In my line of work I more often then not find myself bouncing from computer to computer. Some days I can end up work from more then 15 different computers. While other days I may only work from 3 different computers. Needless to say, coming up with a way to organize my data in a safe and secure, easy to access way is very important to me.
The way I have gotten around this is with a 1 Gig Thumb Drive and some applications that have been designed, or re-tooled, to be portable. I pretty much keep a hand full of programs I use everyday on my Thumb Drive along with whatever files I may need.
One key application I use is Firefox along with a Google Sync plug-in. Having my own copy of a web browser like Firefox on my thumb drive insures that no cookies or passwords are being saved on whatever computer I am using at the time. It’s all being saved on my little thumb drive. The Google Sync plug-in for Firefox means that any computer that i have Firefox on with the Google plug-in will all have the same bookmarks and settings. It’s been very useful for me.
The best place I have found for a full list of portable applications (both Macintosh and Windows based) has been Wikipedia. I personal keep both a Macintosh and windows version of Firefox with me because I am always on so many different computers through out the day.
Another great site is called PortableApps.com. Their you can find cut and dry installs of many portable windows applications or install a whole suite of them on your thumb drive with their Portable Apps Suit.
Lastly I use a Wiki. TiddlyWiki to be exact and it’s great. This wiki is a completely self contained wiki. It’s just one solid HTML file that saves all updates and changes to it’s self. I think a wiki is the best way to store information that you need to be able to get at easily and quickly. I keep all kinds of work and personal related data on my wiki. Everything from recipes, quotes, jokes, to work related data like Windows or Macintosh tips or application specific trouble shooting techniques.
The end result is that because at my job i am always switching to work on different computers. Having a thumb drive to be able to run applications from and store data to has made me much more efficient in my tasks.