Managing my Files

Managing my important files has always been a bit of a challenge for me, but recently (actually the last few years) we are blessed with online cloud storage by multiple providers and now we can store all our files online and don’t have to worry about backups ever again. Then I have files that I would like to keep, but not to worried about losing the files, for example all my MP3s and music files that I converted from my CDs to harddrive. This takes a lot of space and took my many hours to convert, but if my hard-drive plans to go to hell, at least I still have the originals CDs and spend a few hours to convert to MP3 again.

Important files for online storage

The total amount of storage online is very limited for all the free accounts, and you might get between 1GB to 10GB free space on your free account. The major cloud storage players that I like to use is:

First I was introduced to Dropbox and this this is still my best online storage app, so I would suggest starting with Dropbox.

You can buy additional space if required, with some using a monthly subscription fee and others a yearly fee. I was looking for  solution to not spend to much money storing files online. So what I decided to do is to store only very important and current files online. The files I’m currently working on and that I have created and obvoisly don’t want get lost because of a laptop hard drive failure. This could be word documents, Excel, visio, html, PHP, and any other file that I spend a lot of time on editing. Files I download from the internet is not important and I can always find the files again if it gets lost.

I divided my files I would like to store online into a few categories:

  1. Work related and private files that is strictly company confidential
    • These files I would only store on the Intranet Share Point server where all he information is available to my team and backups are controlled and reliable.
  2. Work related documents that I create and edit that is private but not that confidential and critical if a online cloud provider gets hacked
    • I use Box to store these files because they have the option online and on any Apple or Android device to open word, excel and other MS files if I quickly need to view a file and don’t want to boot up my laptop
  3. Private documents and files that is not related to work
    • These files I put on Dropbox, because I have just a bit more than 10GB available on Dropbox and I have a lot more private files that I would like to keep save online. I also find that Dropbox is very good in syncing the files and keeping them up to date. I have Dropbox installed on all my home PCs so I always have local access to the Dropbox files.
  4. Sharing pictures and other files on SkyDrive
    • SkyDrive is very usefull to tempory share pictures and other files with your friends. I also keep Microsoft OneNote files on SkyDrive becuase it’s easier to access from the apps.
  5. Other Misc files on Ubuntu One
    • Any other files or temp storage required I will put on Ubunut One. I don’t have much in this folder yet, but I’m sure I will get something to upload.
  6. And then I have the all important private pictures and any video clips I have recorded with my digital devices like mobile phone or digital cameras I upload to Google Drive
    • This is where I have subscribed to a 100GB plan that costs me only $4.99 per month. I have a ton of pictures (+-80GB) and this only place where I feel my data is really safe because Google can’t and won’t afford to loose customer data. I also sync these picture files to another PC at home to be double sure it won’t get lost. The application on the PC was a bit buggy in the past, but hopefully I don’t get any future issues.

After signing up and creating an account I installed the PC client on my main laptop and also on other PCs that I would like to sync and have a local copy of my files. The Sync process might take a while depending on the GB of files and your line speed, but when it’s done it will only update and download new and changed files. Then I created a shortcut in “My Documents” default folder to each folder for each application. this gives me quick access to each location to open and save files to. Then I have all my files in one place, synced online with +- 25GB of free storage and 100GB of subscription storage online for all my important files.

Now that you have your files synced online you don’t have to worry about backups and you will be able to access your files from anywhere. Make sure you have strong password set for each account because you don’t want someone to get access to your person data.

I’m sure you will find a lot of other online storage providers and some might give you more space for free, the only thing you need to make sure is that you can easily sync your files from your local PC to online storage and back to other PCs. Also, check if you can access your files online via website and that you can install the mobile app on your smart phone or tablet. Then you have the basics covered, so drop me a mail if you have an online storage provider and app that works better than the provider I’ve used.

Non-important files for offline hard-drives

The files I see as non-important files that I would like to keep is:

  1. My CD collection that I have converted to MP3 (Could be same if you backup your DVD movies)
  2. Any digital content that you have purchased online, like e-books or games.
  3. Software, drivers and downloaded files form internet sites.

All these files can take up a lot of disk space and not a good idea to try and store the file online because it might take extremely long to upload and you would need to buy additional storage that will cost you even if you don’t use all the files on a regular basis. If you do pick up a problem with your hard-drive, you can always download or get the files from originals.

For all these types of files I have an external hard-drive (2TB) with USB3 ( for speed) that I can use to connect to any PC to update, copy or manage the files. I also have a old second hard-drive as a backup drive and copy all the files like my MP3 music to that hard-drive just as a back.

This means now I’m covered and I don’t see that I will loose a file anytime soon.

If you have any further suggestion on managing my files, please feel free to leave a comment below, I’m looking forward to your suggestions.

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