A lot of municipalities and companies both big and small are migrating to Google for email and document management. There are lots of pros and cons for migrating to the cloud. What no one seems to really talk about is the effort it takes to move all of the documents.
Busy Docs is a service that makes the move easier. Allowing you to edit documents locally and have the sync with your cloud storage will help ease your mind and still allow you to edit and house local copies.
Where to start
After you have downloaded Busy Docs and run the installer, you will be asked to select the Google or Google Apps account you would like to sync with. You must be logged into your Google account to have it show up here. Once you grant access, you are able to start syncing.
The initial sync can take a while if you have a tremendous number of documents to upload. I selected a folder with a small number of documents for this demonstration.
If you store all of your documents in your “My Documents” folder, you can simply select that folder to sync. It will go through your folder and catalog all of the documents.
Busy Docs is not a direct sync initially with Google Docs. Your documents will sync to the Busy Docs servers. If you have a document in your My documents folder and want revisions to be stored in your Google Docs space, you need to drag the file into the Google Docs section of the sidebar. From this point on, it should be in sync with the desktop version.
Search for docs
This is part of what makes Busy Docs so great. Being able to search for and easily find a document over both Google Docs, hard drive and your local network. The web application’s layout is really easy to use. Everything you will need is easily visible on all of the screens.
You have a search bar at the top center of the screen. All of your folders are accessible in the left sidebar.
Drag and Drop ease of use
All of your documents on Busy Docs can be moved by dragging and dropping it where you want it. If you want a document synced to your Google Docs, simply drag it to the Google Docs section of the sidebar. If you have a Google Doc you want to edit locally, drag it to one of the folders or sub-folders you are syncing from your network or hard drive.
Labeling your documents will help keep everything more organized and easier to find later on. When you drag a document from your desktop to Google Docs, it will automatically be labeled GD. If you choose to label your them differently, you will need to add a label manually.
How Busy Docs stacks up
The web interface is really easy to use compared to some other services. However, the syncing isn’t very fast. Even when you manually initiate a sync, it still takes a while.
I started a document in OpenOffice and saved it as a Word file (.doc). When I uploaded it and moved it over to Google Docs, it changed some of the formatting.
I think there are some bugs still, but works well for an individual. I would keep it on my radar, but currently it doesn’t seem ready for large-scale use.
What are some of your tips for syncing local documents with Google Docs?