I'm all for online document applications like Zoho and Google Apps, but they have one big drawback: you have to upload your docs and you risk creating various versions between your desktop and the "cloud". Zoho has taken a step in the right direction by utilizing Google Gears. Now you can work with your documents on-line or off (I wrote about two of those last week).
But about a month ago a new service, called DocSyncer was reviewed on TechCrunch. A limited beta was announced at the time and I just received my invite. DocSyncer offers a lot of promise. Simply, it claims to "Syncronize your Microsoft Office Documents with your Google Docs account." From TechCrunch:
“DocSyncer is always sitting in the background,” explains founder Cliff Shaw, “watching for new documents. When something is added, it’s immediately synced up to our online viewer and Google Docs.”
It actually delivers on that...mostly. Setting it up is simple. After creating your account you're immediately taken to a Google Docs screen, asking you to authenticate access to your GDocs account.
After you've approved access you download a Desktop application which does all the heavy lifting. The DocSyncer app lives in the system tray and keeps your documents synchronized in the background.
Nothing appears to happen on the desktop side of things, but DocSyncer keeps track of what's happening on their web interface. This window shows the directory structure replicated on the left and a directory's contents on the right. It also shows the status of remaining documents to be uploaded
The DocSyncer website shows all of your documents' status, but they actually are hosted with your GDocs account. This is where the "beta nature" of DocSyncer begins to show. The pic above shows the DocSyncer window. It looks beautiful. Here's my GDocs Windows:
The GDocs window is not nearly as attractive...or usable. I'm inclined to think that this is an issue with GDocs and the way it organizes documents. While DocSyncer clearly understands my file structure, GDocs is completely oblivious to how I organize my stuff. The file structure isn't duplicated at all, and all I end up with is a long list of file organized, not by creation date, but by upload date.
My other observation is the speed at which files are uploaded. The DocSyncer applet has been running for a couple of days in the background, and I still don't have anywhere near all of my docs uploaded.
The application is still in beta, and I see lots of potential in this service. This is the missing link. If I could keep all my documents synchronized between my desktop and the Google cloud I could forgive GDocs for its horrible formatting.