I had a little scare the other day with my laptop. Well, one of my laptops. I accidentally spilled water on it. At first I didn’t think anything of it but to wipe it up and keep going. Then I noticed after drying it off when I clicked the keys nothing was happening on the screen. For some letters I was getting odd characters and for others nothing at all. I didn’t go into panic mode, but instead went to my other computer and straight to Google. These days you Google everything you need to get an answer.
This wasn’t the second time I’d spilled something on my laptop. One time before it was coffee and the spill wasn’t as bad as this one, but my keys acted up then too. I took it to the Apple store and had them look at it. Of course, they couldn’t repair it and claimed I’d needed a new something, I can’t remember what, but it was going to cost me.
This time around, I wasn’t going to the Apple store because I knew if I gave it a few days it would dry and be okay. Days have gone by, in fact I think it’s been a couple of weeks and finally, it’s showing some signs that it’s on it’s way back to a full recovery.
While my laptop is down, I’m using my backup and realize how important it is to not be dependent on a particular computer. In other words, you want to truly take your business on the go and not have to search for files on a certain computer. You never know when an accident may occur or your batter goes low, you don’t have the cord and need access to a computer pronto!
I’d like to show you how to not be dependent on your computer ever again. It will save you some headache down the road and takes care of a couple of things at one time, like having an automatic backup for your computer.
The focus here is not backing up your apps or programs, you can figure that out after I show you how to protect your files and never lose anything again.
The simple solution DROPBOX!! Yes, Dropbox is a life saver. It can easily be accessed from any internet connection from any device including your phone. I pay for Dropbox because it frees me up from worrying about what happens when water spills on my laptop.
I can continue serving my clients without sending them an email asking for a file or past information.
- Create a folder for each of your client projects in Dropbox.
- Make sure those folders sync to your main work computer so you can keep the most current version on the Dropbox side.
- In the event you need to use a backup computer, you can access and even download the files needed.
- Any changes made to a file, be sure to upload the most recent version back to Dropbox. Keeping in mind you always want Dropbox to have the latest version.
Along with DROPBOX, I use Asana. It’s great for project management with team members yet also helpful if it’s just you. I like to store my project notes and password information in Asana. They also have an app. However I haven’t seen a need for the app on my phone or tablet at this point. I like to keep my business on the computer and let my phone and tablet be used for other things like social media and watching my favorite documentaries on Netflix.
It keeps me from working too late or reading late emails when I should be winding down. You know how it is, you wanna take just one more look at something.
When it comes to email management, I use HelpScout. This makes it easy to manage multiple email accounts in one place. Of course, if you are offering email support as a service, your client will have their own system in place. And if not, you can recommend HelpScout after having used it yourself. You’ll know the ends and outs and be able to help them get setup for fee.
With these three tools, you can work not only from anywhere but from any computer. If you are not using a system that is easily accessible from any computer, the time is NOW to start doing so.
After using other systems like Carbonite, Basecamp, and ZenDesk, I’ve found Dropbox, Asana, and HelpScout to be exactly what I need.
Sign-up for the free version of Dropbox and purchase what you need as you go. Also, sign up for Asana, it’s a free tool. Set to-dos for yourself, keep track of client passwords and yours as well. Set daily to-dos, you can even set recurring to-dos. It will make things a lot easier. Checkout HelpScout, if you have multiple email accounts for your business.
And for document sharing where you and someone else are adding to a document, it’s best to use Google Drive. This way you don’t have multiple versions of the same document floating around on your computer, their computer, and your shared Dropbox file.
I’d love to hear how it’s working for you and answer any questions about keeping your work computer independent. Let me know in the comments below.