3 Replies Latest reply: Aug 25, 2012 4:06 PM by michaelsip4
tridentinecanon Level 1 (0 points)

I really hesitated before posting this, as I did not want it to come across as another "I don't like Apple's new iCloud file management theory" complaint, as the whole thing has become dreadfully ubiquitous.  Don't get me wrong.  I think the new system is very forward-looking, but I've run into some problems.  Thus, I've delved into the foray.  I'll provide some brief background and then get to my technical question.


I've managed to move all my documents to iCloud that can be moved to iCloud: Pages, Numbers, PDFs and other junk that can be viewed in Preview, and even all my Pixelmator projects.  It was all in the cloud.


However, I recently began a graduate program, and as I started to create and save various files for my classes, I found the iCloud file management system to have a serious shortcoming: it is not possible to organize my files by class or project.  For instance, if any of the documents for my History 602 class is of a different file type than the others (as is the case for all of my classes), the iCloud system forces me to separate them by application, thus preventing me from keeping all my History 602 docuemnts in the same place.  Yikes!  This seems very counterintuitive.


My solution: The new Notes app in ML.  Once I realized I could attach files to notes, things suddenly seemed to make sense again.  I put my syllabus at the top, and had all my assignments, handouts, readings, and other documents attached to a note labeled with the course title, and even included some brief descriptions and other reminders in the notes.  It was awesome.  I had iCloud sysncing abiltiies, and I also had all the files organized by class and accesible in one place (plus I could take notes alongside the attached files, which was really helpful).


Then, after a few days, things went south.  My documents were suddenly disappearing from my notes!  Notes were not syncing properly between devices (Mac Pro, Air, and iPhone), which is to say the note would not appear, would not update, or I would end up with multiple copies of the same note on some devices.  The iPhone appears totally incapable at this point of opening files attached to notes.  The whole things seems schizophrenic.  I've spent hours today trying to recover my files and the relevant notes I had taken in the Notes app.


So... my question:  Was I way off in my expectations of the Notes app, or are these just small bugs that will be worked out over time?  It seems to me that if Apple made the Notes app so that it would accomodate attached files, that they should sync without issues, but that certainly has not been my experience.  Am I using the app in a way it ought not be used, or is there something potentially wrong with my system that is making my Notes app unreliable?  Any thoughts or help offered is much appreciated.

Mac Pro, OS X Mountain Lion
  • dwb Level 7 (22,625 points)

    Given that I'm pretty invested in Apple's ecosystem I began playing with iCloud after Lion became available and I found that when it worked it was pretty convenient. Unfortunately it offered lots of different ways to fail. Pages files I started on my iPad never made it to my computer or were damaged. Edits didn't sync back to my iPad. I learned to depend on DropBox.


    With Mt Lion I took another look but by this time I was much more cautious. Syncing problems continued; maybe they weren't so frequent or maybe that was wishful thinking. Like you, I found the app centric filespace offputting. Once again I gave up on iCloud (for documents) and continued to rely on DropBox.


    That Apple has decided to attempt something new is good and I hope iCloud becomes reliable. But for now...I hope you are able to rescue all your work.

  • Joseph Delaney Level 3 (745 points)

    I didn't know you could attach files to notes - that's pretty neat.


    Syncing is often a tricky thing, and I don't think Apple has gotten it 100% right yet. You should be able to get this to work, but you'll want to make sure everything is set up perfectly.


    Your first sign of problems is the duplicates - you shouldn't see that. Make sure you only have your iCloud account set up to sync notes. Earlier versions of Mac OS used to sync Notes through email accounts (they're just messages in a special mailbox, which explains why you can attach files), and it seems that Mountain Lion leaves traces of those old settings around. Look in your "Mail, Contacts & Calendars" system preferences, you should see an "iCloud" icon plus your other mail accounts. If one of the *other* mail accounts is a .mac or me.com or icloud.com address, and you're using that same address as your iCloud login, then make sure the "Notes" option is turned on under the icloud section but off for the email account ("@" icon). That should take care of the duplicates (but do pay attention to that warning that your notes will be deleted - if you don't have duplicates or copies somewhere, you'll lose your notes). There are some other tips here - http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4191


    You should also try figuring out which device has the best copy of your Notes. Leave that machine alone, but turn off Notes syncing on all the other devices - the idea is to make sure that the only device that is syncing to the cloud is the one with the good copy. Wait a little while, then turn on syncing on one of the devices and make sure the notes look ok, then go to the next device and keep going until everything is back in order.

  • michaelsip4 Level 2 (300 points)

    speaking candidly, being a "business professional" may I suggest an alternative approach at this point in time.


    Personally, I have categorized my material into four sub groupings


    (complex)     -  Documents with dependencies (business systems designs, modifications, notes best practices)

    (active)         - currently being used or modified / pending delivery

    (processed)   - rececntly completed (30-60 days)

    (inactive)      -  60 days or older 


    I then looked at what worked best on my mac, ipad, iphone and pc used with the cloud.


    Personally, I discovered that my actives and recently completed worked well in the cloud as long as i did not make them to complex in nature (keeping it simple)


    I then looked for alternative storages, usb, pocket drives to keep the intergration i desired for complex, processed and inactives.


    I also explored other sources to save my information (best practices/ease of use etc)

    dropbox, box, alfresco, skydrive, soonr


    I discovered a happy hybrid between the cloud and alternative sources.


    Now to your question, I do not believe you were off in your expectations and most likely overtime things will be rectified or improved upon.... my personal thoughts are those of  (if I am able to introduce information into a document - as long as my formats are compatable my products accross the boad should work successfully)


    I would also advise you contact apple support under mountain lion (since it is new and u have 90 days of support as of purchase date) and discuss the issue in greater detail, addressing document size, space utilizations, syncing and the best practices aspects of notes and document integration.


    They may have the information to help you suceed in your qwest,.