Sunday, July 24, 2011

A File Sharing Tool I Actually Use

Several times in the last year or so, I would run across an article here and there on the topics of backing up your work, file sharing, online storage of documents, etc. Each article would list several methods such as emailing documents to yourself or Google Docs or other stuff.

I’ve been emailing myself for years. (I rarely answer me, though. **snort**) However, it isn’t fool proof. A couple of weeks ago, I emailed in to the office that I wasn’t feeling well and was taking the day off. That email was never delivered. A coworker finally called me to find out if I was okay.

Lately I’ve been working with Google Docs for file sharing with one of my client groups. Let me say right out that I love Google. iGoogle is my home page. I use Blogger for this blog’s platform. (I finally forgave them for messing up the Google News format.) I use Google Scholar for tons of work research. I use Gmail for everything non-work related. BUT. I hate Google Docs.

Google Docs reformats everything you upload. You have to download the document to work on it or update it and if you don’t remember to upload it again, it isn’t there for the other people to use. And the same goes for the other users. So needless to say, there I was in a tight situation last week looking for a specific document only to find it GONE. And searching for something in that environment is touch and go, too. Major pain in the tuchis.

Along comes Dropbox. 9 out of 10 articles I read in the past year or so mentioned this unique program. It is a file sharing program for yourself and/or whoever else you’d like to share with. Download the program on every device you have – in my case it is my home laptop and my work laptop – and put your documents in there. It syncs automatically so no special equipment required. Nothing is reformatted. I can use my home Office 2007 with my work Office 2003 (hey, I work for a non-profit corporation) and it is the same document. I can work on it inside Dropbox just as if it was in a file on my hard drive. And it stays there. You can even find your stuff from any computer – just remember your log-in information. 

Last week I had a coworker walk up to me and thank me for cluing her into Dropbox.  She's a Girl Scout Leader who had tons (literally!) of cookies to account for and this program makes it much easier to keep the documents updated.

Go take a look. Watch the virtual tour thingy. The first 2 gigs are free!

Note: I have no affliation to Dropbox.  Just another very satisfied customer here.