Getting Started with Syncing

The ideal time to start syncing is when you are first starting out with one of the applications:

  • For an existing timeline file, you should setup syncing as soon as you create the Scrivener project
  • For an existing Scrivener project, you should setup syncing as soon as you create the timeline file

Starting syncing at this point allows you to import any existing data from one application straight into the other and ensures item links are being created and maintained when data is being created, and allows you to avoid the extra step described below.

If you already have an existing Scrivener project and timeline file, and they both already have data, syncing is still possible, but you will need to manually link existing documents and items. 

Otherwise, the default behaviour from Aeon Timeline will be to assume that there are new, unrelated items on both sides, and will create duplicate copies of the items (i.e. every Scrivener document will be copied across as a new item in the timeline, and every timeline item will be copied across as a new document in Scrivener). 

To start syncing with your writing project:

  • Click on the Syncing icon in the Sidebar, and in the left-hand panel that opens, click on the Settings button

  • Select your application and writing project:
    • For Scrivener: Click Browse to choose the Scrivener project, and then click Next
    • For Ulysses:
      • Once you select Ulysses, the Ulysses app will open
      • If this is your first time syncing, Ulysses may prompt you to give permission for Aeon Timeline to access your Ulysses data
      • Once this occurs, select the folder that you want to act as the top-level of your document tree. The contents of your timeline narrative will be synced with the contents of this folder.
  • On the following screens, choose which syncing options you want to enable (see Sync Settings), and click OK.

With syncing configured, the user interface will update to show the current sync status (see following section):

Once your sync is setup, it is a good idea to match any existing items and resolve any conflicts straight away. 

To do this:

  1. Click on a new item in the syncing panel (i.e. any green item). 
  2. The sync item inspector will open on the right-hand side of the window, showing that the default behaviour will be to create a new item in the other application. 
  3. Click Change, and then choose an already-existing item to link it with

The Sync status will update to show that those items will now be linked:

Once you are happy with your configuration, click Sync Now. 

This will apply the first set of changes to the Scrivener project and Timeline file, and allow all subsequent additions, deletions and edits to be tracked from then on.

Every time you go to the Scrivener project and make some changes, Aeon Timeline will identify those changes and update the UI to highlight any un-synced changes that require your attention.

Syncing User Interface

The sync icon in the Sidebar will indicate when there are un-synced changes in either your timeline or Scrivener project.

When there are unsynced changes, the tree in the sync panel represents how the Scrivener binder/timeline narrative will look after changes are applied:

  • The order of items in the binder will reflect the order they will have after syncing
  • Newly created items will be indicated by a green plus icon
  • Items with changes will be indicated by an orange exclamation icon
  • Deleted items with be indicated by an orange minus icon
  • Items with conflicts that require manual resolution will be highlighted by a red exclamation icon.

The labels in the tree above those items will be highlighted in the same color to make the source of changes easier to trace within the tree.

Clicking on any item in the sync panel will show more information about that sync item in the Inspector panel on the right side of the window. In this panel, you can see information on the specific changes that have been detected, and if necessary, choose between conflicting values.