I’m typing this on my tiny new laptop! And while I was setting it up, I discovered a new-to-me Dropbox feature that could be a boon for the on-the-go e-book fan. It’s called ‘selective sync’ and it allows you to synchronize only some of your Dropbox folders onto any given device.

Why is this helpful? Well, we are now a two-computer house. We have a larger laptop with a real hard drive on it, and amongst its contents is my behemoth Dropbox folder—it has both projects-in-progress and shorter-term stuff, and also the complete contents of my Calibre and iTunes libraries. And it’s big enough that the Beloved can also use it to download and listen to his many podcasts too.

The problem is that my tiny new netbook is not so capacious. So I needed to decide that I’d be okay with using it only for certain tasks. The Beloved advised me to think of it like going on vacation and taking only the travel-size cosmetics with me. Install Evernote, use Google Docs via the web browser, and wait until you get home to download the library books. They are not an emergency, after all!

So, I made a little folder in the Dropbox drive of my home computer, and dragged all of my current projects into it. Then for good measure, I added in a folder full of PDFs that I need to review and decide what to do with. They were part of a book bundle I bought some time ago which included both PDF and ePUB versions of every file, and I am still sorting through it and deciding which would be better as PDF files, which will probably look OK in ePub, and which to just get rod of because they don’t interest me.

[Google Docs/Google Drive offers a similar selective sync feature, allowing you to pick and choose what directories are synchronized with the Windows Google Drive client—with the exception of the root directory, which is always synchronized. Better move any big files into folders you don’t plan to sync if you plan to use that feature! —CM]