Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Digital Files Reorganized! - Part 2

This is a continuation from Part 1.

One of the first things I thought about when I decided to start this process of moving files to Dropbox was the amount of time it takes to upload a large volume of files. If you use Mozy or one of the other online backup services, you know how long that initial load of a high volume of data can take. I wanted to avoid having the laptop constantly transferring files for days so I moved blocks of data that would only take an hour or two to upload. This probably resulted in the entire project taking more days to complete but it allowed me to work on the reorg for short periods of time and to not feel like the it was running my life. 

Along that same line, all of this data had to be downloaded to the other computers I set up. I made sure those devices were turned on whenever I was moving files so they could keep up.

There are free Dropbox apps for smart phones so I now have access to my files from my Android phone. The phone app does not automatically download all of the files to your phone like it does to computers so there is no worry about the available space on your phone. My experience with the Android app is that you can look at jpgs from Dropbox but when you open a PDF, Word or Excel doc that file will be saved to your phone. You will need to delete those once you are finished if you don't want them to remain on the phone. 

One thing I decided not to move to Dropbox is my digital photo collection. If I did that I would need to upgrade to the 100 GB plan for an additional $100 per year and I wouldn't have very much room for growth before that would be maxed out. I have been using Mozy as my online backup service and will continue to use it for photos, my email (since I don't think it will work properly from a different folder) and a few other files where the program seems to want them in a specific location. Two years of Mozy costs $103.95 so that's cheaper than upgrading to the next level of Dropbox and I won't run out of space. 

Oh and since I am keeping Mozy and it's unlimited, my Dropbox folder also gets backed up there so my genealogy files are doubly backed up to the cloud. 

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Mozy or Dropbox. However, if you click on the Dropbox link and sign up for an account, I will get some free space (500 MB) added to my Dropbox account but so will you (250 MB).


  1. Thank you Linda for this post. I have my genealogy things on Dropbox but I did not know there was a app for the smart phone.

    I will have to search and install. I also would like to know how to get rid of some useless apps. I click and drag to the trash can but they reappear like a bad penny.

  2. Claudia - Are you talking about deleting apps from your phone? I have an Android and can uninstall apps by going to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications and then selecting the app I want to remove. There is an "uninstall" option there.

  3. Hey. Linda! I am finally moving all my genealogy files to DropBox. I was worried too that it would be a pain to re-link them in my RootsMagic database, but so far, it hasn't been too bad since I am not changing the actual file names. I'm doing it in chunks like you did because I also feel that it's less stressful to do that.

    The main reason I finally decided to move to DropBox is because I am about to buy a new laptop because this one is getting ancient. Do you know what will happen if I save an .exe file in DropBox? Will it just download from there to my new computer? I'm just wondering if I really need my software CDs to download some of my software programs, such as Legacy, or if I can just upload them to DropBox and then download from there to the new computer.

    1. Jennifer,
      I haven't tried putting exe files in Dropbox. Seems like it should work though.