This week’s treat is not necessarily a Mac OS treat, but it’s one that saved my proverbial life a couple of days ago, so I thought it warranted a mention. It’s courtesy of Jayson from Circus Ponies, the purveyors of NoteBook, my favorite organizational tool for the Mac.

I use NoteBook for my passwords, to-do’s and just about everything else, and when my main Notebook seemed to be corrupted, I was a little frantic (you can read more about my file/migration woes below). I contacted Circus Ponies about what I should do, since I could not locate a recent backup, and the tech support was amazing. Here’s what I learned…

To rebuild a Notebook that appears to be corrupted, follow these steps:

1. Make a copy of the Notebook.
2. Control-click the copy in the Finder and choose Show Package Contents from the menu that appears.
3. In the window that appears, locate the contents.plist file and drag it out of the window (actually, please send it to me).
4. If there’s a contents.old.plist file, also drag it out of the window
5. Open the Notebook – when you do, NoteBook should tell you that the document is damaged and it will ask if you would like it to rebuild it. Say yes. NoteBook will then create a new Notebook that contains everything it could recover from the attachments and pages folder of the damaged Notebook. It won’t restore the page order or other Notebook-wide settings, but you should have back all of your data.

He offers further explanation of the way NoteBook structures files: “A NoteBook document is actually a folder that looks like a document in the Finder. Within that folder is a contents.plist file that describes the contents of the Notebook (page order, etc.), and several folders. One folder is called pages and holds a plist file for each page in your Notebook. Another is called attachments and holds all of the attachments in your Notebook. Notebooks were designed this way for robustness – a problem in one of the files would not corrupt the entire Notebook, for example.”

If you use NoteBook, this may prove to be the best tip you’ve ever heard–I know it was for me!

Download a demo of Circus Ponies’ NoteBook today.

If you’re already convinced it’s the best thing since sliced bread and don’t own it yet, click here.

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