ONLINE TOOLS I LOVE

Sometimes we learn a lot from each other about the products and services we use.  I have benefitted greatly via personal and business recommendations of my friends and associates.  We all have our favorites.  In that spirit, here are a couple of my favorites that just might be of great benefit to you:

1—Dropbox.

I find it hard to imagine how I lived before using Dropbox.  This free little online application provides one of the most helpful services for anyone using more than one desktop or laptop computer.  It is extremely simple.  You visit dropbox.com to download and install the software on as many of your PCs as you want.  Any files you place in your Dropbox folder automatically seamlessly upload to your online Dropbox storage and instantly update any other computers on which you use Dropbox.  So if I happen to be on the road editing a file on my laptop, later when I am in my home office, I do not need to worry about updating the file on my desktop.  Dropbox will already have updated that file.

You can imagine the tremendous amount of hassle saved by not emailing files to yourself or copying files to thumb drives to pass them to and from all your computers.  For anyone who does even a small amount of creating or editing documents, spreadsheets, and other files on more than one computer, I highly recommend Dropbox.  Once you experience the convenience, you will wonder how you ever got along without it.

Dropbox is free for up to a couple gigabytes of data, and after that, you would pay.  My guess is for most users, the free service is more than adequate.  Remember, once you anticipate a file will not likely be highly active for a long time, you can simply move it to another location on your computer’s hard drive, thereby freeing up some of that Dropbox folder storage space.

2—Carbonite.

This year marks 20 years of my PC life.  Over these last two decades, I have tried all kinds of data backup strategies, products, and services.  Never have I found one that is as convenient, seamless, quiet, and reliable as Carbonite.  You pay a $59 annual fee for this service, but the peace of mind is well worth it.

After setting up a personal account at Carbonite.com, you then download and install the software on the specific computer for which you are purchasing the service.  The software easily walks you through a setup and backup configuration process.  Once that is done, you set it and forget it!

Having used Carbonite on all my computers for many years, I can attest to its quality.  Fortunately, IT disasters have been rare for me.  When they have occurred, Carbonite flawlessly enabled me to restore all data files that had been lost.

Carbonite also makes replacing a PC a breeze.  When my wife’s aging Windows XP machine was finally replaced last year, Carbonite allowed me to restore all her files perfectly and completely to the new PC without a hitch.  This was true even for those sometimes-persnickety PST files for Microsoft Outlook.  I was astounded at the ease and thoroughness of the process.

Well, those are two online tools I absolutely love.  I would be interested in knowing about your favorites too.  Please feel free to share.





About James Meadows

Currently I serve as a training team manager for Tyco Integrated Security at a customer-care center in Kansas City. Additionally, I am a business consultant, a freelance corporate writer, an Assembly of God ordained minister, a Civil Air Patrol chaplain, and a blogger.

I believe we are living in the most fascinating times of human history. To maximize the opportunities these times present, I have a passionate interest in leadership development and organizational success, both of which I view as inextricably linked.


Leave a Reply