Sync Hacks: How I Use BitTorrent to Sync My Office and Mobile Workflow
Sync Hacks is a column dedicated to exploring new applications for BitTorrent Sync, as built by users like you. BitTorrent Sync is a free, unlimited, secure file-syncing app. (And now, it’s even more mobile.) If you’ve got an epic Sync idea, use-case or how-to, shoot us an email at sync[at]bittorrent.com.
In this edition of Sync Hacks, graphic designer Jason Polkovitz (founder of tiny little mind) explains how he’s integrated BitTorrent Sync into his workflow and how it’s enabled him to work more efficiently and move freely.
As a freelance graphic designer, I tend to move around a lot. If I’m not working from my home office or traveling on what passes for a vacation in the freelancing world, I’m visiting a client to show them work at their office, or working with them at a ubiquitous coffee shop. To make sure I always had the most up-to-date version of any of the work I was doing, I’d have to copy my work folders from my desktop machine to an external hard drive, then pack it with my laptop just in case I needed anything while I was away from my office. After I’d worked with my client or come back from vacation, I’d have to copy the files back onto my desktop hard drive from the portable to make sure I always had the most recent version.
I know I could have used Dropbox or Box.net, and I tried, but I didn’t like Dropbox’s policies when it came to sharing files (a 200MB file shared with a client or other freelancers counted as 200MB out of our 2GB equally… everyone lost 200MB worth of cloud space, which just seemed unfair when there were files in the shared folder I really had no interest in) and Box.net’s file size upload restrictions sometimes made it very difficult to have large files available… plus I’d have to remember to upload the files and then download them to my laptop (and back)… much the same way I did with my portable drive. I could have spent money to upgrade my accounts on either service, but having recently gone freelance after 14 years in an agency, I really didn’t want to pony up the money required to use the services I needed. Sure, for a larger business it makes sense, but for a small operator like myself, it was an expense I really didn’t want to accrue.
When BitTorrent came out with Sync, I was really very interested in the product. I was aware of their file-sharing service, but using that power to make sure I always had my files was something I simply had to jump on. So I downloaded the application on both my desktop machine and my laptop, designated my existing work folder as the shared folder and it worked immediately. Now all I have to do is make sure my laptop has access to the internet and no matter where I go, my laptop and desktop work folders have the latest versions of all my work, in sync, ready to go. I fire up my laptop and within minutes, little alerts pop up telling me what files have been updated. It’s amazing. With BitTorrent Sync, it doesn’t matter how big my files are. I always have them with me. Its one less thing I have to think about in my workflow.
Jason Polkovitz is a former New York City advertising agency Creative Director who balances freelance graphic design with being a work-at-home dad and husband. You can follow his work and design/branding/marketing philosophy blog at tinyminddesign.com and at @tiny_mind