Dan Gowans My personal thoughts and mindless ramblings

Three new tools I can’t get enough of

02.27.2011 · Posted in Software

One of my New Year’s resolutions for this year is to get my computer more organized.  I do a pretty good job backing up files, and keeping my folders tidy, but there is more I can do.  I think I have now almost completely achieved computer organization nirvana, and all for zero dollars.

1. Dropbox

Dropbox provides 2GB of online storage that is easily accessible from any computer with Dropbox installed, or from their website.  2GB may not sound like much, but if you are just using it to back up documents like resumes, reports, and others, it’s more than enough.  In the event that’s not enough space, you can always pay for more.

I tried the free 25GB Skydrive from Microsoft.  Bigger is better, right?  Not really.  I did not like the way files move between my computer and the service.  To access Skydrive, you needed to either upload through their website, or map a network drive.  So, if the Internet was unavailable, so were the files.  With Dropbox, the folder is synced, so I always have my files locally if the Internet goes down.

2. TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt allows you to create encrypted file containers that appear as hard drives on the computer.  The benefit?  Although I trust Dropbox not to pry through my files, by syncing the encrypted file container rather than the unencrypted files, I have more piece of mind.  I don’t TrueCrypt everything as it would take longer to sync the larger container files, but anything I wouldn’t want someone else looking at, I encrypt.  Keep if mind, if you are syncing a TrueCrypt file, keep the container size small.  You can always create a new container of a larger size later if need be.

3. Belvedere

Belvedere monitors folders for files that meet a set of rules, then performs an action.  For example, you can organize your downloads folder by moving all seven day old files to an archive folder automatically.  I completely purge certain files from my downloads folder that have been there over a day, as I know I’ll never use them again.  It’s quite powerful once you get into it.

Seriously, give some of these a try.  What’s the worst that could happen?  You get organized too?

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