Author’s Note: in the time since I wrote this article, it has been shown that the file from the author’s site is infected with a keylogger. Do NOT use this software unless it is proven clean. I recommend instead using Toucan. (See Using Toucan to Simplify Synching for more information).
There are times when it is handy to have home files at work, or vice versa. However, it is not necessarily so easy to keep the files synchronized. I have a thumb drive that I take back and forth to work, containing project notes as well as a “reading on the go” folder and my current projects from home.
I was at a loss to figure out how to synchronize them without copying folders manually, however. I found a program called FolderSync that figures out if a file has changed (or been added or deleted) and syncs them up. It works for single files, a group of files, or folders.
- Where to get it: It can be downloaded from the author’s site. [Note: 06/06/2010 Link removed due to viruses in the author’s code]
- Cost: freeware, but donations accepted
- How It Works: Choose your source and your destination, enter any types of files to exclude, then run it.
- Other features: You can run FolderSync from a command line, allowing integration into batch files.
So I set up my five profiles: one each for my Notestudio files, one for my ShortKey profile, and one for my “inbox”. But that meant I would have to run five things, right? No. I set up batch files to automate things.
Batch Files For Sync
DOS batch files are extremely powerful. (No, don’t stop reading. I know they’re old-fashioned, but their power can’t be beat to those who take the time to learn the syntax). I set up a batch file that a) makes sure the thumb drive is plugged in; b) asks if I want to auto-sync and c) runs the appropriate FolderSync profiles.
You would think that would be enough. But I would forget to run the batch file.
There are two ways to auto-run something built into Windows: Windows scheduler and a login/logoff script. At work I set up the logoff script. At home it automatically fires at a certain time. Both make certain that I update my thumb drive.
Note: if you really want to geek it out, check out nnCron lite. It puts a Windows version of the UNIX scheduler CRON at your fingertips. It gives much more flexibility than Windows Scheduler, including the ability to run something if the time passed while the computer was off.
Photo by robertnelson