As working from home and from the office is crossing over more and more these days, it’s becoming increasingly important to manage your computer files on multiple platforms. There are several ways to do this that will keep you moving forward and more productive as a result.
1. The “Cloud”
Using software such as Dropbox allows you to sync across several computers – some even allow one to be a Mac, Linux or PC. This is great for those documents that have ubiquitous file extensions (.rtf, .doc, .xls) that need to be worked both at the office and elsewhere. Certain files can be kept private, while others can be shared with the colleagues of your choosing.
Email is still a really popular way to share smaller files between access points. Even though file sizes than can be emailed is increasing, it’s not going to work so well for large image, audio or video files. But if you compress or “zip” the files, it’s still a handy way to send files back forth between colleagues.
3. Web services
Not ready for something that works in the cloud and sending files that are tad to big for your email client to handle? Services like YouSendIt are a good fit if that’s the case. You can send larger files for free (and larger ones if you’re willing to pony up some dough) and you get the convenience of using your email along with the knowledge that your files are going to get through.
4. Google Wave
Still in its relative infancy, Google Wave is a great collaborative tool once you take the time needed to wrap your head around it. You can communicate with anyone else on the service – and now it’s open to everyone – and send files that sit on “waves” that are accessible by whomever is invited to be part of it. This is especially handy if you want to keep files associated with certain contexts or projects.
5. USB Flash Drive
The trusty USB flash drive is not going away anytime soon. It’s a tangible object that you can hold and know that you’ve got your files with you. Not quite as efficient as going entirely over the web in some capacity, but it’s always good to have a backup of whatever you’re working on. With capacities of these drives getting larger and larger, you can pretty much be sure that you can fit anything you’ll need to share on it.
What do you use to share files with yourself – and with colleagues? Let us know in the comments.
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