Welcome to my genealogy blog. Genea-Musings features genealogy research tips and techniques, genealogy news items and commentary, genealogy humor, San Diego genealogy society news, family history research and some family history stories from the keyboard of Randy Seaver (of Chula Vista CA), who thinks that Genealogy Research Is really FUN!
Copyright (c) Randall J. Seaver, 2006-2013.
Dear Randy: How can I sync my files with my brother?
I received an email this week from a reader who asked:
"I have Family Tree Maker 2011. My brother also has FTM. We were trying to figure out how we might be able to sync our information with each other. I have the program on a laptop and desktop. I’d like to be able to update one or the other that I’ve entered new information in. My brother called Ancestry, but they didn’t know of a program that would do that.
"I’m wondering if you know what the best way to sync my laptop and desktop and/or share information between two trees without getting a lot of duplicate information."
You want a method to synchronize the same information between at least three computers - your desktop, your laptop, and your brother's computer.
Most researchers keep a "master copy" on one system and then copy their file to a second computer using an external hard drive or a USB drive. I add content to my database only on my desktop computer (unless I'm on the road), and then use the USB drive to copy it to the laptop every once in awhile.
For your brother to share files with you, you could send him a CDROM or a USB drive every one in awhile. Or you could use a service like Dropboxto transfer files. Look at Dick Eastman's articles on Dropbox.They offer 2 gigabytes of space for free. There are webinars available about using Dropbox to synchronize files.
That works great for your syncing between your desktop and laptop computers - any time you're on the Internet it sync the files in the special folders. I don't use Dropbox yet.
Any time either you or your brother changed the file, it could sync to Dropbox and you could have the other "pick it up" through a link to the file at Dropbox.
I'm not sure if this would work, but it's worth looking into: If your brother and you had one common Dropbox account, then any time you, or he, changed the file, then the file on the other computer would be changed. In theory, that works as long as you keep the same file name. One problem may be that if both of you change the same file at the same time, Dropbox may get confused.
Another site that has 5 gigabytes of free storage is SugarSync. I'm using SugarSync now to sync some of my files (presentations and databases) between my desktop and laptop computers.
Obviously, this works with other file types, like photographs, documents, spreadsheets, etc.
If my readers know more about this task, please comment with your observations and recommendations.