Short undo history

I’m writing a manuscript in devonthink and came across a couple issues: short (inconsistent) undo/redo history and lack of file versioning.

My manuscript is broken up into separate files (markdown) for individual sections, grouped into a folders for intro, results, methods, etc. This helps me outline my paper and allows me to easily go back and forth between different parts. The problem is that if I’m writing in the preview pane of the main window (with the navigation and inspector), the undo history is lost every time I switch between different files. This has been a problem. I really don’t understand the behavior of the undo/redo commands and never know what will happen when I click undo. This does not happen when I command-open the text in a separate window, but I don’t want to have multiple windows open at once.

That brings me to a related issue: file versioning (sorry for having multiple topics). If I were to make a mistake that can’t be undone, I’d feel safer knowing that I can easily restore a previous version. What are the best ways to constantly keep a group of text files backed up? I use Time Machine but that’s only hourly. A smart rule is a good option, but I’m not sure how to properly set it up to monitor specific files. I have many large documents in my database that I want to exclude. But I don’t want to have to remember to tag every important file with something like #backup. Another option would be to store my manuscript folder in Dropbox and index it with devonthink. Dropbox has file versioning so this could be a good option.

Any suggestions? Am I missing something simple with the undo problem? What are your favorite ways to keep your important text backed up?

Thanks all!

I’d suggest using a dedicated editor like visual studio code or BBEdit for writing and possibly GitHub for versioning. DT is good for shorter texts, but I’d not use it for longer ones.
No point in forcing a tool to do something other tools are better suited for.

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There is already a smart rule for versioning - Create Version - and removing old ones - Remove Obsolete Versions.

Thanks for the reply. I was somewhat expecting that response. I sense that not many people use DT for long writing projects but I don’t know why. I have everything I need here. My project notes, journal notes linked to project notes, data files, references, annotations, etc.

I can use a keyboard shortcut to quickly export an article to bookends, then a second shortcut to insert the corresponding citation (with a DT link back to the pdf) into my writing. I can pull up the see also inspector to find articles or notes related to the paragraph I’m writing. I use to use OmniOutliner to outline my writing projects but now I do it directly in DT. Using a second app seems counter productive.

I just need to figure out this darn undo/redo and a reliable backup method.

How can I reinstall that original smart rule? I made too many changes to it for other purposes. Or a screenshot of the original? Thanks!

Here is the original…
Create (879 Bytes)