Whether you are migrating to a new device or using several in this multi-device world, bringing your data with you can be a pain. Even if you have a physical or cloud backup of the primary files you need, it can be difficult to migrate all the little things: passwords, bookmarks, and software.
Here are some tips on preparing for moving your files to a new system — whether a new machine or a fresh operating system installation. Most are multi-platform, and all are free — though some require payment for use on mobile devices.
While there are other solutions, LastPass stands out for its reliability, cloud syncing features and multi-platform compatibility. It keeps your passwords safe in the cloud, accessible through plugins for each of the major browsers, and keeps hard copies on any device the plugin is installed on — encrypted, of course. To use any of your passwords, you only need to remember one: your “last pass.”
If your business (or a particularly employee’s work) requires keeping track of a multitude of websites, it can be catastrophic — or at least very time-consuming — to have to find them again, once lost. Xmarks (now owned by LastPass) will keep them up-to-date and synced between your devices.
Do you find yourself taking quick notes in a Notepad (or similar text editor) file? It’s easy to take notes this way, but it’s also easy to lose them. A better solution is Evernote, a free service that allows users to easily record text, image, or audio notes, tag them, search them, and sync them with the cloud. A comparable service is OneNote, which comes with Microsoft’s Office 365.
Smartphone users can easily re-download applications from their respective app store accounts, but the process is more time consuming for PCs. If you use multiple free applications such as Chrome, Skype, Audacity, or GIMP, you can download and install many of them in one fell swoop from Ninite.com. The Ninite installer also eliminates “free toolbars” and other spammy offerings that many free software installers include. If you want, Ninite can also keep these programs up-to-date for you. The service is very well reviewed and by all accounts, safe.