If you work on your computer a lot (and you probably do if you’re reading this), I hope you’re not using your USB stick to transfer Word docs or Excel files so you can work on them at home.
Probably the only time I will think of using USB sticks is when I’m transferring BAFs (big ass files). And by that I mean 3GB and up. But on the off chance that you still plug in that USB stick every day for transferring work files so you can edit them later on, maybe I can show you a better way.
My work needs me to be on the internet ALL the time (okay fine, just most of the time). I need to constantly have access to files I just sent, files that have been sent to me or files that are just sitting there but at one point could be urgently needed. It’s nice to have all my work-related files available from my office computer.
But sometimes these things happen:
You NEED to be prepared. Now that free Wi-Fi is offered almost everywhere and ‘unlisurf’ plans are available even for prepaid accounts, you have no excuse not to have access to the internet. (Note that I didn’t say fast internet!) Unless of course you’re still using a brick phone…? Exactly!
So let me share with you my top 2 tools for SYNCING your important files at work with your home (or any other) computer.
Some of you might find this too basic but see, I’m also trying to write thispost for people like my sister who doesn’t care about online tools and how itwill help her tremendously with her school work. “Huh, what’s the internet?”
I’m kidding. She knows what the internet is although she probably thinks it’s Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg will be very happy to hear that.
But yes, I will have to explain what the ‘cloud’ is.
Just imagine an actual cloud.
Okay that looks good. Now imagine that’s the internet.
Actually, ignore that. Here’s a better image thanks to whatisthecloudcomputing.com:
If you upload your files to any of these tools, that cloud I showed you saves them so that even when you’re using a different device like your mobile phone or your mom’s computer, as long as you remember your login details, you can still access those same files and even make changes to them.
I don’t need to email myself documents anymore!
Work on that article from your office computer and when you get more ideas for it after you get home, you can just easily access that same file from your home computer and make changes. What? You need to run errands the next day? Does that involve falling in line and waiting for eternity? Don’t worry, you can access, make changes or add even more content from your mobile phone. All changes are saved and synced! Phone, work or home computer, it’s there.
If you only want to sync documents and not your entire photo album, I suggest using Dropbox instead as it is free as long as you don’t use up more than 2GB.
You just drag all your files that you want synced to your Dropbox folder and you’re done. You can access it from your phone (you need to install the app of course) and from other computers (either through the desktop app that you download and install or through the Dropbox website). Don’t forget that you need access to the internet to do all this.
I’ve been using SugarSync for about 2 years now and it has helped me countless times especially during the days I’ve mentioned above. One thing to keep in mind with Dropbox is that they don’t encrypt your files. If you’re planning something against the government, downloading files you don’t want other people knowing (hmmm) or just plain paranoid, this is definitely a deal breaker.
With SugarSync, I just sync all my work folders so that if I have unfinished documents that I need to work on when I get home, it’s just there! I don’t need to drag files tofolders. And I can even work on it while I’m on my phone.
Pricing for SugarSync starts at $49.99 a year for 30GB. Dropbox on the other hand is at $199 a year for 50GB.
Again, if you don’t wantto pay, just use Dropbox’s free 2GB!
If you haven’t noticed the upload button when you go to your Google Docs page, you can actually upload all sorts of files to it! This feature has actually been available since 2006 (FIVE years ago) but I’ve never really paid attention to it until… last month.
Best thing about this of course is it’s free. So if you’re dead broke, but need to protect more than 2GB of data, then Google Docs it is.
Now as to that question about your files being safe… I’ll leave that up to you.
Check out how it looks like now:
That’s Word, Excel, PDF and PowerPoint right there. They look fine when accessed via Google Docs. Of course you’ll lose comments and edits if you like tracking changes made to your Word documents so I hope you’re not expecting to get all the capabilities of a full Word doc version. I consider this the super last resort if you don’t want to download anything and just want to be able to quickly upload your documents and access them later on.
I won’t be using this though because I’m happy with SugarSync. I don’t need to do anything, it just saves all my changes automagically!
There you have it! 2 simple ways! I’m sure most of you already know this but for those who are still highly dependent on them USB sticks… it’s time to move on.