One of the things I say time and time again is that I could not think of how I could do all of the independent work that I do without technology as it is today. The smoothness that we can share files of great sizes across high bandwidths has opened up the clouds (heh) to a lot of oppurtunity.
And while everyone is talking about this cloud, and implementing it in different, and sometimes unsuccessful, ways, I’ve been doing what I can to find the right tool for the job.
So where is Sorg’s Cloud?
Dropbox – My main storage for online. This is where I share files, sync folders, and integrated our Digital Downloads option for the IWC and DVD DVDs in my store. A fairly successful upgrade to the operations. I’ve always hated when clients had MegaUpload, YouSendIt, and other services that I tend to question. This way I know the file is there, how it’s going to be received, and can narrow down any issues I tend to have. The only issue we’ve found is an unspoken bandwidth limit. If you share, say, a 2 GB file of the last show to the talent involved, you’ll hit that ceiling quick if you sent a share link. They claim it’s an effort to curb piracy. Understandable. So instead I have to invite everyone to a share folder. Somehow, Dropbox probably considers that “in the network” and will take the bandwidth if people have to sign in to get at it. And the 2 GB makes it easy for others to start sharing with me if their project isn’t too large. Just dropping a file into the dedicated folder for uploading in the background also ensures I keep working.
Google Drive – I’ve been using “Google Docs” for ages as my Office place in the cloud. The change to Drive had me curious. It felt like it wanted to replace my Dropbox, but didn’t have the installed base for apps like the PalDrop for my digital sales. But the spacious 5 GB free and lower prices for upgrading space has me keeping an eye on this as a future option if it fits in the rest of my needs. It continues to be my “place for documents”. Show documents, spreadsheets for tracking expenses that don’t fit in my Freshbooks system, and other tasks go here. With the inclusion of a Dropbox-like folder install, I’ve also been putting files and notes for my PTI classes in here to have them handy in class if something goes wonky with Blackboard, or so I can have my notes come up on my iPad with the finally-functional app for iDevices.
Evernote – I’ve attempted to go paperless. I could go into this more with a “Getting Things Done” post later down the road, but basically any important mail, bills, business cards, or receipts get digitized and kept in here under a category and/or tag. With it’s text recognition, it makes it easier to find that Verizon bill or Staples ink run to put into my expenses later.
iCloud – Yes, I use iCloud. But very specific portions. Document sharing doesn’t work on a whole, but my Teleprompt+ syncing scrips (again, downloaded from Google Drive). The biggest use is the Notes app. I’m often taking notes in meetings or at shoots with it on my iPad, and sometimes my iPhone when that’s all that’s handy. It’s my scratch pad, basically. As soon as I’m back to my computer from a meeting, I sit down and my notes are already there, ready for my to parse into to do lists, emails, etc. All this and iDevice backups, itunes and app purchases, it’s becoming more handy.
Adobe Creative Cloud – Ok. I’m new to this one. I haven’t gotten into storing things online, but that ability to drop a Photoshop install on all of my computers without tracking down my old CS 4 disc is super handy! And I have all of the random Adobe programs I’ll need for PTI classes in the future for proper prep. (because why would I have Flash?)
BackBlaze – I’ve been preaching this and other services like it to my students. Back that a$$ up! $5 a month and it uploads files from ALL of my connected drives, Drobos, etc. Last check has over 10 TB of info up there.
They hate me. That’s why I pay for two accounts. Needed less on my laptop, but I feel better about it.
Freshbooks – Self proclaimed “cloud accounting” people. A HUGE advantage in figuring out how to invoice clients, expenses, and the like. The only issues I’ve had is fitting the square peg of DVD sales into this, but that’s being handled respectively with PayPal and Square, at least for now…
So that’s a glimpse of where I spread my little digital empire to stay mobile, backed up, and accessible to my clients and projects.
What are you using to get your stuff out of your computer and in the cloud?