• Dear Jim: I sometimes find I have many versions of the same document and don’t know which is the latest. Is ZZZAgreement(ver3a).doc newer than ZZZAgreement(ver2)Fredscomments.doc? Help me! Signed, Out of Sync

Dear Out of Sync:

            Don’t worry. Despite our best efforts, we all find ourselves in this situation from time to time. When you are collaborating with others, you may just have to give them a little training or set up some rules of the game, like an agreed way to name the revised documents, e.g. including initials and dates in the file name rather than version numbers. You may have to train everyone on how to use Microsoft Word’s Track Changes. And, for non-confidential documents that are being jointly prepared by several people, nothing beats Google Docs.

My problem (that should be easy to fix) is that I can’t even stay in sync with myself. When you use different computers to work on a project, it is easy to get out of sync. That’s before we even discuss mobile devices. (On a side note, one of the things I really like about my new Treo 750 is the ability to sync over the air with Exchange Active Sync rather than being forced to use the cradle to sync. See a Treo 750 Review here.)  Plus I know I’m not the only one who has saved a Favorite in my browser on one computer and been briefly puzzled when I couldn’t find it in my browser on a different computer.

Anyway, check out 10 Sync Tools Every Office Worker Should Know About. These aren’t all about work and documents. I personally wouldn’t use number 3 unless I didn’t keep client documents in the My Documents folder. But, it is an interesting list and a jump start to thinking about how you stay in sync.