My business is growing and we have hired a designer, office manager, and sales people. Now I have a nightmare of issues regarding our computers. I use Apple computers.
For years I was a one man show and I used my laptop for business and home. I run cabinet vision, FileMaker (as DB development program), AutoCad, and all the usual stuff. All my emails, contact lists, documents, and pictures are on this one laptop; both personal and business. Even though I change laptops every couple years the files go back ten years because of the way Apple's migration assistant works.
Now my designer uses my laptop most of the time and all the emails for my designer, myself, and the various business email accounts (we have four or five just for the business) show up on this laptop. All my family and business pictures are also on this computer. This creates a problem now because I do not know what the best way to separate all these files onto two or three different computers while keeping everything synchronized.
I can easily put the personal stuff on my Imac at home but I want all the business documents available on three computers and an Iphone. I am not sure if I should start using a network or give up trying to keep the business items accessible at home and on the road. Right now I take the laptop home with me at the end of the day and usually I bring it to client meetings. This means my designer is sometimes without a computer and we cannot use the same machine at the same time. She might be using AutoCAD and I have to take over the laptop to manage the database or use QuickBooks. I am sure all of you guys with larger shops have deal with this at some point. What did you do?
(Business and Management Forum)
From contributor J:
Sign up for Dropbox. It serves as a backup and file sharing system, cloud computing if you will. I forget how much space is free, but you can purchase additional space if required. This solves the problem of transferring documents and files from computer to computer. Not only does this allow you to access your files anywhere you have an internet connection and on any computer, it also serves as a backup, allowing you to restore a file that you may have modified accidentally. I love it and it has saved me a few times with the backup.
Now for the email. You should have a setting somewhere in your options that says something along the lines of ďleave messages on serverĒ. You want this turned on. This will allow any computer to download the message. Example, someone sends me an email and my phone receives it, but because itís still left on the server, when I go to my PC and download my emails, it still comes in on the PC. You just need to assign specific people to be responsible to reply to certain email accounts, and have them copy you on all replies.
Itís very easy. Now how the MAC platform handles something like that I don't know, but I assume there will be something very similar. The only difference will be that the PC gives complete freedom to manipulate the network anyway you want.
Have you ever had problems with the local disk copy of the MobileMe disk getting jacked up? Mine used to do it once in a while, but now it seems to always be missing. I have to find the .fsk file and mount it as a disk, but then it is no longer synced to the cloud. I am going to upgrade all of our computers to Lion as soon as there is an upgrade path from Leopard. Currently you have to upgrade to Snow Leopard before you can install Lion. I canít believe Apple is going to make me buy and install Snow Leopard. Apple's new cloud service that replaces MobileMe is supposed to be more integrates into the Lion OS. Also the Lion server OS is supposed to be good.
I hate to get distracted too much on the Apple stuff. My real issue is that I am going to have to give up control over the most important parts of my business in order to grow. Also, I need to surgically remove all my personal data from my business data.
Now as for synching them so that when you change files on one device it changes it on all of them. That's a bit over my head. My first action though would be to talk to the folks at your nearest Apple store as they are pretty helpful and may have a solution you haven't thought of yet. Macs are pretty advanced, but you need to talk with Mac people to get the answers you need.