Freelance translators are kind of geek (says My French Neighbor). And it’s true: if I can’t run dozens of softwares at the same time on my computer, I start shaking like a junkie. That was the case at the end of 2010, when my laptop started to suffer from wear and tear. I took a real pleasure buying spare parts and assemble a new computer.
But then I had to face a new problem: how could I have the same documents on both computers, so that I can work on either one of them? And I had absolutely no will to spend hours looking for the latest version of my translations or to constantly use USB sticks.
Well, I chose Dropbox, a service (free up to 2Gb) that allows to back-up your data in the cloud, as they say, that is on a web server. But this « box » also allows you to sync these files between two or more computers. I use it since some time now, and it really became a useful tool.
The other pros of Dropbox are that you can access your files online from any computer and also that « There’s an app for that », which means that you can also access your files from your smartphone. Pretty useful. IMHO, the only con is Dropbox only sync files from a « My Dropbox » folder, so you have to have all the important files in the same folder. But that should change, as it is in progress in their « Votebox ».
[Edit: There’s actually a way to sync different folders, as well as another software: you can read it all in the comments below]
Finally, Dropbox allows two or more users to share a folder. In our industry, this means that a translator and a project manager can share files without having to send heavy e-mails or using services such as YouSendIt.
I have now my most important files sync between my computers. But what about my Internet bookmarks? For this, I use a nice little add-on for Firefox, Xmarks, which save your bookmarks on a server and then sync them between registered workstation. It can even remember your tabs!
[Edit 2: I just discovered another add-on, Firefox Sync, which is Mozilla’s official sync plug-in. It should be integrated to the next versions of Firefox and allows also to sync with mobile versions f Firefox on Android phoness]
You will find additional information about online storage on Naked Translations and Musings from an Overworked Translator. Also, don’t miss out on Translate This!‘s warning about the cloud. And if you’d like to have an additional 250Mb free space on Dropbox, just leave a comment or send me an e-mail, and I’ll send you a referral email.