Managing your Documents: Putting It All Together

It's important to stay organized when you work on several different computers. 

 This page is part of a series intended to help you work productively in a variety of situations.

Keep your work documents on the SAS Computing file servers

The simplest way to keep your work documents organized is to store them on the SAS file server and use remote access methods when working outside of the office


By accessing documents directly from the server you will

  • have a single copy of a file, and avoid having multiple versions stored on different computers.  
  • be able share documents and folders with colleagues
  • know that your files are backed up and protected from loss

 

Synchronize your laptop to the file servers

Sometimes you need to work offline, and it's not possible to access the file servers.  A good solution is to use the Superflexible File Synchronizer to keep your files up-to-date on both the server and your laptop.

 

With synchronization, you can create and edit documents on your laptop while working offline.  When you go back online, documents you created or edited on your laptop will be uploaded to the server.  Any files that were created or edited on the server since your last synchronization will download to your laptop.
 

Setting up a good synchronization scheme can be complicated.   Check with your LSP to configure a system that will work for you.


Cloud services

There are many services provided by commercial companies that let you store or even edit documents through the internet ("the cloud" is often used as a metaphor for the internet).  Some services are free (e.g. Google Docs); others have fees (Jungle Disk, Mozy, Carbonite).  DopBox is an especially popular choice.

These services are generally very convenient and reliable.  But you are entrusting your information to a commercial provider, and are subject their terms for privacy and security.  If you decide to use these services, make sure you read through all the fine print carefully.

SAS faculty and staff can use these services at their discretion for personal documents.  However, they are not suitable for documents containing confidential information or important University data.  Reasons include:

  • Privacy terms may not be consistent with federal laws protecting the confidentiality of student records
  • If you forget the encryption password for a cloud service, your LSP won't be able to help you retrieve your files
  • Sharing files with other SAS faculty or staff is less secure than on SAS file servers
  • Your work documents become inaccessible to your supervisor or colleagues should you become incapacitated

 

Staying orgainzed when you work on multiple computers:

  • Work directly from SAS file servers when possible
  • Synchronize folders on your laptop before & after working offline
  • Commercial "cloud" services are OK for personal documents.  Not recommended for work documents