As a tech-enthusiast I’ve tried just about every web app, mobile app and cloud-service available. I’ve downloaded phone apps, and deleted them, signed up to this, downloaded that, and joined the next social platform, however, I’m pretty scrupulous. I’ll dig in and see what it’s going to do for me and if it isn’t going to change my life for the better overnight, I’ll delete and repeat.

young man working on his computer at the cafe

As a result, the services I’m left using have a direct benefit to what I do every day. An online service that is common and of great benefit to everyone these days is file storage and backup.

Whether you’re an office worker or not, most people store all sorts of files on their personal devices, whether it’s photos on a phone or documents on a computer. It pays to make sure those files are taken care of.

Why the cloud?

It’s a topic that’s been done to death, so I’ll stick to the topic of backups. I once used to back up my files religiously to CD (back when that was the thing to do). Those CDs were diligently stacked beside my computer. But then I had a fire – a big fire. I lost most of my personal belongings, including every digital project and digital photo I’d ever created. Not cool.

Hence, I’m a cloud advocate. If on my way to work I dropped my laptop in a creek, I’d be able to get to the office, log into a spare computer and pick up where I left off in a matter of minutes (leaving time to explain how I dropped my laptop in a creek).

Backing up your business

At simPRO we use Google Apps for Business. It includes just about every tool you’ll ever need to stay productive and keep your team on the same page. Google Drive is the central point for all our files. Like Drive’s competitor Dropbox, it has a freely available app to install on your Mac or PC to sync your local folders. You’ll pay a monthly fee according to how much space you require.
The enormous benefit storage services such as Google Drive bring to any business is that they simply and securely store all company documents (that doesn’t reside in simPRO) in one place. With files stored off-site, they’re safely kept away from the risk of disasters such as fire and flood. The administrator can choose who has access to whichever files or folders they choose.

Once set up, the workflow looks no different to what you’re doing right now. The Drive folder appears on your desktop computer just like any other folder, the only difference being that everything you put in there will be automatically uploaded to the cloud. There’s a mobile app too.

For job-related photos in the field there’s Connect.

On a personal note

When was the last time you backed up your phone? While job-related images are being attached to the job in Connect, what about personal photos? Let me guess, you haven’t used a traditional camera in a while, right? You’ve been snapping pictures of the family using your phone like there’s no tomorrow. When was the last time you backed up those photos? If you’ve haven’t backed up and something happens to your phone, then what happens? That family day at the beach, Sally’s birthday party, Billy’s afternoon at the skate park – gone.

By installing a service such as Dropbox on your phone, your memories will automagically be sent to a private space in the cloud and synced across any device you have the service installed.

But I don’t want another thing to worry about

The point I’m making here is that it’s actually one less thing to worry about. Once you’ve taken ten minutes to set it up, your workflow will look no different to how it does now.

OK I’ll give it a go. What do I need to do?

I’d suggest you use one of the two more popular options. Personally, I use Dropbox for personal use and Google Drive for work. Dropbox has a nicer interface but is more expensive. Drive is what I’d call more enterprise-grade. Both are very similar.

Both have a free option. There’s no reason you can’t get started right now. I mean, please, go back up everything now.