Saturday, January 06, 2007

New Google Notes Feature: Automated Email Backups

Google Notes is now capable of performing automatic email backups; you can receive daily, weekly, or monthly emails containing snapshots of your notepad. This is useful in general for keeping archived copies of your notes, and in the event that we have any downtime, you can at least have a recent backup copy of your notes.

To activate automatic backups for your notepad(s), we ask that you donate $1/month or $10/year to support Google Notes. By donating (via the button in the column to the right), you help ensure that we can continue to provide consistent, long-term service.

If you are unable to (or choose not to) donate, you can still create backups manually by clicking the "backup to email" button for your notepad. However, the automatic backup option exists to ensure consistent archiving with no added effort.

To receive automatic backups, click the "backup to email" button for your notepad. From your email account, reply to the backup email. In the reply, please include your email address, category name (in quotes in the first line of the backup email), and the desired frequency of backup (daily, weekly, or monthly).


One last tip for anyone who uses email backups, it may be useful to add a filter to prevent them from filling up your inbox. In Gmail, to automatically filter your notes, take the following steps:

Near the search box at the top of Gmail is a link for "add filter". Click it and a small form should display. Fill in the "From:" field with "david.hoelscher+googlenotes@gmail.com" and fill in the "Subject:" field with "Google Notes Snapshot". Run a test search to make sure this picks up the right emails, and click next step.

On the next form, you will probably want to check "Skip the Inbox (Archive it)" and "Apply the label". You may want to create a new label like "Google Notes" so you can quickly pull up a list of your note backups. Click "Create Filter" and you're all set up and ready.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Feature for Google Notes: Backup to Email

We're barely a day in, and 2007 already looks to be a good year. Fresh on the heels of the "full screen" feature, I've added a "backup to email" feature, which allows you to send a backup copy of your notes to your inbox. It's a step towards my goal of having automated backups, wherein your notepad contents are backed up to your email automatically on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, if desired. This not only lets you easily save your notes, but also lets you search through older copies of your notepad data.

If your notes aren't backing up properly, make sure you're checking the right email account. The notes are sent to the email address provided when you first started using the service. You can review this information by clicking "edit" in the top, right corner of your Google Notes. If you used some fake email address (which is perfectly understandable), then your notes will be sent to that fake email address. If you want to change the email address for your notes, you can either:

1) copy your notes, edit the email address, and paste the notes in the new notepad window

OR

2) use the buttons on the right side of this blog to add a new notepad (maybe you want to try a larger one?), fill in your email, etc., and copy over your old notepad contents.

If everything checks out and you still aren't getting your backups, feel free to let me know via email or a comment here. I've done my best to minimize the possibility of the email being marked as spam (by sending as plaintext instead of html, etc.), but we may have to feel our way around a bit before the system is flying right. Also, please let me know if you have problems with receiving multiple backups...that is, "click once, backup twice". I may enforce a minimum one hour (or so) spacing between backups to prevent accidental overload.