Dropbox, Evernote and Gmail Saved my Holidays


Shit happens. And it usually happens in the worst moment (that’s why they call it shit). On the night before Thanksgiving, 3,500 miles away from home, my laptop charger died when I only had 23 minutes of battery left. A couple of years ago it would have been a tragedy, but not now, thanks to three wonderful apps I feel I need to mention:

  • Dropbox. It syncs all your files between as many computers you want and it also keeps a copy at their website. And it all happens automatically: everything inside the folder My Dropbox gets synced. And if you are not in any of your computers you can log in to their website and find all your archives waiting for you. There is a free version that gives you 2GB; or you can pay, 9.99$/month for 50GB or 19.99$/month for 100GB. I know the price may seem a little high, but for me it’s a no-brainer. Automatic and almost real time backup deserves some investment.
  • Evernote. Harder to explain, but also great. It’s a huge notebook in which you can throw anything you want: text, links, photos, files, audio… There are desktop, mobile and online versions. And all them sync automatically, so you can access your information wherever you are. Everything is searchable, even text inside photos. It has some features to collaborate and share with others, but it still has a lot of work to do in that area. There is a free version that limits your monthly uploads to 40MB and takes out some functionality. The paid version is 5$/month and it gives you 500MB of monthly uploads. In this case I go with the free version because I use it basically for text notes and links. If it had a better Blackberry version I would probably use it more with photos or voice memos and I would pay. I’ve been told that their iPhone app is great.
  • Gmail. I’m not gonna describe it because everybody knows it. I use standard Gmail and also Google Apps. Since it works offline, I haven’t used Thunderbird in months.

As I needed to work for a few hours I just borrowed another laptop and did what I had to. And a couple a days later, in the middle of Black Friday craze, I bought a new charger and the crisis was over.

Many people say they don’t like their info being on the cloud. I say I don’t like my info not being accessible to me always and everywhere. These three have some common characteristics that make them wonderful:

  • Hassle free. Everything happens automatically
  • Local copy. I travel a lot and I don’t always have connection to the internet, so this is a must
  • Online version. Because sometimes I need to work for a computer which is not mine

Do you use any other app that makes your work easier/safer when switching between computers?

Posted: November 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Internet and Technology | Tags: , , , , , | 16,887 Comments »