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Monday, June 11, 2012

Tools for the Cash Strapped Entrepreneur

Since I am a home-based entrepreneur and thrifty by nature I always look for tools that will help me in my business that are free or very low cost. The reality is that in order to start your home based business nowadays you can get a lot done with very little and often for a lot less than what you think. 

To start off, have you ever used more than one computer to do your work, say a computer at home and another at work? 

Or maybe you have a desktop and a laptop... Or you wish you could access a specific document on your smartphone while you are away from your computer. If you need any kind of access to your documents in more than one computer then you must try either Sugar Sync or DropboxAfter trying them both I prefer and highly recommend Sugar Sync

First off, it’s free then you get 5GB of storage space which is a lot. The way it works is that it allows you to synchronize files in your computer to their storage service. Then when you install Sugar Sync on another computer, a tablet PC or your smartphone those same files are going to be there. So now when I start working on say a spreadsheet at my home computer I can then continue working on that same spreadsheet at my work computer.

This type of service has been invaluable to me because, it allows me to work from anywhere and not be tied to one computer. For example, I am writing this blog post in one computer I will save it and then go to the coffee shop with my laptop and have it there with the changes I made to it on the first computer.

Another way I use it is by taking pictures with my phone when I am out and about. I take a picture of a house I am working on or considering and then those pictures sync from my phone to my Sugar Sync folder in my computer. So when I get back to my computer those pictures are there.

As you can see Sugar Sync also helps as a backup of your documents because if your computer where to get lost, crash or catch on fire, a copy of your files would be stored on the Sugar Sync server.

Another neat feature of Sugar Sync is that it allows you to share with other people the documents you store there. So if you have multiple files or big size files you want to share, instead of emailing them you can send them a private link to that specific document so they can access it.

This is a neat feature I have used because I can send someone a document from my phone, without having to wait (and probably forget) until I get to my computer. This also allows me and my wife to work on the same business documents without having to email them back and forth.

There are other online file storage services that you can consider if you need a lot of storage space. You can look up Google Docs, Microsoft Sky Drive or Amazon S3 just to name a few. However the big difference between those and Sugar Sync/Dropbox is that the documents are stored on their service and not on your computer, that’s a key difference.

Also, in order to access your documents with those services you need an internet connection while with Sugar Sync/Dropbox the documents are in your computer and the internet connection is only to synchronize the backup copy.

So which one to choose, Sugar Sync or Dropbox?

Although I prefer Sugar Sync the biggest difference between them is the amount of storage space. With Sugar Sync you start with 5GB of storage and Dropbox only gives you 2.2GB. But either way they are both FREE and you pay only if you need more space.

I got more neat and cheap tools to share with you on upcoming posts...

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  1. Sounds like a neat tool but if you work out of your laptop and have an external hard drive for why would you need this?

  2. John, it's a big difference. First of all what happens if you loose your laptop or it crashes? Same thing with your external drive. You would loose all your documents. With either Sugar Sync or Dropbox not only do you have a backup of your documents but it also gives you the ability to share those documents easily instead of emailing them, viewing your documents on your smartphone or tablet PC or to access them through the internet on any computer. So you really would not need your laptop to access them.

  3. I had tried Dropbox and it's pretty neat but like you mentioned I started to run out of space so I will give sugarsync a try. Thanks!

    1. That is the reason why I switched. I get a lot more space with Sugar Sync. Also for every friend you refer they will give you 500Mb more of storage space.


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