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Integrating Cloud Storage Services into your Workflow


The concept of cloud storage has been around for a while, but only now as technology and internet speeds catch up has it become an increasingly useful option for most businesses, and provides a great number of benefits that are worth exploring. 

Cloud storage is becoming more of a norm than an exception, finding it integrated into even the most seemingly simple of products. As peoples work and livelihoods edge further into the realm of the internet, having backups is becoming a priority for everyone.

Cloud storage works by storing information over a series of different ‘pools’ and servers, providing the user with access to their information and date from anywhere, at any time. The concept of cloud storage is not a new one, it is estimated to have first been introduced in the 1960’s by Joseph Licklider who Is said to have invented it through his work with ARPANET. 

The idea of cloud storage lay dormant for a long time after this breakthrough, potentially due to common internet connection speeds being too slow to make this service a viable and useful option for many people. It wasn’t until 2006 when Amazon Web Services introduced their own cloud storage system that things really began to take off. Since then, services are popping up everywhere providing users a safe way to store and access their data from anywhere - everything from large files, audio and video through to files and spreadsheets. Use these handy tips to introduce the power of the cloud into your workflow.

1. Use Dropbox or Google Drive to create a backup ‘drive’ of important information

There are a number of cloud storage systems in operation, Google Drive and Dropbox are arguably the two most popular. These services provide you with a generous amount of storage space for free, with the option of considerably larger chunks of space available for a monthly price. It is up to you how you use this storage and there are no limitations around what file types you store on it. These handy services also provide apps for your laptop, phone and tablet, providing easy access to your files from anywhere, and a seamless integration allowing the cloud ‘drive’ to appear as a regular drive or folder on your own computer that syncs with its online counterpart whenever it has access to an internet connection.

2. Keep your notes, snippets and ideas organised in the cloud

Evernote is the industry leader in this field, however there are a number of similar services available. These types of software are for storing and categorising information that you have entered, attached or clipped from the web. Next time you are researching for a new business idea, these are the products that will help you keep all of your information in one easily accessible place. Due to the nature of its cloud storage system, you can access your notes and information anywhere, from any device, even via a web browser interface for devices without the app installed. Cloud based note services are excellent for collaboration too as they let you share notebooks and pages with other users.

3. Re-direct the things you use everyday to back up on the cloud

Most people know the importance of having a back-up, however it is still common practice to back things up to unreliable locations such as external hard-drives or CR-ROM disks. Backing up to the cloud provides a more reliable way to store important information, and easy options for re-syncing in case the un-thinkable happens and your laptop is lost, stolen or broken beyond repair. More software and app developers are recognising the benefits of cloud storage, and you might be surprised at how many programs you currently use that provide their own cloud backup service or support automatic backup to a cloud service such as google drive or drop box. 

Have a look through the things that are important to you and check out the preferences menu to see if cloud backup is supported. Some examples of things that can be easily and automatically backed up are Todo lists (using Reminders, Omnifocus or Remember the Milk) Writing & Articles with Scrivener, Wordpress Installs (via a plugin such as ManageWP) and Photos (using iPhoto or Picasa). You can also store your files in the Dropbox or Google Drive folder on your machine and they will automatically back up to the cloud.

The days of loosing all your data due to a broken laptop or malfunctioning external hard drive are now in the past thanks to the constant development of cloud storage systems. Providing users the peace of mind and security that comes from knowing that their important data and documents are safe, secure and accessible from anywhere.

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