With Apple releasing new devices every few months it’s important to ensure everything you do with iTunes is kept safe. I have written before about moving an entire iPhoto library into Dropbox so that all your photos are backed up and safe, without having to even click anything. iTunes can be backed up in much the same way, with massive bonus benefit!
We all have apps and services we use every day to get things done. I don’t mean things like Facebook or Twitter. I mean things that really do help achieve a goal, not distract from it. So I wanted to share with you the apps and services that I depend on most. One of the biggest criterion for me is the accessibility of the app or service – it needs to be available just about everywhere and at any time. So here they are, my 7 most loved apps.
In past posts I’ve shared how to get in control of your money and how to plan your money for the future and hinted at the best system to help you get there is YNAB. Here I will share with you exactly what YNAB is, how it works and why I love it so much. The name YNAB stands for You Need A Budget and unless you’re already living the dream you probably need to manage your money some how. Many people (myself included) look to productivity blogs such as this typically don’t have amazing money handling skills. I’m a spender. I love technology, video games and gadgets, these are normally expensive items so handling my money was always a problem. I had tried budgeting before, but I could never get it to stick. I would spend an evening creating some average looking spreadsheet with expenses and then allocate an amount to each, but three things wouldn’t work for me:
- I would never open the spreadsheet up again
- The spreadsheet was never accurate
- I hate spreadsheets
There are a lot of different photo cataloging and organising applications out there, but the three main ones that stand out are iPhoto, Photoshop Elements and, Picasa. I have used all three at one time or another. Most recently I’ve been using Picasa, mainly because I can manage my photos locally on my computer and yet still have the important ones (or all of them) backed up to Picasa Web Albums and made available to view from any other computer just through a web browser. But, what happens if my computer suddenly dies one day? I know my photos would be safe, but what about all the tags, faces, location information and albums that I’d setup, the extra information that makes all those photos manageable? Would they be safe and would I be able to synchronise all my photos and data back down from the web to my desktop? I wasn’t going to take any chances.
Have you ever lost your collection of photos because of a problem with your computer or backup hard drive? It’s one of the most frustrating things that can happen to you. All that time spent taking great photos, downloading to your computer, organizing and arranging into albums, tagging with people, places and events… gone. Never to come back.
All those captured memories…. lost.
There are a few online photo cataloging applications, but most of us are using traditional desktop applications such as Adobe Photoshop Elements, Picasa, iPhoto or any other of a thousand applications.
Here, I will show you how you can set up iPhoto to store all your photos in the Cloud AND on your computer. This means you can continue to use iPhoto like you always have while having your photos, and any changes you make to them, safely backed up… all the time.
File sizes are getting bigger. Security is always a big concern. Sharing and collaboration gets things done. It used to be that as computer programs evolved, the size of the files they produced (that is, that you could save and load) grew in size too. This meant that you would constantly be looking out for a bigger hard drive so that you would keep using the programs you love and not have to delete anything to avoid running out of space on your computer.
And if you wanted to access a file (be it a document, spreadsheet, photo, movie, or anything else) on another computer, you would have to first copy the file from your own hard drive to a either a USB stick or thumb drive, a CD/DVD, or external hard drive, and then carry that device around with you, connect it to the other computer and hope it recognized the device and the file would open ok for you.
I was part of this cycle and was a big advocate of CD/DVD storage, especially as a backup medium. I would backup my photos, copy files and take them around with me. There was definitely problems with this solution, many of which are obvious:
- Devices are fragile
- Devices can be lost
- CD/DVDs were a pain to use multiple times and re-writable discs were always messy
And of course, they have a limited lifespan. And who could forget the constant worry of a hard drive clicking it’s way to death.
Now, services are popping up on the internet that act as your hard drive. There’s services from Amazon, box.net, Syncplicity, Ubuntu One, Google Docs, SugarSync and more. One that I’ve found very powerful and flexible, is Dropbox.