If you’re like me, you’re constantly emailing yourself files, always using flash drives to transfer papers from one computer to another, and perpetually worrying that you’re working on the most up to date file. There are a few ways to deal with this problem:
You can move your entire document creation and storage system online. I know tons of people who are using Google Docs; they feel that if their documents are online then syncing isn’t an issue.
For those of us who want to (or have to) store documents offline and worry about syncing laptops, desktops, office computers and mobile devices, there’s a new tool on the block: Dropbox, a freeware application and web service that backs up and syncs files instantly via the internet to any computer.
How does it work?
Install the application. A Dropbox folder will be created on your hard drive. Any file you put inside that folder will automatically be synced and monitored for changes. So each time a change is saved, Dropbox backs up and syncs the file. Made a mistake? Dropbox offers revision history, so even if you accidentally saved a file and want to revert to an older version or deleted a file, Dropbox can recover any previous version. Any file that’s synced with Dropbox is available on any computer you sync it to or through the Dropbox web interface.
Dropbox is still in beta phase (but, hey, so is Google supposedly), and you have to queue up for an account at this point. The only downside: Dropbox limits users to 2GB of storage space and syncing. Check out the demo for more details.
What do you use to keep your files in sync? I always like hearing suggestions!