Apple users are familiar with a common problem, especially
as so many professionals deploy more than one Apple device. How do you easily
share notes, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and similar files across
multiple devices?

Frequently, I encounter clients who leverage three devices — an
iPhone, an iPad, and a MacBook or iMac — to perform their jobs. I often witness
these users emailing themselves files. Email is simply the easiest method they
know for transferring a file from a phone to laptop or vice versa.

Fortunately, several cloud-based services are available for
sharing files between Apple devices. Here’s the skinny on four of the best services currently available.

1. Box

Box provides a secure yet
scalable cloud-based file sharing service. Among the applications that can
leverage Box to share data is Documents To Go, Salesforce CRM, and NetSuite.
It works with both Windows and Macs, including 32- and 64-bit platforms.

The Box for iPhone and iPad app includes 50 GB of free
storage. A free Personal online account includes 10 GB of file storage, plus desktop synchronization and mobile access. File-locking
features and the ability to expire access permissions kick in with the
Starter account online, which runs $5.00 (USD) per user, per month.

2. Dropbox

Most every business user has at least heard of Dropbox. The application is easy to use,
provides desktop synchronization, offers 256-bit encryption, and includes 2 GB of
storage within the free Basic account. Business users that move up to a Pro
account, which costs $9.99 (USD) per month, receive 100 GB of storage.

The application can be configured to automatically back up
photos and simplifies the process of sharing files between smartphones,
tablets, laptops, and desktops. Among the applications for which Dropbox can
synchronize data is the mSecure
password management platform and the WriteRoom text
drafting utility.

Users needing to work with sensitive or protected patient
information, however, should note that Dropbox states it does not possess HPIAA or PCI
certification.

3. iCloud

Apple’s iCloud
service is integrated within iOS and OS X devices. iCloud makes the process of
sharing documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and photos exceedingly easy.
Simply associate a device (using the iCloud options within Settings on an iOS
device or iCloud within OS X’s System Preferences) with your iCloud account, and
you can begin sharing files across multiple devices immediately with minimal
fuss or configuration. Pages, Numbers, and Keynote, for example, provide the
option of creating and storing files within iCloud vs. On My Mac when using
a Mac. By default, iOS devices store new documents, spreadsheets, and
presentations within iCloud. The service also includes a web-based component
for accessing the same files from a Windows machine. With 5 GB of default
storage, iCloud is a no-brainer for modern business professionals needing to
share files across multiple Apple devices.

4. SugarSync

SugarSync is another
option for business users seeking to share files across a laptop, desktop,
tablet, and/or iPhone. Download and install the application, select the folders
you wish to synchronize, and you’re in business.

The SugarSync Individual account, which includes 60 GB of
storage, costs $7.49 (USD) a month. The cross-platform application (it works with
Macs and PCs) enables monitoring file access activity and remotely
deleting data, and it automatically synchronizes file changes as they
occur. Business users can also use the application to back up photos, video, and
music.

Private sharing enables sharing files with
selected parties, but files can also be shared with larger public audience.

Documents To Go is among the applications that can leverage SugarSync to share files
between devices. The application also integrates with GeekSoft’s File Expert file
manager, the GoodReader for iPhone PDF sharing utility, and OfficeSuite Pro 6+, which enables viewing, editing, printing, and sharing of Microsoft
Office files, among many others.

What cloud-based service(s) do you use to transfer files across multiple Apple devices — or do you prefer a different method? Share your opinion and experience in the discussion thread below.