One of te drawbacks of the iPad is that it does not allow you to transfer documents (easily) via USB and it does not have a comprehensive file-management system like Windows Explorer. Dropbox is a free (and reliable) service that offers a good work-around for this issue.
Dropbox allows you to store documents online in a way that you can access them anywhere from every PC, as long as it's conected to the. A basic Dropbox account gives you 2 Gigbyte storage space. The iPad Dropbox App also allows you to store 1 Gigabyte locally on your iPad, so you can access those documents when you are off-line.
Mind you: Dropbox is a 'cloud service' that is not associated with, or supported by Utrecht Univesity.
To start using Dropbox you should first create a free dropbox account on the dropbox website. Click the button below to go there and choose the tab 'create account'. FYI: The e-mail address that you submit will be your future login name for accessing your personal dropbox.To create a Dropbox account, click here to go to the Dropbox website
The Dropbox App for iPad is free and can be downloaded from iTunes with the following link:Click here to go to the Dropbox App - Itunes Download page
To setup the Dropbox App, after installing, just start the App on your iPad and enter your credentials (username=e-mail address and the password you chose during the account creation.
You can also install Dropbox on your laptop or PC, so you can exchange files between your laptop/ PC and your iPad. To install Dropbox, you should go to the dropbox website (Click the dropbox button above) and click 'Install'f at the bottom of the dropbox site.
To access your dropbox online, go to the dropbox website and log in.
You will probably end up by having three similar acrhives: 1 online, 1 on your laptop/PC and 1 on your iPad. Everytime you create or edit a document (from either your PC/laptop or from your iPad), save it in the dropbox folde on your device and close it, dropbox will update the online archive with the changes. Your Laptop/ PC dropbox software will update and synchronize continuously, your iPad App will synchronise the moment you access the Dropbox App and browse to a folder/ file.
Yes, it is smart to make regular backups of your dropbox on a pc. If you accidentally delete files from any device, dropbox will delete the file from all archives in the synchronization process. To make a backup, create a new folder (on your PC/laptop) that is named 'backup_dropbox_(date)' or a name that works for you. Then copy all content from your PC/laptop dropbox folder to the new backup folder.