On Moving To The Cloud

@Kevin | Strategy

At times I can be incredibly inefficient personally. I may develop habits that I just get used to even though I know they aren’t the most effective way in doing things. The sad thing is when I do work for clients one of the biggest things I harp on is efficient use of social media. I don’t practice what I preach and it has become a massive time suck for me.

This week I finally sat down and did something about my inefficiencies. I combined, reorganized, and found myself moving a lot of my content to the cloud. (I know, I know, “the cloud” is marketing lingo.) Here is what I did:

E-Mail- I had five e-mail accounts going to three different sources. Two to different web mail accounts and three to my desktop e-mail client. While I had alerts coming into my browser from the online clients I recognized that having these three different sources for email was a complete waste. I decided to move all my e-mail into my Gmail account because I was starting to use Google Buzz a little more, I have a Palm Pre which links with Google products fairly well, and I wanted to get my stored e-mails off of my computer.

Concerns:

Backing my content up- Of course I am afraid that I could run into data loss or have my account arbitrarily deleted. Not having my data on my computer and on my backup drive does scare me a bit. I have been a customer of Backupify since they launched and felt okay with moving all my e-mail to the cloud because of it.

Signatures- One of the features I like about my desktop client is the ability to assign signatures to my various e-mail accounts. Gmail only allows for one signature, but there is a great browser extension in Wisestamp that allows for me to create multiple e-mail signatures for Gmail.

Bookmarks- I have used Xmarks for a long time and have always had a Delicious account. I realized that most of the time when I was bookmarking items they became a mess if I was putting them to Xmarks (I often didn’t organize these into folders). I decided that I should just move everything to Delicious and use that as my main bookmarking source. Besides making me organize my bookmarks better I can share this as content through various social media outlets.

Documents- I haven’t made the transition to Google Docs or anything like that. I am a slave to Microsoft Office products and it will be that way for the foreseeable future. One change I did make though is how I store these items. I have begun to use Dropbox (this is the only referral link I have ever used, when you sign up for free I get more storage for free) more and more as a data backup solution and as a replacement for my flash drive, as well as a way to share large files with my clients. Instead of using three different services: backup, file sharing device, and portable file storage I now have one tool to manage.

What tools are you using to make yourself more efficient?

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