A modern work approach: sharing and collaboration.

" Sharing knowledge is not about giving people something, or getting something from them. That is only valid for information sharing. Sharing knowledge occurs when people are genuinely interested in helping one another develop new capacities for action; it is about creating learning processes."

Cloud based collaboration and sharing can improve our research workflow.
Research in the cloud
Sharing knowledge,  think: papers,books(legally), images, graphs,  etc... , can really speed up the research process by cutting out dead wait times.
Why should you waste time to search for an article your mate has already found and maybe readed and summarized?
 You shouldn't indeed. That's why you must start by setting up in mendely, or papers, or zotero shared libraries.
Life will then be easier, no  links to send no paper to scan/fax pure and simple web 2.0.

Collaborating not only can speed up your work, but can also be stimulating and fun.
You can collaborate by writing with someone, or talking you your colleague what about real time collaboration on the same project?

I will now picture a modern work approach, by no means perfect but sure useful when mastered.

  • First: think about your needs.
  • Second: start using dropbox to have a drag and drop sync folder shared with those you want to work with.

In this folder make subfolders for any type of file (e.g. graphs, pictures, drafts and so on.)
(avoid chaos, see first point, think before creating useless digital stuff.)
Dropbox is free and fast and secure, and keeps the history of your files.
If your computer breaks, get stolen or other misfortunes no one will yell at you because all datas are safe in a fluffy cloud.

  • Third: collaboration office and latex.

In my view latex isn't really optimized or suitable to collaborative writing.
But you can always make a latex  project's folder shared in dropbox.
Since i consider latex typesetting only the final beautification step of the work collaboration isn't really relevant.

Office documents, mostly text and tables, can be optimized for collaboration.
Software nedeed:

  1. office (either open office or microsoft's)
  2. google documents account 
  3. If you have a mac then download Insync.
  4. If you have windows and Microsoft's office then download google cloud connect
    If you have windows and use open office or if you have Ubuntu than download  oo2gd .

    UPDATE: installation of oo2gd step by step look here.

All of these software work really well and plenty of tutorial will tell you how to set them up.
You can then start collecting data in a new spreadsheet and in the same time your workmate.
(For a simple explanation watch the video below)

You will end up with a shared papers library a collaborative environment and in the same time most of your precious stuff will be safe and ready in a could backup: no more data losses. 
And most of all, in a free and multi platform way.