The real secret to a smart life isn’t solving special relativity or the mysteries of creation: it’s eliminating those almost invisible hassles you never imagine but always experience, usually when you’re on the last minute of an important deadline. Jammed photocopiers, missing the train, the little widget-thing blinking LEDs instead of working — basically everything that doesn’t happen to James Bond. Those are what delay your day.
The most common problem of all is moving a large file. You’ve been up all night, all week, even all month preparing the project and sigh in relief as you click the Send button, only to swear in frustration instead as you’re told the file is too large. Mailing a CD is stone-age and bashing a big file into RAR-able pieces is pre-stone age.
So, what can you do? Use one of the following options.
1. Not The GDrive (But It Is Very Good)
When you want to do anything online the first question is usually “Google?” The answer, as it relates to moving large files, is now “Yes.” Google Docs has upgraded its online storage system, allowing you to store (and share) files up to 250 MB, taking them everywhere without taking them at all. Ideal for those short term one-user hops, like taking a PowerPoint in to work or carrying large files from your desk to the desk with the printer when the network goes down.
You can also share access with other users, and keep track of who has access to what. However, that can start getting messy if you have too many people or files to keep track of.
2. Discover Your iPhone (As a Wireless Hard Drive)
The iPhone is a wireless computer in every way except name, so it should be able to transport files for you as well. And it can. Two apps — Air Sharing and Discover — allow it to transfer files from system to system, simplifying the searching and scrambling for free USB sockets into an effortless, wireless drag-and-drop kind of way.
The two apps target different markets: Air Sharing allows instant, uninterrupted transfers for the business or bulk user at a cost of $2.99; Discover is ad-supported freeware for occasional users.
3. Laser Pointer Pen Memory
Say hello to an all-in-one solution for the meeting attendee on the go (to the meeting). This three-in-one laser pointer-pen-memory stick combo allows you to take your presentation with you, highlight relevant passages, and make notes of the resulting discussion. It’s also the perfect present for a coworker. The incorporation of computer memory into what’s basically a human memory aid is a pleasing concept, and an extremely useful one — it seems so simple, but it seriously reduces pocket clutter (and the chance of forgetting one or the other) when you’re running around the building.
In fact, it almost eliminates the risk of leaving it behind. You might drop twenty pens a day, but when you’ve got a LASER PEN, you’ll never stand up without checking your pockets again.
For those flinging files further abroad, YourSendIt offers person-to-person transfer or an Internet dropbox for scattered collaborators. The latter is a real hassle-saver for those tired of explaining why FTP isn’t scary or complicated to coworkers who think computers are just typewriters which happen to have a delete key (and Solitaire).
As with all online file hosts, there are a range of paid plans, but there’s also a free trial for those desperate to send one file up to 2 GB right now, no questions asked.
If there’s one man who knows about office annoyances, it’s Dilbert. Even though he doesn’t actually exist. Creator Scott Adams has set up Dilbertfiles, a corporate-class file repository which can handle files of up to 2 GB. It’s also been engineered to avoid every possible problem, from multiple levels of access to automatic e-mails confirming that clients really have received the documents (and therefore can’t claim they didn’t when it’s time to deliver).
It also acts as a permanent online repository, even offering branding for businesses using it as a client-side download site. This isn’t just for sending files, it’s for distributing them to an entire customer base.
Image credit: Henrik5000 / iStockphoto