How to manage two Zotero accounts?

I have been using Zotero for years for my PhD- I have the standalone programme which is linked to my account so that it updates my files automatically as I download things. I never log into Zotero from the web, I always just open it from my desktop and work from there, and have never had to log in or out- all of my files are just there when I open it. As you can probably tell, I am not very technically minded so I don't fully understand how everything works and only use it for the very basics.

I have recently started a new job, and they were originally using Refworks but I have persuaded them to switch to Zotero as I think it is better. My manager has created an account for the whole research team at work to use, and has exported all of our references from Refworks into a folder in Zotero. What I am not clear about is what is the best way for me to use both accounts- at the moment everything is set up to sync with my PhD account, so when I download a reference directly from the internet it goes straight into that library, and when I want to add references in Word it pulls them from there etc. I need to be able to do all of this from the new work account as well, but I don't know how to switch between the two and am worried about messing something up/losing things from my library as it is now. Is it best to create a new collection or group in my existing account and move the work stuff into there so that everything is in there together? Or should I be using them completely separately?

Any help would be appreciated- I have trawled through the FAQs and help pages but I don't understand any of it well enough to figure out what is relevant to me.
  • I use separate accounts for separate areas of research, and only use the "shared" groups, not the personal library. That way I can create separate zotero profiles (to be picked from the profile manager using -P) which can have any combination of libraries I choose. My main library is a paid account (I'm a bit of a packrat) and the other account (I currently have only one extra) is a member of one of the groups in it.
  • To be specific I run with "-P -datadir profile" which means "start with the picker every time, and also have each profile use a separate data directory automatically". Without "-datadir profile" or extra setup in the "Advanced/Files and folders" section you'd end up with multiple profiles pointing to the same Zotero data folder.
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