Syncing options in Outline

Outline can sync and share your notebooks through different cloud services. We support iCloud, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, WebDav, SharePoint and OneDrive synchronization. 

All these services offer quite an easy and convenient way to keep your notes updated. You can restore deleted files, keep several recent versions of files and share your notes with other users. 

Please visit websites of different cloud services to learn more about their features and choose the one that suits you best.

Basically, Outline allows two types of synchronization for your choice:

1. File based synchronization (iCloud, Box, Dropbox or GDrive)

Each section in Outline is created as a file. More of a small database, actually. It has revisions, transaction logs, etc. It is optimized for simultaneous access by Clients on a file share. There is no Server, just the file and Clients working with it. Clients in this scenario should merge the changes. This architecture was created back in 2003. However, people still often prefer to work with local notebook files using modern synchronization methods like Dropbox.

Outline can work with files and merge the changes the same way as OneNote does. The difference is that Outline not only writes or reads changes to the file on SMB share, but also downloads the full file version, adds the changes and uploads it back. 

On your Mac

Moving notebooks is all about moving actual folders. 

Install the client of a storage you want to use, place a folder with your notebook in the folder of a cloud client. Don't forget to close and reopen your notebook from a new location in Outline using + button > Open from Local, Box or Dropbox. 

The same is also valid for iCloud. Once you login with your Apple ID, corresponding folder will appear on the sidebar of your Finder. Outline folder is created in iCloud automatically. Place the folder with your notebook there and open it in Outline via + button.

Note: Such cloud storages don't allow simultaneous edits, so make sure that you're editing your files on one device at a time only. Otherwise, conflict copies may appear.
On iPad/iPhone

Dropbox, Box or Google Drive are available for you. If you want to open a notebook that is already stored on one of these clouds, select a necessary cloud storage via + button in Outline, enter your credentials and choose your notebook. Or, in case you wish to place a local notebook to the cloud, go to Settings > Synchronization > Sync Providers > Link Account. Link the storage you are planning to use. Then change the location of an existing local notebook to a cloud storage in the Notebook's Properties

iCloud: Please note that Outline connects to iCloud account that is used on your device. There is no special Sign-in window for iCloud. Don't forget to turn on iCloud option for Outline in the list of supporting apps in Device's Settings

Note: If you open a notebook from the cloud storage, please allow several minutes for it to download, especially if the notebook is large.

2. Microsoft FSSHTTPB API

This scenario is used in OneDrive and SharePoint synchronization. Its advantage is the ability to work via API and send/receive only changed parts. This option is more stable, reliable and suitable for simultaneous user access. Usually users choose this option when they want to sync their notes with OneNote. Modern OneNote doesn't allow keeping notebooks locally, so MS Cloud syncing is the only way to sync notes between OneNote and Outline (except OneNote 2016, which still allows local storage).

Contact us at support@outline.app in case something isn't clear or isn't working as intended.

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