A shift to the cloud.

A quick post on a small personal experiment. Can you operate without any issues utilizing cloud services and have little to no reliance on programs installed on your PC. Well for the last couple of months I have been doing just that and with the exception of programs like Photoshop, I have shifted most of my working day onto cloud based services, primarily including storage and office apps.

The number of apps/programs/services available in the cloud are growing fast and they generally meet most needs. I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t need to carry a laptop anymore as long as I have another computer to use wherever I am going.

Looking at the applications used:

For office and similar applications, Microsoft Office is available online and Google Docs does a decent job as well. For somethings like large excel sheets with a number of formulas I still prefer the desktop version. However I do load these onto cloud based services. I’ve found that Office online can meet my needs after I’ve created the doc. I guess this leads to a concern that most would likely have. If you are doing everything online and loose your internet connection mid edit, will it all be lost or will productivity be impacted in a negative way …

The other area of cloud based services I use is storage. I’ve essentially moved my storage for 96% of the things I do, into the cloud, utilizing services like DropBox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. Everything I do (for the most part) is done and stored via the cloud. This allows me to work from anywhere without taking my laptop. As long as I have an internet connection and a computer to use, I can work from anywhere, my files are readily available.

Now that takes care of the office and storage. I also have my email all web based, no reliance on any program like Outlook etc. I utilize programs like Evernote for notes, Zoho for invoicing, Wave Accounting (well that is obvious) and a variety of other applications.

As we continue to innovate, bulky computers will be a thing of the past, for the most part. You will still have items that you just won’t share on the cloud. How do you use the cloud and over the last 5 years how have your computer habits changed? Are you doing more online and less on your hard drive?

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