I have been doing a bunch of composing over the mini-sabbatical I have taken this July, mostly working in StaffPad. One of the things I care deeply about in projects like this is being able to keep track of previous versions of my work, in case I change my mind about something or simply want to be able to compare two different approaches.1
StaffPad makes that pretty easy, thankfully: its built-in versions functionality does exactly what I need. However, to make it most useful, I have found it helpful to use in a very specific way — which I am now sharing here in hopes that it will be useful to you as well!
Whenever I want to create a sort of “checkpoint” in my work, I go to the versions panel and create a new version.
I rename the previous version to the current date, formatted like
2021-07-28. (I format all my dates this way, and so should you if you’re doing something like this: it makes them trivial to sort in a folder on a computer!)
I then rename the newly-created version from its default name of “Name” to “Current”. This makes it clear when I look at versions what I am actually actively working on.
I make sure that the new “Current” version is the active one. This is important! I have more than once accidentally left the previous version active, and then realized it later.2 This is all too easy to do when editing the version names, so double-check!
That’s it. It’s fairly simple, but it only occurred to me after a bit of trial and error, so hopefully this saves someone else some time.
I managed to recover the desired previous version, thankfully; they just had mismatched names. But lesson learned the painful way! ↩︎