Sync Files on Multiple PCs, and 13 Other Free Ways to Get Down to Business
By Preston Gralla
These 10 slick services can help you sync PCs, share large files on the Web, enhance your blog, kill snail mail, and more.
BEST BET Windows Live Sync: Having a tough time keeping files and folders on multiple PCs synchronized? It’s a snap for this Microsoft service (registration required). Install the software on each PC, tell the service which folders to look at and how you want them synchronized, and the software does the rest, without your having to do a thing.
Drop.io: If you need to share files, including pictures and videos, this Web site makes it a breeze. Just create a name for a “drop,” upload your files to it, and then give access to anyone you want to be able to download them. Each drop includes thumbnails of the files you upload, so people can preview them before downloading.
5min: Want to get advice on using your iPhone effectively, or on asking your boss for a raise? Or maybe you’d prefer to leave work behind a bit and learn how to play the bass, or how to master the Pilates abs core workout routine. You’ll find all that and plenty more from this service, which hosts hundreds of videos of 5 minutes or less. It’s a do-it-yourselfer’s dream.
GreenPrint World: This clever download scans everything you print and removes any wasted pages, such as a Web page with a single line of text. In addition, it removes ads from Web pages and lets you preview the results so that you can remove unwanted pages or images. It will even track how much paper and money you save.
Microsoft Live Mesh: Here’s a way to synchronize your PCs and Internet-connected devices, and share files among them. After you create folders on your own Live Mesh Web site (registration required), point all your devices to them. You can also synchronize your devices to what you have in the mesh, and take remote control over devices. The site is sometimes confusing to use, but it’s very powerful once you get accustomed to it.
PrintWhatYouLike: Another tool for saving paper is this free online editor, which helps you print any Web page minus the junk, ads, extra space, and images. You can save the page as a PDF or HTML file as well.
SkyDrive: This free Microsoft service (registration required) lets you store up to 25GB of files and access them from any Internet-connected computer. You can also share the files. What’s the catch? There isn’t one.
Zemanta: If you’re a blogger, here’s a way to juice up your posts. This Firefox add-on will enhance your blog with automatically created links, pictures, and more.
Zoho Mail: This often-overlooked Web-based mail service (registration required) provides pretty much all the features you’d expect. Everybody can use more than one e-mail address and mail service, and this is a great addition.
Zumbox: Had your fill of the U.S. Postal Service? Would you prefer to have bills, statements, and offers sent to you electronically? That’s the promise of this service (registration required). Tell participating businesses to send items to you via Zumbox, and you’ll get them there rather than in your physical mailbox.
You need to be where? And you need to be there when? These four free services can keep you–and your business–on track.
We’ve chosen calendar sync programs, free conference calling, billable-hours tracking, and all-around planning programs to help you glide through the workday with ease.
BEST BET Google Calendar Sync: If you use both Google Calendar and Outlook’s calendar, and you can’t figure out where you need to be when, use this download to synchronize the two calendars and straighten out your schedule.
FreeConference: Set up and make conference calls for free with this service (registration required).
myHours.com: Do you do consulting, project work, or other kinds of jobs where you need to monitor your time and costs? This simple-to-use site (registration required) tracks billable hours and creates reports and timesheets.
Zoho Planner: Keep track of appointments and to-do lists, and generally get your life in order, with this service (registration required).