The value of Notebooks grows with the amount of information and effort you put into it, and it is essential to have a reliable backup strategy in place that allows you to quickly restore all documents in case anything goes wrong with your iPhone or iPad. This chapter describes several methods how to save the contents of Notebooks to your computer or another backup system, and how to restore it again.

Basic Tips

“It’s a matter of when you will lose data, not if.”

This is a saying in the IT world, so we should always be prepared and follow two basic recommendations:

  1. Backup regularly
  2. Do not rely on a single backup

You should take these tips seriously for all your data, not only for Notebooks.

Available Options

Back up through iTunes

This is probably the simplest and most convenient method, but it is often overlooked by our users. Every time you connect the iPhone or iPad to iTunes and synchronize, the contents of Notebooks is saved to your computer. The documents are stored in a location predefined by iTunes, and they cannot be easily read or changed, but they are there in case you need to reset the device or restore it from a previous backup.

A few applications are available that can extract data and documents from an iTunes backup (if it is not encrypted). Two examples are

Save the contents of Notebooks through iTunes’ File Sharing

On the iPad and on iPhones running on iOS4 or later, Notebooks is capable of exchanging documents through iTunes’ Files Sharing. This is described in more detail in the next chapter, but in this context it is important to know that the top level book of Notebooks (it is titles “Notebooks”) is visible as a folder in the File Sharing panel in iTunes and can easily be saved to your computer. To do so, select the folder “Notebooks”, click on “Save to…” and select a location on your hard drive. This will save the contents of Notebooks (including all system files and your protected files) to your computer and give you freely accessible backup of all your data.

Currently, iTunes’ Files Sharing is unable to import folders, it can import single files only. This means that a restore through File Sharing is not as simple as a backup, but it is not complicated either. Instead of importing the “Notebooks” folder you would compress the books that this folder contains (you create a zip archive for each folder) and import the zip archives. Notebooks will detect these archives and move them into its top level book, where you can choose to extract them. This will restore the contents of the books.
More details about this are available in the next chapter.

As an alternative to iTunes File Sharing you could take the contents of the previously exported “Notebooks” folder and import it through Notebooks’ WiFi Sharing option. This is another method for moving the contents of Notebooks do a different device, too. It is not synchronization, but it is a quick method of filling Notebooks with an initial set of documents.
Details about Notebooks’ WiFi Sharing are available in the next chapter, too.

Synchronize Notebooks with a Cloud Service

Finally, each of Notebooks’ export and sync options can be used for backup too. Notebooks supports Dropbox, WebDAV servers and has its own built in server, so there are enough options that you can pick from. They are all detailed in the next chapter.