A clunky and awkward way of keeping your files in sync. Don't dump Dropbox just yet
Online synchronisation has become big business in the past few years. With many households owning at least two computers and some even more, the need to keep files available across them all has become increasingly important. We’ve found Dropbox to be the simplest way of keeping your files in sync, but there are plenty of competitors offering similar solutions. LifeSort is the latest.
The idea behind LifeSort is essentially the same as with Dropbox. Create an account, install the software on the computers which have files you want to keep in sync, then all you do to make those files accessible between your various computers is to drag them to your LifeSort folders. As with Dropbox, you get all the standard features, complete with 2GB of online storage, for free, then you pay extra for more storage and features. It’s $3.95 per month for 5GB ($39.95 for the year), $5.95 per month for 10GB, $7.95 for 20GB and $9.95 for 50GB. The pricing is similar to Dropbox’s, but with some more price points.
The main difference is in how the system works. Where Dropbox integrates with Windows’ file system, adding a single Dropbox folder to your My Documents folder, LifeSort creates its own categorised system, and to access this you have to use its own user interface. Dubbed the LifeSort Bar, this comes in the form of a repositionable dock that appears on the left edge of your Windows desktop, with icons representing three organisational categories – Personal, Professional and World. Each of these has a series of sub-categories attached to it, and after a couple of clicks you eventually reach a ‘folder’, to which you drag the files, shortcuts and folders you want to sync. At the bottom of each of LifeSort folder Sync and Share buttons let you upload files to your online storage space or share them between your email contacts.
A small handful of features separate LifeSort from its competitors. Based on the contents of your folders, it can suggest websites you might find useful – just click the Popular tab in each window to view them. Lock lets you password protect folders, Desktop lets you view your current Windows desktop sorted by category such as website shortcuts, program files and documents – useful for those who have hundreds of disorganised icons littering their desktop. Finally, there’s Quickflip, which displays live thumbnail images of any website shortcut you drag into the Quickflip folder.