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Take Your Digital Filing System With You, and Keep it Secure, With SecretSync

SecretSync encrypted Dropbox sync

Last year I wrote about SecretSync, an app that lets you securely sync files via Dropbox. SecretSync encrypts any file that you drop into your SecretSync folder, and then sends it on to your other computers via Dropbox. If those computers are running SecretSync (and you’ve set up the proper security key), the file will then be decrypted on those machines as well. I covered all that in my previous article, though, so why mention it again? After taking SecretSync for a spin last year, I stopped using it. I’ve just found a great new use, though, that makes SecretSync an integral part of my paperless document management system.

You may recall that my document management system lets me put a document into my scanner, push the scan button, and then sit back and let my Mac do the rest of the work. The document will be automatically renamed and filed into the proper folder on my machine, with no effort on my part. This can be done with Evernote, too.

That system is great, but only works if you’re sitting at your computer. Wouldn’t it be nice to make that system portable? That’s where SecretSync comes in. I wanted to be able to scan documents while away from home, and have them sync via Dropbox back to my home computer, where they’d be automatically processed. I didn’t like the idea of sending sensitive documents through Dropbox, though, which doesn’t  have a stellar track record with security.

I now have SecretSync set up on all of my computers, including my iMac at home. I can now scan a document on any of those computers, and it gets sent into my SecretSync folder on each machine. On my iMac, Hazel moves any files in the SecretSync folder over to my “Action” folder, where they are automatically renamed and filed.

That’s all there is to it. This, of course, presupposes that you have a scanner when you’re away from home. My most common use for this system is when I’m paying bills over lunch at the office, where I do have a scanner. My next step will probably be to research iOS and Android scanning apps, to see if any of them offer optical character recognition. OCR is essential to this workflow, and truly would make this a “go anywhere” system.

When I last wrote about SecretSync, it was a Windows-only app. Since then, it has come to OS X and Linux.

Can you use your filing system while away from home? If so, share your setup in the comments.