Disclaimer: As usual, not getting paid to write about this, just sharing with you. For free. I know, it’s pretty cool.
One of the things that has changed the most for me in the last year in terms of the way I use technology is the ease with which I move from device to device. I went from having a laptop and a phone that never interacted with one another in 2009 to now a laptop, tablet, and smartphone that are constantly connected and in sync in 2013. And I also find myself on many different devices for work. This has been a major shift for me, and it’s extremely helpful because I have a choice- which device will work best for this task (or which device is with me at this moment!). And I truly can choose without having to move a bunch of stuff around.
One way that’s possible is by using the cloud. I’m not going to assume that everyone reading knows what I mean by “the cloud” so here’s the basics: “cloud” just means you’re storing something online. That’s it. Yes, there’s a million things you can do with it, and tons of ways that fancy corporations use it, but really it’s just storing stuff (photos, documents, etc.) online. Why? So when you need something it’s available to you from anywhere, not just on one particular device. It’s also a great back up system- if you’re device gets lost, stolen, broken beyond repair, you can still access all that stuff that’s in the cloud on another device.
So for me, as I move from device to device, cloud storage is really important. I want to be able to quickly and easily jump from my laptop to my tablet to my phone without wondering “is the latest version of that document on this device?,” and with cloud storage I don’t have to worry about that sort of thing. Even if I don’t have any of my personal devices, but I do have internet access, I just go online and get my stuff there.
There are lots of cloud storage options out there, but I use SkyDrive. You’ve heard me talk about SkyDrive before: it’s how I back up my photos I take with my smartphone and I also use it to make sure I have the latest version of my to do list with OneNote. Here are some reasons I love it:
1) 7 GB of space free, and super competitive prices if you want to purchase more space
2) Free desktop app (for Mac or PC) that allows you to access your files offline, and sync everything with your personal computer, so you know you’ll always have the latest version of a file on your computer. For reals.
3) Free easy to use apps for all the major platforms (Windows of course, iOS, Android), so you can quickly get to your stuff no matter the device you use. Holy flexibility!
4) Ability to store and share ANY kind of file for free (not just photos or just documents, but seriously anything at all!)
5) Ability to view, edit, share (or not), and collaborate (in real time) with others on Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint Presentations, and OneNote Notebooks (with minimal to no issues in terms of compatibility and formatting) and yes all of that is free and works even if you don’t have Office installed on your device. Holy productivity!
6) ability to view and share (or not, if you want it just for you then don’t share it) photos, videos, and PDFs in addition to all that other jazz I mentioned above.
7) The stuff you choose to share… the people you share it with do NOT have to have a SkyDrive account in order to access it… all they need is an internet connection. Scha-wing!
8) If you have internet access you have access to your stuff. Just go to SkyDrive.com and sign in. Super simple.
That’s a whole lot of free, and I love it!
Do you store stuff in the cloud? Would you use SkyDrive?