Box: Online File Sharing and Content Management App

Box is similar to Dropbox or boxGoogle Drive in that it is a cloud-based content management application that syncs with your desktop. It provides 10GB plus syncing capabilities with its free profile. Box can be accessed by any mobile devises such as iPad, iPhone, Android and tablets. It also has a very nice document preview capability without opening the document. Users can add comments and view versions with documents with a paid subscription to the app.

The advantage of Box over DropBox is that it allows online editing of documents and has 8 GB more space with a free account.

Organizing Cloud Based Files- Otixo File Manager

OtixoAs if organizing electronic files on your local drive hasn’t been hard enough, we now have electronic files in cloud-based services such as DropBox, Picasa, Google Drive, FTP servers, SugarSync, and a host of others. There is a great app, Otixo, that is a cloud-based file manager that helps to solve at least part of the problem. Otixo is essentially an app that allows you to view and access your data across multiple platforms. Otixo is not a hosting service all the data still resides on the original app, it merely provides a dashboard to manage all your cloud based files in one screen view. It uses an OAuth to connect to your accounts, so it doesn’t see nor collect usernames and passwords. The platform also allows users to click and drag files from one cloud-based platform to another. You can also preview, delete, rename, organize and search across multiple platforms all within Otixo.

Another great feature is Otixo Spacestheir ‘spaces’ which is a collaboration tool. Let’s say you are working with vendors or contractors on some projects. They of course have an on-line platform they use, DropBox, and your company prefers Google Drive. Until now, usually one entity has to compromise to use another’s platform. With Otixo, you don’t have too. Otixo allows a collaboration space to be created that will connect multiple accounts and platforms. The user who sets up the space can provide permissions to users. Otixo also tracks all activity and provides an easy log to see who has accessed, changed, and updated files to a space. You can add notes and comments to documents that are separated from the document but easily seen in Otixo.

This is an excellent and well-designed app to help manage cloud-based files and applications. And a great deal at $47.90 per year or 4.99 per month.

Choosing a Storage Location for Electronic Documents

There are multiple locations in which to save, file, store and organize electronic data. It is best to have one system that is considered the ‘master’ repository of data as well as clarity on each system and how it will be utilized. When there are too many systems and locations for data it can be difficult to manage and keep organized.  The following are various storage locations for electronic documents and ways to use each;

Shared Drive (common shared folders): The Shared Drive is the common document location for all files relating to an organization unless the organization has a designated document management system. These documents usually contain key information that should be available throughout the organization. The common Shared Drive, along with IT Systems, are considered an ‘official’ record keeping location. Ideally, all documents that are pertinent and key to the organization should be available in the common Shared Drive.

Shared Drive (Personal folders/ H Drive): In most organizations, staff usually has a personal location on the shared drive that is often mapped to the letter H. Usually no other associates has access unless permission is given. Working and personal documents could be kept on the H drive. The H drive is also an appropriate location for all personnel or confidential files for a manager or supervisor. Ideally it is best to have ‘official’ records of an organization in a common repository and not located under someone’s own personal filing system. To learn more how to create an electronic file structure, see the article How to Organize Your Computer Documents.

 Local Drive (or C drive): Some individuals prefer to keep their documents on their local hard drive, or C drive, and not on the network server because they find it is easier to access via home or other remote locations. The C or local drive is usually not backed up by IT departments therefore this data is at risk if the hard drive fails.  This best location to store personal electronic data that is either on the personal shared drive (H drive) or an online cloud based system, such as Google Docs because either location is backed up and only accessible to the user.

Online Cloud Storage:  Google Drive, DropBox and MS Skydrive are all examples of document online storage systems that have become popular with today’s workforce.  Working, reference and personal documents could be kept in online cloud storage system. These systems do give users that ability to share data and collaborate on documents with users who do not have access to an organizations shared drive or network. it is recommended that pertinent, important and ‘official’ data to an organization also be saved on the common Shared Drive. See this blog entry, Organizing Documents in the Cloud for Mobile Devises, for more information on system options to organize electronic documents.

Contact us if you would like assistance in organizing your computer or shared drive.

Organizing Documents in the Cloud for Mobile Devices

With the increase in technology devises it is becoming more of a need to have documents and data stored in a central cloud based area that all mobile devices, such as Smart Phones, ipads, tablets and laptops can connect to. Most individual users who have Google accounts can store up to 1 GB free. Google just launched Google Drive in April 2012 which is intended to lure more Google customers to use Google for their document storage. There are other options such as DropBox, Microsoft SkyDrive and SugarSync. Below is a comparison table that outlines these options and some of the features and cost with each.

 

Features

Google Docs

Google Drive

DropBox

SugarSync

Microsoft SkyDrive

Apple iCloud

Free Storage 1 GB 5 GB 2 GB 5 GB 7 GB 5 GB
100 GB Storage Cost Free $4.99/ month $19.99/ month $14.99/month $4.16/month ($50/year) $100/ year (only 55 GB)
Operating Systems Windows/ Mac/ Android Windows/ Mac/ Android Windows/ Mac/ Android Windows/ Mac/ Android Windows/ Mac Remote Access/ iphone/ ipad
File Sharing Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
File Systems Must upload documents. Need to create ‘collections’ to file documents Will sync data but need to create ‘collections’ to organize documents. Retains original file system from local drive Retains original file system from local drive. Can email files directly to profile Retains original file system from local drive Works great for Mac uses and Apple mobile devises.
View/ Edit Can edit and create files within Google Apps.  Can only view MS office docs, not edit Can edit and create files within Google Apps.  Can only view MS office docs, not edit Can only view and not edit online. Can only view not edit online. Can view and edit online all MS office docs n/a

Some good articles to learn more about document storage for mobile devises;

Google Heads to the Cloud for Storage, Wall Street Journal.

Google Drive’s Six Substantial Slip-ups, PC Magazine

Google Drive Launches, PC Magazine

Online Storage Comparison, Life Hacker