My Dorico workflow/file handling, curious about yours

Hello fellow Doricans,
I switched from Finale to Dorico a while ago and am very happy with it. Dorico now has a central role in my workflow.
I am an amateur musician/arranger/composer and play in various bands (world/impro/jazz)
Because one drawing says more than 1000 words here is my Dorico eco-system:

Workflow Dorico.pdf (1.2 MB)

I store all my files centrally on a NAS and make backups on a second NAS. I use versioning and snapshots to keep my files safe and I can always go back to previous versions.
On my iMac I use Dorico 3.5 Pro, Pro Tools, Ableton and Transcribe!
With my iPad I make a secure connection to my own network with a VPN and can therefore work anywhere. On my iPad I use StaffPad as a sketchbook and forScore as a reader at concerts and rehearsals.

I use StaffPad as a sketchbook to jot down ideas. A big advantage for me is the use of the pencil. For note input this is great, fast and clear. Unfortunately, like Dorico-for-iPad, StaffPad has autosave. This cannot be turned off. However, StaffPad has an elegant way to create multiple versions of a file, so I’ll use that as a workaround.

On the iMac, I do most of the work in Dorico. It’s not cheap, but worth every penny. I’m glad I made the switch from an (old) Finale version and MuseScore to Dorico.
I use Ableton as an alternative way to compose. In this way it is possible to work more from sounds or short recordings.
I’ve always been used to working with notation, so Dorico is my main weapon of choice for composing/arranging.
Although Dorico is not made to be used on multiple monitors, I work with two screens. One for Dorico and one for my DAW, Finder or Transcribe!
I don’t access files on my NAS with the hub, but directly in the Finder. That is faster and more convenient.
I’m very happy with the feature that the makers of Dorico, somewhat confusingly, have called AutoSave. Formally speaking, this is not an autosave, but a smart tool for taking snapshots. I haven’t needed it yet, but it could be a lifesaver.

In addition, I use Pro Tools or Ableton to convert the result of my work in Dorico into a recording. For that I export a musicXML file to my DAW and replace the separate tracks one by one with real recordings

I use ForScore as a good old reading and annotating tool. Simple, effective and cheap. Does what it’s supposed to do, and works great with the pencil.

I also have Dorico-for-iPad, but I use it less and less. It doesn’t fit well in my workflow; too complicated as a sketchbook and it’s too small a screen to tackle bigger projects.
In addition, it is not possible to open files from my NAS, only making a copy and editing it is possible. Saving to the NAS is only possible with a detour.
The biggest drawback, however, is the Autosave function in Dorico-for-iPad. This makes the risk of accidentally overwriting a file way too great and is a hindrance to my creative workflow.
I’d like to be able to open a file, try something out, and only save it when I’m satisfied. If I’m not, I want to go back to my own, last saved version. This is not possible with Dorico-for-iPad.

I hope this post is useful and might help some of you. Feel free to respond to this. I can handle it. :smiley:


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You do have a couple of options with Dorico for iPad, though neither of them is ideal. You can duplicate files within the iPadOS Files app. Alternatively, open a project in Dorico then use the share icon; you’ll find that it’s possible to export as a Dorico project. This is something to do before you start editing the project, of course.

As to file management here, I’m basically cloud-based these days. Different clients/collaborators require Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive, so I work directly from these, though all three are sync’d to local folders on my internal hard drive (with the exception of some massive Logic projects). I have Time Machine backing up the whole system to a local hard drive, and all the important folders -including Dropbox/OneDrive/Google Drive - have continuous real-time backups through IDrive (which is nothing to do with Apple) whenever connected to the internet.

IDrive and Dropbox have both saved me re earlier versions and restoring deleted files (“oh I’ll never need that again”, followed a few weeks later by “shucks I shouldn’t have deleted that”).


Hi Pianoleo,

Thanks for the response.
I know the possibilities of making a copy in Dorico-for-iPad to protect my original from being overwritten. I find the way in which it is very clumsy and, in my view, it is unnecessary extra work. In StaffPad it really works a lot easier. But, in my opinion it would be even better to restore the old-fashioned save, save-as and revert to saved.

I try to avoid cloud-based services such as onedrive, dropbox and icloud as much as possible. I find it quickly cluttered and storage is also limited or costs a fortune.
I prefer the unambiguous, simple file structure of my own NAS. Making backups is also unambiguous and clear.
I only use Dropbox & Co when I have no other choice. (move files to or from an app)

I am a big proponent of lean and mean, and like to keep it simple and clear. Unfortunately, that is not always possible with some software and services.


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My big problem with local storage is that it’s all in the same place. Just last week the guy who lives above me had a laptop written off by torrential rain coming in through a broken window. It’s not something that happens often, and he wasn’t to know that the roofers who’d been a couple of days previously had left a job unfinished!

If my building burns down tomorrow, I need to know that my files are safe elsewhere.

Hi Pianoleo,

You are absolutely right. I have a NAS in the attic and a NAS in the basement… But that is of course not sufficiently secure. I also keep an extra copy on a hard disk in a locker at work (at another location) and soon alternately on 2 hard disks.
In the future I want to install a third NAS in a different location (at a friend’s)