Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How to Keep Your Workflow in Sync Across Computers



By Whitson Gordon

to Keep Your Workflow in Sync Across Computers

How to Keep Your Workflow in Sync Across ComputersBetween home and work desktop PCs, laptops, netbooks,
tablets, and smartphones, you have several digital workspaces in your
life. Here's how to keep them all effortlessly organized, so you can spend
less time fiddling and more time getting things done.

Most of us deal with
multiple computers nowadays; we work from home, from the office, and even
the local coffee shop
. You may have any combination of a desktop
computer at home, a desktop at work, a laptop at home, a laptop at work, a
netbook for couch surfing, and other number of machines you have to deal
with regularly.

Unfortunately, you can
end up spending a lot of time trying to keep your digital workspaces
synchronized—apps, layouts, organization methods, or whatever other
computer customizations help save you time—defeating the purpose of
setting them all up in the first place. Here are some of the best ways to
keep your workspaces as closely synced as possible, so when you move from
one to the other you can pick up right where you left off.

Note: If some of
this feels familiar it's probably because we've covered most of these
methods separately before; this goal of this guide is to bring them
together in one place to help you set up a synced system.

The Tools to Keep it All

How to Keep Your Workflow in Sync Across ComputersFirst, you need a way to sync your data across
machines. For most of these examples, I'm going to use the popular
file-syncing utility Dropbox,
mostly because it's simple, free, and it's what I use. If you have, say,
an Amazon S3 or Windows Live SkyDrive account already, you could use
something like previously
to mount that storage as a virtual drive and go from there. With this
space set aside, you can store important documents, files, and portable
applications (if you're a Windows only user), so even if you find yourself
working from a computer that isn't one of your usual machines, you'll
still have your pre-organized digital workspace wherever you go.

How to Keep Your Workflow in Sync Across Computers

Also, while it may seem
archaic, you can always make
do with a regular old flash drive
—they're cross-platform, inexpensive,
don't require syncing, and your computer will immediately have access to
your data every time you plug them in (although Windows users may need to
it a permanent drive letter or mount it to an assigned folder
). With
that out of the way, let's get started syncing.

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