Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I have been using dropbox.com for getting files from my computer to my phone. But after coming back from a Genealogy Seminar, I was shown how he used it to share his genealogy files between his Desktop and laptop. The presenter was using Legacy and I used FTM 2012 with Ancestry.com Tree Sync. I know that with TreeSync you can only have it sync to one computer, but if I used Dropbox would it remember that I have it Sync on one computer.

So my experiment went like this. I took one of my smaller files (my half-sibling tree) and move it to the Dropbox folder that was created on my desktop when I downloaded the Dropbox software. Oh Dropbox gives you 2GB free. There are ways to earn more free space up to 8GB free. Then I sync to Ancestry.com, please note my file is private but will be listed in the index so people can match to my tree. I closed down FTM 2012. I went to my laptop and downloaded Dropbox and told it I already had an account which it found and then moved all the files to my dropbox folder on my laptop. I opened up FTM2012 and it told me this file was not sync, which I already knew, because I sync via my desktop. I made changes/corrections to my place names (about 400 place names), something I had not done yet when I upgraded to FTM 2012. I also added a task on the to-do-list. I closed down FTM 2012. The next day I opened up FTM 2012 and the first thing it did was sync my tree to ancestry.com. So it worked.

What does this mean? If you want to work on selected desktop files on your laptop you can. You can “TreeSync” even if you don’t have FTM 2012 and Ancestry.com.  But if you want to use FTM 2012 Tree Sync on more than one computer, this is a workaround. No longer will you have to copy to a flash drive and then copy it to your laptop. Then you won’t have to remember to copy it back to the flash drive and re-install it on your desktop before doing any more changes. Your files will be the same automatically for you.

If you don’t have a desktop and laptop, use Dropbox as a backup drive. It will always have the most current backup of your genealogy files. If you want to share that file with someone else, you can open up the folder it is stored in and share it with as few or as many people you want. You can have multiple people working on the same genealogy database (as long as they have the same program) and make changes. Or perhaps you just want to share the file and it’s too big to send via email.

Try Dropbox.com today and experiment with it.

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