Design insights & tutorials.

ForeverSave: Versioned File Backup for Mac

ForeverSave-header

Although it rarely happens to me, I see tons of Twitter friends posting about their Adobe software crashing while working on a file. InDesign has a pretty robust temporary file feature that usually saves what you were working on, however that’s only useful if you work in InDesign. What about Illustrator and Photoshop users?

Enter ForeverSave.

ForeverSave is a clever application that does versioned auto-saving of your open files. ForeverSave isn’t limited to Adobe software, but it’s the primary reason I was interested in the app. It works silently behind the scenes, yet instantly accessible via the menubar icon. Very customizable, not only the app itself but also on a per-application basis. This is a sign of a developer who knows their potential customers well.

Read on for more about how this very handy piece of software can improve your workflow, and as a special treat to Go Media readers, we’re teaming up with Tool-Force Software to give away a limited number of free licenses to our readers.

The Basics

fs_01_hqThe “Control Center” allows you to turn ForeverSave on or off, and is the access point to add/remove and configure which applications you wish to monitor. Each application can be tweaked manually.

fs_02_hq

fs_03_hq

I love the fact that on a per-application basis I can set how many versions I want to keep, when to erase old backups and also excluding extra-large backups. Concerned about disk space? You can choose where the backup database is stored. Throw it on that external drive with tons of space instead of your startup drive if you want.

fs_06_hqCustomizable hotkey support is also a welcome feature for power users.

What It Does

So how does this all work? Simple: run ForeverSave, and based off your settings (per-app), ForeverSave will silently keep backups of your files according to the schedule you’ve specified. Sure, Time Machine is great for files you’ve already saved, but ForeverSave goes one step further and makes it easy to go back in time with files you’re actively working on.

The big key to the awesomeness of ForeverSave is the fact that it can be set to not overwrite your current file — it saves a separate copy to allow you to revert if you choose. This is not some generic “hit the Save command every 5 minutes” solution only. ForeverSave allows you to work on your file and save a copy every so often in the background.

Go Back In Time

So what happens if you do need to go back to one of your backups? ForeverSave has a very intuitive backups interface to do just that:

fs_04_hq

Each software application has it’s own backups window which allow you to browse the files it has been monitoring (left-hand panel) and the versioned backups for each file (main area on right). Click on a backed-up file on the left to see the versioned backups for that file.

Each backup is date & time stamped, and full info can be gathered by clicking on one of the backup files and checking the info panel at the very bottom. Each backup file has the option to Delete, Open, replace or Restore, and everything works nicely with OS X’s Quick Look feature.

Works Great

I’ve been demoing this software for a while now to prepare for this review. I wanted to make sure it ran smoothly, worked as advertised and fit into my workflow. I am very happy to recommend this software to any Mac user, but specifically to my fellow illustrators and designers out there. This really should be a part of your Mac workflow.

I’m a big fan of backup/security when it comes to my computer as I find it’s part of the creativity process — if I don’t have to worry about my tools and my files, it leaves more flexibility to concentrate on the creative side of things. ForeverSave is a tool that helps me achieve this.

Get It Now!

ForeverSave is available from Tool-Force Software for the insanely reasonable price of $14.95. There’s also a “lite” version, but it doesn’t offer most of the features reviewed above and I recommend just going for the full version. The first time you need to access a versioned backup of a file you thought you lost after a Photoshop crash will more than pay for the price of ForeverSave.

Tool-Force Software has also graciously agreed to bestow some free licenses to our loyal Go Media readers. The first 10 to reply in the comments will get a free license for the full version of Forever Save.

Be sure to have some way for us to contact you. I’d suggest a cleverly obscured email address within the comment itself (name [at] domain dot com usually works). If we can’t contact you easily, we’ll need to move on to the next.

About the Author, George Coghill

George Coghill isa freelance humorous illustrator/cartoonist specializing in mascot cartoon character design & cartoon logos. His cartooning & illustration work can be seen at CoghillCartooning.com and at his cartooning and illustration blog. Be sure to follow me on Twitter here!
Discover More by George Coghill

Discussion

We want to hear what you have to say. Do you agree? Do you have a better way to approach the topic? Let the community know by joining the discussion.

  • http://www.seshu.net/saffron Seshu

    Oooh, this would be so cool to have. I am a photographer and with Photoshop sometimes behaving badly, this tool would be a life-saver. Hook me up please – fei8ht at gmail dot com is my email address. Thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/artistbrock Eric Brock

    Sounds pretty awesome! Can't wait to give it a shot as I keep different versions to be able to go back to for client changes! Brock (at) ElectricSynapse.com Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/TheCosmonaut TheCosmonaut

    Awesome — totally look forward to checking this out! If I'm eligible, hook me up at eric at thecosmonaut dot com

  • Jim

    This sounds very interesting.

  • DrewGundlach

    This sounds great!. Hook me up if you guys can. drewgundlachdesigns at gmail dot com. Thanks!

  • Sapphire Betty

    What a great program! After watching my officemate lose her files quite a few times, I'd love the nothing better than to brag about my free copy of ForeverSave. You guys rock!

  • http://twitter.com/benjamindauer Benjamin Dauer

    Thanks for the post. This definitely looks useful. I look forward to giving it a go! Cheers.

