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Sychronizing Data and Documents with Time Matters

Starting this week, I am going to choose one question submitted during the Ask the Expert portion of each Time Matters Boot Camp and feature it in my blog.

This first question was submitted by an attendee of the Phoenix Boot Camp and deals with database and document synchronization.

“Can I take my Time Matters data and my documents with me on my laptop.”

Yes.  You can synchronize your Time Matters database along with all of your documents and take it with you on your laptop. 

The first part is easy.  Time Matters includes a synchronization feature that allows you to synchronize all or some of the database to a laptop.  The process involves creating a clone file as a starting point and updating the database on a routine basis.

Synchronizing the documents is a little more complicated.  The Time Matters synchronization feature will sync documents but only if you are using the ampersand notation.  In order to use the ampersand, you be saving your documents to the Time Matters files directory.  Unfortunately, many firms do not want to do this.  It can increase the size of your backups for one thing.  Most importantly, it is an all or nothing sync.  You cannot sync some documents and not others – at least not very easily.

An alternative I have used successfully in the past is to use Windows as my synchronization vehicle.  The way this works is to create an Offline Files Synchronization of specific Windows folders.  In other words, if I am saving my documents to s:docs, I create an offline sync of some or all of the folders in s:docs.  One great benefit is that I can pick and choose specific folders and not every single one.  Second, assuming I have my clone setup properly, Time Matters still sees the document as being in s:docs.  Third, unlike the Time Matters sync, this happens automatically when the laptop is connected to the network.  I can make changes to the document on the road and have the new version sync automatically the moment I login to the network.

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