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Syncing can simplify your life

January 25, 2013 - Art Smith
Gadgets that we use every day are meant to make our life easier. For many though the wide array of data we put on them can be difficult to keep track of across the different devices we use.

Fortunately a lot of programs and apps can be set to communicate with different programs running on different devices.

I routinely use three different computers, a smart phone and a tablet. My life would be chaos if they didn’t communicate with each other.

Some syncing is fairly simple and routine because they are accessing the same data. Using Facebook on your phone, for instance, uploads the information to your account that can then be edited on the Web version of the site. It’s not truly syncing because it doesn’t pass the information to a different service, it is nevertheless a huge benefit to the user.

Syncing normally requires you to hook one program to another and can frequently do some very useful task for you.

Some examples include programs such as Dropbox, which is an application you can download to your computer, tablet and your phone, syncs whatever you drop into to all the devices that you have it installed on. In my family we use it to transfer file both between computers but also between computers and mobile devices. It’s very handy because when you make a change at one spot, it changes it on every computer and device you have Dropbox loaded on.

Google has a very integrated set of applications that can help keep your life on track, and they are all free. You can sync the calendar app on your phone with Google so it pushes to and pulls from a Google calendar.

Google calendar is a very handy feature that allows you to set up as many calendars as you want to keep track of events in your family’s life. I have it set to sync with my phone, when I add an event to my computer I know it will send me an email to remind me as well as put an alert on my phone 20 minutes before I need to attend.

You also can use syncing to boast your list of people you may need to call by syncing your email contact list with your phone’s contact list. It’s a lot easier to type address book in on a computer than it is on the tiny keyboards used on phones. Add a contact on your phone, and it will add it to your email list. You also can sync your Facebook contact list with your phone, but you will have to do so through a Yahoo account.

People who take a lot of photos on their phones also can set them to transfer photos to their offline photo galleries or even to Dropbox. I tried this for a while but found the excessive syncing on the computer end of the set up to be a little annoying and shut it off.

If you grow tired of updating both your Facebook status and your Twitter feed, you can use a program like Tweetdeck to update them both at the same time.

Setting up syncing can be a little tricky as you are frequently dealing with programs made by different companies. If you are having trouble figuring out, try doing a Web search for exactly what you are trying to do, if that fails simply ask the nearest 12-year-old.


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