I am trying to establish version control and record for my father at his work, in construction. Just a way for him to track changes to files (bids, quotes, schedules, etc.), and be able to retrieve these changes at any time when needed.

Now this is where I use git, 100% of the time. But for my father, git (or the console!) are not options, this needs automation and it needs simplicity...


  • Is there an automated way to track file changes, say for all files in a directory or for a specific file?

Solutions for any platform (Mac, PC, etc.) are valid at this point. He uses a Mac, I am just trying to establish a starting point first!

  • Windows has 'Previous Versions', and Mac has 'Time Macine'. Have you considered either of the built-in options? – Attie Jun 8 '17 at 8:41
  • these are good options, I need to do some research, specifically in 'Previous Versions'. Good catch, thanks!! – J-Dizzle Jun 8 '17 at 23:31

SVN seems like an ideal choice to look into here. It's simple, has a fairly straight forward user interface. With several good GUI implementations such as smartsvn

The only other thing that would be simpler would be Google Drive, if you right click on a folder or a file, as long as it's not deleted then there is a version history and you can easily revert back. The version control is only from the web interface however and would not be available from the google drive sync application. That would just be there to keep your files updated. However (from experience), if you delete a folder/file or rename it; the drive might have issues tracking the version history.

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I recommend (and am not affiliated to) the SVN (or Git!) SASS Beanstalk. It's a very user friendly introduction to version control. So user friendly that although I could do so, I avoid the command line.

Integrate that with something simple like Tortoise SVN and you'd be laughing. The Beanstalk UI is very easy, and the revisions, notes etc are all viewable there. (As well as locally via Tortoise)

Of course another totally different route might include a local NAS and some kind of "time machine" type backup. Either propitiatory or more beardy involving a linus distro and rsync.

Drobo might be ideal if the budget isn't a major concern.

Last but not least Syncback is a favourite of mine, and hooked up to any kind of storage (S3?) could very easily provide versioned backups. But of course that's further away from "tracking file changes", which is still Beanstalks major plus.

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  • @J-Dizzle Was this any use to you? Would be interested to hear how you decide to solve the problem. – mayersdesign May 5 '17 at 9:41

5 years ago Assembla made good attempt in SVN-client for not geeks, but abandoned project later. If you'll be able to find any release of EasySVN in Net or bump Andy Singleton, you can be happy (some way some time)

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