I asked my students how they move files from home to school. I expected the most common method to be a USB drive, but I was surprised to hear that most still email files.
I consider email as a last resort when it comes to file management. It’s inefficient because of the background processes involved. There are also file size limitations. UF gives every user 100 MB of email space. It doesn’t take much to fill 100 MB.
I am waiting for an account on Microsoft’s new Live Mesh. Once I have an account there, I will be able to synchronize files across multiple computers in multiple locations. That will be ideal. I can create a PowerPoint file at home and it will automatically be copied to my laptop, tablet and office desktop. Likewise, I can update the PowerPoint on my office desktop and the new version will be copied back to my machines at home.
For local file synchronization, I have been using Microsoft’s SyncToy 2.0 beta. By hand-configuring the Windows Scheduler, I can automatically sync my files every night.
I have a few files that I use over and over. Using Microsoft’s SkyDrive, I have placed those into a more permanent online storage area that is accessible from anywhere. With the drag-and-drop control in IE, SkyDrive is about as easy to use as a local file manager.
The files here are not automatically synchronized, but manage them much more easily than with email attachments. Plus, Microsoft gives everyone 5 GB for free.