Backup & iTunes File Sharing

Backup all notes (and tags) to a single file, then move the backup file off your device. Depending on the size of the backup file, you may be prompted to move the backup file off your device using either email, Dropbox, or by sending it to another compatible app that is installed on your device (e.g. Google Drive, Box, etc.).

IMPORTANT: You must move the backup file off the device to ensure the safety of the data. An automatic way to do this is to Use iCloud.

From the list of notes screen, tap the Settings toolbar button (gear icon). Then under Backup tap “Create”.

Moving the backup file off your device

If “Use iCloud” is turned on, the backup file will automatically be moved off your device, assuming you have enough space in your iCloud account. More information about using iCloud with Mental Note can be found here.

Email or sending the backup to a cloud storage solution (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, Box, etc.) are both good alternative, manual ways to move the backup file off your device. If the backup file is small enough to be emailed, the Email option will be presented. If the backup file is small enough to be sent to Dropbox, the Dropbox option will be presented. Use the “Other app” option to send the backup file to another installed app, (this will first check if you have another compatible app installed on your device that can accept the backup file).

If the backup file is very large, manually move the backup file off your device by connecting your device to your computer and launching iTunes. In iTunes, select your device (in the sidebar), then click “Apps” (in the top row), and scroll to the bottom. Select Mental Note. Under “Mental Note Documents” you will see any backup files you’ve created (.mno for iPhone & iPod touch, and .mna for iPad). The backup filename corresponds to the date and time the backup was performed. Copy a backup file to a safe place by selecting a backup file and clicking “Save to…”. (Note: you won’t see backup files in this window if they were created while you have the Use iCloud switch turned On.)

Creating a backup file creates a single “restore point” file – a snapshot of all notes (and tags) as of that date and time.

Backup files are initially named with the current date and time, but the names can be changed to indicate a special point in time, or to identify the contents of the backup file. For example, “FreshInstall_emptyNotes”, or “From-iPodTouch…”. To rename a backup file from within Mental Note, tap Restore (from the Backup settings options). A list of the backup files found on your device is presented. Tap Edit, then tap a backup file to rename it.

Backup files can be used to transfer the notes from one device to another device, e.g. iPhone to iPhone, iPod to iPhone, iPad to iPhone, iPhone to iPad, etc. Backup files can also be used to transfer notes from Mental Note Lite to Mental Note, (by default Mental Note Lite allows the creation of backup files only).

Restoring from a backup file means all notes are replaced with the contents of the backup file. Before this occurs, an optional backup of all current notes can (and usually should) be performed.

The Restore option is accessed from Mental Note settings, just beneath the Backup button. The Restore screen can be used to:

  • restore a backup file (.mna / .mno, under the “Backups” section) which will replace all notes with the contents of the backup file: tap the backup file to restore
  • restore a single note file (.mn1, under the “Notes” section) which will add the single note to your existing notes: tap the note file to restore
  • view a summary of the contents and properties of a restorable file: tap the info button on the right edge of the restorable file
  • view the location of the restorable file: a file folder icon indicates the file is stored locally on the device; a cloud icon indicates the file is stored in iCloud
  • view the type of device that created the backup file: a file folder icon with a tablet image indicates the backup was created on a tablet device (e.g. iPad); a file folder icon with a smaller device image indicates the backup was created on a phone-like device (e.g. iPhone, iPod touch)
  • rename restorable files: tap the Edit button, then tap the restorable file to rename
  • delete restorable files: tap the Edit button, then the button to the left of the restorable file

 

In iTunes, the file folders that appear under Mental Note Documents are the result of using the “Export to file folder” option on individual notes. Large notes that can’t be exported using email can be transferred to your computer using “Export to file folder”, (in Mental Note, tap Note, then Export). The exported folder is named with the title of the exported note. Select a folder, then click “Save to…”. The folder will be transferred to the location you specify. Inside the folder you’ll find a PDF of the note as well as a png image of the note, and all of the note’s audio recordings.

To delete file folders or backup files from your device using iTunes, simply select the folder/file in the iTunes window above, and press the “delete” key on the keyboard. iTunes will prompt you to confirm the deletion.