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Under the Hood: I Love My Digital Workflow

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Over the years my digital storage, email, organization has been continually refined as I add more digital devices, etc.  Lately I feel like I have really hit a great stride with things, so here’s a little write up on what I have going on in hopes it may inspire or help you along.

First we talk about the goals – what are we trying to achieve here:


  1. Keep Digital Devices in Sync
    • This includes Laptops, Desktops, iPhone, iPad
    • Items include Email, Contacts, Files, Calendar
  2. Keep Data Backed Up
    • Pretty self explanatory here, but I ultimately want my backup solution to be mindless/automatic so that I never have to worry about if it’s happening.
  3. Keep Data Accessible
    • Have emails, notes, PDFs, files searchable for QUICK retrieval of anything I may be looking for.
  4. Keep Costs Low
    • Must anything be said here?  Duh!

The Solutions!!

  • Google Apps
    • Google has a widely popular Google Apps that allows domain name owners to use their powerful Gmail, Google Calendar, Contacts, and additional plethora of services under their domain name.
    • Google has also mastered having your email/calendar/contacts to sync to mobile devices using the Microsoft Exchange protocol, which means iPhone & iPad can stay in complete sync between Email, Calendar, Contacts
    • 10 Users FREE, $50 /yr per user adds additional support, 25GB storage,
  • Dropbox
    • Ok Dropbox just plain rocks.  There are many similar services, and I’m not blind to that – I just happened to fall in love with Dropbox so here I am.
    • I keep any file that I ever care about in my Dropbox…instantly meaning that I could completely have a computer tank, fry, go up in smoke, but no files are ultimately lost, and I can be nearly instantly back up and running on another machine without hiccup.
    • Dropbox allows you to install a system app that runs 24/7 and keeps files within a folder on your laptop/desktop…backed up to the cloud, and also kept in sync with any other of your personal machines that are running the app.
    • As Dropbox is storing files in the cloud for you via their desktop app, anytime you save a file within your Dropbox folder, it is instantly backed up on their server.
    • Accidentally overwrite or delete a file? Dropbox keeps 30 days of backups available to their paying customers – Certainly has come in handy!!
    • Shared Folders – Amazing! A folder in your Dropbox can be shared with another Dropbox user, meaning any files placed in the shared folder, or saved/updated in there is instantly sent to the other members of the folder.  Lame part – the storage usage of the data files in these shared folders are spent from every shared member’s storage allotments.  Therefore, if the shared folder takes up 500MB, anyone who is a member of that shared folder is drained of 500MB from their account.
    • Mobile/Web Interface – Yup, you can get to any of your files from iPhone, iPad, and web interface, even searching through your whole dropbox for files.  Killer!
    • 2GB Free, 50GB $99 /yr, 100GB $199 /yr.
  • Evernote
    • Evernote is essentially an app that allows you to dump any note, audio recording, image, PDF into organized “notebooks” that in return allow you to quickly search for those notes when you need them again.
    • I’m using Evernote more and more as the days go by, and learning to love it more and more.  I basically am dumping any PDF I receive in as a note, as it is therefore indexed for searching – any document or forms/paperwork that I get I’ll scan in and add as a note so I always have it on record.  Any meeting, phone call, etc. that I am taking notes within is dropped into Evernote.
    • Web Interface – From any computer, login to Evernote and search through any of your notes to retrieve data you may be looking for.
    • Mobile App – Yup, all notes are searchable and accessible from the mobile app, and you can also create notes from the mobile app.  Those notes are also geotagged with your current GPS coordinates, which you can then look at your notes on a map.  So, say you like a certain meal at a restaurant, tag it and the next time you are back, just search for notes created in your area and you’ll have it!
    • Shared Notebooks – Similar to Dropbox, you can share notebooks with other users, so say you are working with a group on a project, everyone can have access to the notes that have been shared.
    • Free, $45 /yr gives increased file type associations, advanced collaboration, increased upload size, support


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