5 Efficient Ways to Share Files

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.

2. Email

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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Mike Vardy an editor on Work Awesome. We could tell you where his personal productivity parody site, Eventualism and all of his other projects reside on the web, but you'd be best served going to Vardy.me and following the trail of virtual bread crumbs from there.


  1. Hugo León on the 4th June

    We often use Google Docs with upload files feature where you can even share an .exe file. You have up to 1 Gb. per account. And if 10 people share their Gb with you, then you could have 10 Gb of shared uploaded files.

    It’s easy, it sends a notification when someone share a file with you. You can share files to an entire group and all members receive the same notification where say that some file has been shared wit them.


    Hugo León

  2. Murlu on the 4th June

    Dropbox has been my savior many times.

    One great example was how I completely forgot to bring the PSD so I quickly called home and had a family member drag and drop it into the dropbox folder I still had open.

    Less than a minute later I had it and was able to finish working on it just in time to show it to my boss 🙂

  3. Tadd on the 4th June

    I generally use Dropbox to go between my laptop and desktop, sink files and the like.

    I’ve used Google Docs to go between myself and co-authors or editor.

    Google Wave .. yeah, not for file sharing honestly. I’ve used it for virtual meetings with co-workers where we didn’t need to sit in a conference room for an hour .. like “Email Subject lines”

    The last resort is email or Flash drives if the file is huge (like when collaborating with another designer). Not an easy share, but it works.

  4. Manish M. Shah on the 4th June

    Another favorite option is File Apartment (http://www.fileapartment.com). Easy to use, fast, no software to download or registration, up to 1 GB, free option, safe, and secure.

  5. Arnab Bhadra on the 5th June

    I like the suggestion about sharing of files with drop-box but still 2gb is not enough as still i think USB drive are the best solution for transfer of files …..

    but still thanks for the effort ….

    • Mike Vardy on the 5th June

      There’s a few ways you can increase your storage space with Dropbox:

      1. Go for the upgrade where it increases it to either 50 GB ($9.99/month or $99.00 year) or 100 GB ($19.99/month or $199.00 year).
      2. Invite people to join (you’ll gain an extra 250 MB for every person that does).

      I’m at 3.25 GB just through invites alone.

  6. Colin Harman on the 5th June

    It’s hard to beat cloudapp I love it.

  7. Brian on the 6th June

    Microsoft Live Sync is the best of the lot

  8. Louis-Martin C. on the 14th June

    What about SAS ? 😉
    mine is a 1T linksys and I LOVE IT !

  9. Adlan Khalidi on the 15th June

    To share files, I used Dropbox and email. But to transfer it faster, I use Yahoo Messenger. Sometimes, downloading and uploading them will takes time. Its better to transfer directly into their PC.

  10. Birgit on the 15th June

    I prefer Syncplicity over Dropbox (which I also use) because you are free to choose the folder location and you can get up to 6 GB for free.


  11. Russ on the 16th June

    I know everyone is against Microsoft, but their Sync service is awesome. No limits, since nothing is kept in the cloud and it lets you do automatic or manual, so that you can pick and choose what files to download.

    Also with a Microsoft Live account you get a SkyDrive (cloud service) with 25 GB for free. You can’t beat that at all.

  12. Tim on the 16th December

    Has anyone checked out box.net? It looks really cool.

  13. Cubicle on the 15th January

    I will check out Syncplicity. I use Dropbox and like it a lot. But you never know.

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