Question: Is it a good practice to print PDF of your notebooks?

I am starting to accumulate several NBs. They are saved in OneDrive. I have not turned off the Auto-TimeStamping feature. (Don't care about seeing plain diffs of files, between versions.) (Would use GitHub, however, don't want to perform commits.) I tried searching for other posts on MMA SE. Remember one in the past, cannot find now. Describing the same situation. Their company saves PDFs in case the file gets corrupted? There is this one, shown while editing.

  1. Good ways to organize and document collections of MMA notebooks?
  2. How to avoid NBs from getting corrupt?

PDFs are searchable. If English terms to grab onto? OneDrive web interface will do this. What does everything think? How many NBs does a busy user lose in a year? Although, OneDrive is saving versions for me. If you go into Web interface and tediously retrieve the past saves.

I'm thinking, create a sub-dir PDFs, and place them there.

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    $\begingroup$ PDF sounds like a pretty useless way to save a NB file. For context, I think I have only ever lost one-two NB files to corruption in quite a few years of usage (I must be lucky). Nevertheless, I have multiple layers of backups. Version control is NOT backup. You need proper backups. Personally I like versioning files manually by appending a date and version letter, plus a brief description of key changes, by hand while I work. Oh, and did I mention that you must have multiple separate dependable backups? $\endgroup$ – MarcoB May 27 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ This or similar topics have been discussed many times before. For GitHub, see e.g. What are the recommended settings for git when using with Mathematica projects?; [How can I commit files to Github by Mathematica? ](mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/30821/27951); [How to put Mathematica Notebooks and packages on Github?].(mathematica.stackexchange.com/q/136634/27951). $\endgroup$ – MarcoB May 27 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ See also Getting serious about Mathematica programming, How to share a notebook? on versioning.... $\endgroup$ – MarcoB May 27 at 16:09
  • $\begingroup$ @MarcoB How many levels of backup do you have? Two: onsite, offsite? What if MMA v13 breaks the working of MMA v12 NBs? That is another reason, I'd prefer a PDF; if the behavior seems broken between releases. $\endgroup$ – prog9910 May 27 at 16:13
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    $\begingroup$ I use versioning on any active notebooks, then do daily onsite (1x), offsite personal (1x), and cloud (1x) backups at the end of the workday. The daily onsite is to an external hard drive; for this one I have 7 versions of that backup, one for each day of the week, so I always have 7 days' worth of work I can get back to before I overwrite. At the end of each month I create a cold-storage backup from the most recent of those, which is never overwritten and saved off site too. I use FreeFileSync to manage the whole mess (free, but well worth a small donation). $\endgroup$ – MarcoB May 27 at 16:38

Answer so far, if someone wants to copy, and get points? (Is that legal?) Just a summary of answers, in three days.

  1. PDFs are bad.
  2. Use 3-stage backup solutions.
  3. GIT is good, set Binary attribute in ''.gitattributes'' file.
  4. If new version MMA v13 breaks, v12, keep MMA v12 installed?
  5. Checkout FreeFileSync mentioned earlier.
  6. Distinguish use cases between single-user dedicated, single-user multiple locations, or team users & collaboration with differing strategies.
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