As an IT consultant on the move I rely heavily on technology to keep everything I need to hand - my personal and business communication, social networks and contacts, photos, music and more. Managing, securing and sharing all this accumulated data is a bit of a challenge, and is certainly a work in progress. Here are some of the tools I've come to rely on lately:
Many people work across multiple computing devices, be they smartphones, tablets such as the iPad or laptops and desktop PCs. The obvious dilemma is how to access files you've created on one device using another. Sync tools make this possible, by hosting your files on a central secure server, then providing software and "apps" that allow you to access these files from lots of different devices.
They are also a great way to back up important files. The most well-known sync service is Dropbox from www.dropbox.com, which syncs anything you put in your "Dropbox" folder across all manner of devices.
I also regularly recommend SugarSync for two reasons: first, the free edition of SugarSync lets you sync up to 5 gigabytes of data gratis and for nothing, whereas Dropbox gives you only 2 gigabytes in their freebie, although more can be earned - see below. Second, SugarSync lets you choose the folders on your computer you'd like to sync, so unlike Dropbox you won't need to store files in one folder or drive.
There's also nothing to stop you using both Dropbox and SugarSync, thus combining the free data allowances. SugarSync keep mum about their free offering, preferring to sign you up to a trial of one of their bigger, paid-for plans.
Not to worry, though, savvy, switched-on readers can nab the free version, and their 5 gigabytes of free data capacity, by simply browsing to www.sugarsync.com/free and clicking the central green "Download Now" button. Sign up using your e-mail address and that's it - the free plan is yours to use indefinitely and you don't need to spend anything. Grab the Outlook plugin for SugarSync if you have Outlook 2007 or newer, and you can e-mail links to anything you've synced with SugarSync directly from Outlook. This means you don't have to send large attachments with e-mails - simply add a link to them that allows the recipient to download the file from SugarSync's servers.
If you like SugarSync or Dropbox, refer your friends to them. Both services reward you with extra free storage for both the people you refer and yourself. Dropbox will give you up to 16 gigabytes free, while SugarSync will double that: a whopping 32 gigabytes of free data.
If you've followed me for a while you know I'm always trying clever web services and tools. Most of these require a user name and password to log in. Remembering all of these passwords can be a challenge, and it's not a good idea to use the same password for everything. I've tried a few solutions to this problem over the years and was a loyal LastPass user (www.lastpass.com) for several years, but their free version doesn't support smart phones, and I've started to use my iPhone and iPad quite extensively.
Dashlane from www.dashlane.com is the answer - it securely stores any username and password and makes light work of auto-filling login information and commonly used details such as your address and phone number. All this information is encrypted and protected by a single master password which you choose at the start.
Dashlane works on Windows and Mac systems, and the free Dashlane app supports Apple and Android devices.
Most Popular Stories
- Bipartisan Budget Deal Gets Key Support in House
- Bitcoin Clones Lurch Onto Financial Scene
- Clinton to Keynote Annual Simmons Leadership Conference
- GM to Stop Making Autos in Australia
- Selena Gomez, Shakira Among Top Hispanic Searches
- PhD Project Grooms Business Profs
- How Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies Work
- How to Survive a Subzero Stranding
- It's Primary Time in Texas
- Pacific Trade Pact Delay Hinders U.S. Pivot to Asia