Backups

thumb_IMG_0543_1024 The backups feature is essentially a more reliable way of backing up and exporting your data than iTunes itself. Should the worst happen, it is very easy to import and restore this data.

To make a backup, select Backup Now and an entry will be added to the list of files displayed. Backups are shown most recent first, and the date and time they were made is included in their names …

atYYYYMMDD@HHMMSS.atb

By selecting a backup you can export it by email or restore it. Selecting restore checks that the backup is valid, then it prompts you to install it. You can cancel at this stage, otherwise select Install and the backup will be restored. To delete a backup, swipe across it from left to right and select Delete.

Periodically you should get your backups off your device. There are many ways to do this: export by email (mentioned above), export by AirDrop (PRO version), using your WiFi connection (default version only), iTunes file sharing, Dropbox or iCloud.

To export a backup to a nearby devices using AirDrop, select it and choose Export by AirDrop. Choose a device and the file will be copied, prompting you to open my app/restore it.

To use WiFi (default version only), select the Import / Export by WiFi button, launch a web browser from a computer on the same wireless network as your device then navigate to the address shown (the one starting with http://). From your computer you can select backups to download, or choose a previously downloaded backup file to upload. When you have finished copying files, select Cancel on your device and you will see any new backups you have uploaded. These can be restored as above.

To use iTunes, connect your device to your computer then select it under Devices in the left hand pane. At the top of the screen you will see tabs for Summary, Info … etc – select the Apps tab, scroll down to the File Sharing section and select Accounts. You will then see a list of your backup files on your device, from which you can copy them to your computer, or upload new files. If you have copied new files to your device, select the Refresh button at the top left of the screen to refresh the list of files.

If you have a Dropbox account and have enabled this in the settings, the list of files will also include those in your Dropbox folder (in grey, meaning they are not local). Selecting and restoring such a file will first copy it from Dropbox onto your device. In addition, all new backups are automatically copied to Dropbox, making it very easy to share your settings and data between devices.

If iCloud is enabled in the settings, the list of files will also include those in your iCloud folder. Like Dropbox, all new backups are automatically copied to iCloud. If both Dropbox and iCloud are enabled together, you can switch between the two at the top of the screen. For new backups, iCloud will be used in preference.

CSV Import

If you have a record of previous transactions you have made, perhaps in a spreadsheet or from another app, you can import these as a CSV file. This needs to have one row per transaction with NO header row, and they should ideally be in date order (oldest first). There should be exactly eight columns as follows:

  • account name – this must match the exact name of an account you have already created in the app (e.g. Mastercard)
  • date – this needs to be in the format dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm:ss. You can leave out the :ss, or simply use dd/mm/yyyy if you like, as long as all rows in the CSV file are the same
  • details – the details field of the transaction (e.g. payee); can be left blank
  • category – the transaction category; can be left blank
  • notes – any notes to add to the transaction; can be left blank
  • cheque/check number; can be left blank
  • amount – the amount in the currency of the account; for spending this should be negative
  • reconciled – either Y or N, indicating whether or not the transaction has been reconciled

A sample row might read …

Mastercard,28/05/2010 09:00:00,Apple,Gadgets,iPad,,-429.00,Y

For transfer transactions, simply replace the details column with the other account name enclosed in [], e.g. [Visa]. A negative (or 0) amount is a transfer from column 1 to column 3, a positive amount from column 3 to column 1. You can also import transfer transactions as two separate rows – see my support page for more details.

Note, if your region uses a comma as your currency separator, the amount needs to be included in quotes, e.g. “-429,00”.

Once you have a CSV file in the right format, use iTunes file sharing, Dropbox or iCloud to get this onto your device. Then select the file and choose Import CSV File.