between work and home i’ve got enough computers that i often lose track of what computer has what software on it (or even more importantly, what computer has what document, pictures, videos or music on it) and making certain it’s available from whatever computer i happen to be working on or using at the time saves me having to switch to another computer.  whether this is between a desktop and a laptop, a laptop and a netbook, a mac and a pc or any other combination you can think of, here are 4 tips for anyone using more than one computer.

tip #1:  setup your computers so that you can access information from any of them.  i have all my computers setup with some kind of file sharing using the windows 7 homegroup feature.  it’s great so that if i’m on one computer, i can get to the data on another computer.

HomeGroup 01

tip #2:  define the primary function for the computers.  i have two computers that are primarily media centers (recorded tv, but also music, pictures and videos) and two laptops that are primarily for music (they sync to my zune 80 gb and zune hd).  i’ve got a netbook that is my wife’s primary personal computer and sam and audrey each have a primary computer of their own.  this makes it easier to remember what is important on each one.

tip #3:  backup anything you care about.  i use windows home server and the make sure data is multiple places method to ensure i don’t lose things i care about.  i’ve got my music on computers, a backup on a hard drive and on my zunes (which you can get back onto another computer – a great feature i’ve used many times).  even my phone acts as a backup of pictures, music and videos that i am currently excited about.  there’s also the use of internet services such as youtube, facebook, blogs and live spaces.  some of the stuff i care about the most is also shared with other family and friends on the internet.

tip #4:  sure internet storage so that information is available from anywhere, anytime.  microsoft has office web apps, skydrive storage and windows live sync and live mesh among other ways to sync data between computers and/or the internet.  i’m using live to synchronize my favorites  between the multiple computers i use (a helpful feature when you pickup the second computer and want to reference something you found on another computer.

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with windows live, bookmarking bing shopping cashback on one computer…

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allows me access it from either the internet or another computer’s internet explorer favorites – very cool!