way to make a regular backup, though, is to make a copy of the documents folder. Here is how to get to your Findings documents on disk:

  • In Findings, choose the menu Findings > Preferences
  • In the preferences, choose the ‘Library’ tab
  • Press the button ‘Reveal in Finder’ in the ‘Documents’ area

That’s the folder that contains your entries, protocols, and collections (also you’ll see standalone timers, which are technically stored in a separate subfolder ‘TimerSets’).

The documentation is still lacking for Findings 2, but I’ll have more soon in the ‘How To’ section of the forum…


#3

On the subject of backups, I might as well add more information about it here as well. We designed Findings so that backup of your data becomes part of your computer backup without any extra work on your end. In other words, if you already use a backup system, like Time Machine, CrashPlan, BackBlaze or Arq, you are covered. As you probably know, having a backup system for your computer is critical, wether you use Findings or not. I strongly recommend to all my friends and family that have a Mac to get an external hard drive and use Time Machine (ideally, 2 hard drives, in 2 separate locations).

if you are storing your library on Dropbox, you have some kind of backup as well, but be aware Dropbox has its limitations in that respect. Normally, you are able to go back up to 30 days in time even with the free version of Dropbox, and restore any file up to that time (it’s unlimited with paid plans). BUT there are still situations where it is difficult to restore things: I had one user once hit by a Dropbox bug that prevented the usual restore feature that Dropbox would normally offer, so backing up your computer is always a good idea.


#4

Thanks for the detailed reply Charles,

My current backup strategy is to back up Findings as part of my Time Machine routine, but I also export the entire library to another place as precaution every x number of days. This is why I like to manually export my entire library.

With your instructions, I successfully exported my entire library (or just experiments?), but I found that I had to do an extra/different step. When I select ‘entries’ in the sidebar and then ‘select all’, it highlights ‘experiments’, ‘meetings’, ‘stickies’ and all of my collections. However, when I export this, it produced a really small file (~1mb, whereas my entire library is > 500mb). To capture the entire library, I have to ‘select all’ inside the 2nd window (which lists all entries), which then produces a file that is about the correct size. But this makes me wonder if this included my protocol files, as well as meeting and stickies files (I don’t use them yet but might in the future).

I see why you wanted it to make it more flexible, but personally, I think I preferred the way it was set up in Findings1 (the simple choice to select “all experiments in library” in the drop down menu) : )

best
Adam


#5

To capture the entire library, I have to ‘select all’ inside the 2nd window (which lists all entries), which then produces a file that is about the correct size. But this makes me wonder if this included my protocol files, as well as meeting and stickies files (I don’t use them yet but might in the future).

Indeed, the export is done on the selected documents, which is what is done in the middle pane. And to be clear, that means all your entries, not just experiments. But of course, if you select ‘Experiments’ in the sidebar, then you’ll get only your experiments, etc. For protocol export, you’d need to select Protocols in the side bar.

Note that it was also true in Findings 1: export all would only be for either entries or protocols, not both.

I see why you wanted it to make it more flexible, but personally, I think I preferred the way it was set up in Findings1 (the simple choice to select “all experiments in library” in the drop down menu) : )

That’s definitely a good point. I’ll see if I can bring it back in some way or form.

It looks like what you really want anyway is another backup of your library. The ‘findings’ archive is really a zip file of all the fdexperiment or fdprotocol files in your library. Hence, making a zip file of the ‘Default’ folder produces the same output. In fact, you can drag that zip file into the Findings icon of another machine to import all the content there. You can even rename the zip file with the ‘findings’ extension, and it 's safe: you can double-click it and it will open in Findings, which will properly import it.

So maybe what I need is to provide in the app a ‘Backup Library’ menu item to offer just that functionality, in just 1 click… What do you think?


#6

thanks for the detailed explanation.

So maybe what I need is to provide in the app a ‘Backup Library’ menu item to offer just that functionality, in just 1 click

yes, I would love to have that feature!