If you’re like me you have several computers… One at work, another at home, a netbook and/or laptop for travelling… And it’s a pain to make sure you have the files you need available at all times no matter which computer you are on. Until now…
Over the years I’ve tested online document management editors such as Google Docs, Google Wave (which has since been retired), and Zoho Docs; but you need internet access to make them work, you have to use the rudimentary web-based office applications they provide, and you can’t open common file types such as audio files or OpenOffice documents.
In the real world, we don’t always have high-speed internet access, web browsers crash, and our desktop office suite (such as Microsoft Office or OpenOffice) are a lot more powerful and easier to work with.
Now there is a better way and it’s called DropBox. Here’s how it works
- You install DropBox on all of your computers and create a login.
- It then creates a DropBox folder on each computer.
- Move your important files that you want to access from anywhere into your DropBox folder. Don’t copy because then you’ll have different versions and you’ll never know which is the “right” one.
- Save all of your important new files into your DropBox folder.
- Invite your friends to DropBox and create folders to share with them for work you’re both collaborating on.
You can drop in files from any of your computers and, no matter what type of file you put in DropBox, it syncs each DropBox folder to have the exact same documents all the time. It’s so fast that it will actually sync between computers every time Word does an auto-save. DropBox doesn’t even wait until you’ve closed the file. Even more impressive, it will sync documents simultaneously across Linux, Windows and Macintosh. I regularly switch between Windows and Linux computers and DropBox keeps all of my documents synced.
Even better, you can access your DropBox files from your iPhone or Droid device or from a web browser on any computer. If your laptop dies, just login to your account from any computer and your files are there.
It’s also extremely helpful when sharing documents with colleagues. You can create folders that can be shared with any DropBox user. Currently I have 4 different DropBox folders synced between 3 computers. Two of the folders are shared with clients. One of the folders is shared with my business partner, and the last one is just for my personal information.
If you’re a die-hard Linux fan, Ubuntu One is a great option as well that offers much of the same technology with 2 glaring exceptions. The beta Windows client doesn’t seem to work at all in Windows 7 starter and you don’t get additional free space by referring friends.
The best part of both options? It’s FREE for your first 2GB of space.
Download DropBox and get your documents organized today.
To your success, Bryan