  • http://twitter.com/AliceGraphix Alice Graphix

    Great idea, though I could have really used this about 3 months ago. Eh better late than never I guess.

  • http://www.benjamindauer.net benjamindauer

    doh! This would be helpful benjamin.dauer (at) gmail.com

  • gabriellechatigny

    Wooohooo that's awesome gabriellechatigny(at) gmail.com

  • Angela Nelson

    Yeah! This is awesome! Sounds amazing and is so helpful. mariposanelson at gmail dot com

  • seth

    I hope I'm not too late! seth7843(at)gmail(dot)com

  • http://www.thatdeadpixel.com/ Mike

    Sounds awesome! mike (at) thatdeadpixel (dot) com

  • JohnW

    Wow this looks like a great app.

  • Clint Waters

    I've always wondered why Indesign is the only Adobe product keeping lock files open…this would be a lifesaver. dietoself86 (at) gmail (dot) com

  • JohnW

    john[at]redrhinomedia[dot]com

  • http://twitter.com/joeysichol Joey Sichol

    Shucks, I was actually checking this out on macupdate and forgot to comment! (joeysichol at gmail) Oh, well.

    This app looks VERY interesting. May be a cure for my Quark & Photoshop miseries…

  • http://www.pathway.nl/ Alex

    Time Machine can't beat this. If I am too late I'm buying this! alex [at] pathway.nl!

  • http://www.pixelingo.com/ Carolyn Wood

    Tarnation! I got here too late! Right?
    cs followed by wood a.t. gee male!

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  • http://www.mckibillo.com mckibillo

    Darn too late I guess…. I tried this when it was called “Eversave” and wasn't too thrilled, but it's such a valuable tool I'm willing to give the newer version a shot, at least demo it.

  • J-Kent

    I had to step away for a moment before finishing the post! Aw, man! I missed it! This would be AWESOME … and seriously, I don't have the $14.95. : (

  • Simon H.

    Could defenitely be useful.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Much has been improved since it was EverSave, worth demoing.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    We're all filled up with the free licenses, but again this app is more than worth the measly $14.95 – support independent developers of great software and pick up a license if you find the demo handy.

  • http://blog.krama.tv/ Krama Studio

    Seems pretty awesome tool. Probably works with Premiere too (that's where I have serious crashes), so I think I'll give it a try. Thanks for mention it guys.

  • tsmith

    Ooo, that looks dead useful. I might be too late, but it's worth a try: tsmith[at]tabithasmith[dot]com

  • kingpig

    Ooo, that looks dead useful. I might be too late, but it's worth a try: tsmith[at]tabithasmith[dot]com

  • Fatal_Frame

    Nice program. To bad its only MAC.
    Is there something similar for us PC users.

  • http://www.benjamindauer.net Benjamin Dauer

    When will you guys send out the notifications/serial numbers?

  • BannonP

    Very nice and a great price. Does it support programs like Final Cut, Motion and After Effects. Just in case they decided to honer more free licenses :) jittor3493[at]yahoo[dot]com

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Email addresses were sent to the developer, it's in their hands now.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    See the FAQ for unsupported applications: http://www.tool-forcesw.com/foreversave/faq/

  • Suzanne

    No love for PC, sigh. If anyone knows of something similar that isn't mac-only I'd love to hear as well.

  • http://blog.krama.tv/ Krama Studio

    Thanks for the tip George.

  • John

    That looks like a great little program I can recall having Photoshop and Illustrator open and seems I had to many files open and one and just poof they crashed this would come in handy.

    I also stumbled upon Save Circle which compared to Forever Save does the same thing and its free from apple's downloads store.

    http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/productiv

  • Navarro Parker

    Sounds pretty cool. Like a ultra-light Flow.

  • shrnjones17

    hey this is a great piece of software. i could def use this especially since snow leopard has problems with photoshop and consistently crashes while i’m trying to save my work. and since im the first to comment i think i should get a free copy of this software.
    Mio Navman Spirit V505

  • http://www.mckibillo.com mckibillo

    Well, I gave it a shot and…. nothing, no autosaving, no backups. I went through all the installation instructions, configured for Universal Access, configured it for Illustrator, twice, three times and still… nothing. So I contacted Tool Force and was told: “as far as I know, ForeverSave doesn't work when using Adobe Apps with the one-window layout. You may change it to the old style to make it compatible with ForeverSave.”

    Well, that kinda sucks as I really like working in the one window, integrated workspace.

    So looks like I'll have to wait again until they resolve this, or not…

    You might want to mention this on your review.

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Hmmm, I am using it here on CS4 and works fine with the single-window setup. Working with Photoshop, Illustrator as well as InDesign.

    Curious that the developer didn't mention a limitation like that in the FAQ section, but on my end it's not an issue.

    I'm running 10.5.8, are you on 10.6 by chance?

  • http://www.mckibillo.com mckibillo

    Yeah, I'm on 10.6.2

  • http://coghillcartooning.com George Coghill

    Yikes, hope I don't lose functionality when I upgrade. Will have to look around for reports of other users on 10.6 and see if this is unique to you or not.

  • mattmartin

    I'm going to have to invest in this. Shame I missed the free licence!

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