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Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Be Strategic in Managing Electronic Files

As it's easier to find what's need more quickly in electronic form, many paper files get scanned into laptops, desktops and mobile devices; yet, simply converting to electronic doesn't ensure the content is safe, secure and easily accessible whenever needed. That's where the cloud comes into play, and it's important to utilize cloud solutions how they'll best support your productivity.

So many of us talk about "the cloud", but how many really know what it entails? In October of 2017, CBS Sunday Morning gave an excellent overview of "the cloud", explaining how files are stored in huge, centralized buildings (known as data centers) from which computers and phones fetch what's needed from wherever at whatever time desired. Further, as David Pogue of Yahoo Finance reports, the cloud helps synchronize content between devices so all changes made on one are seen across anything connected almost immediately. As evidenced by the concrete barriers, armed guards, retina scanner, mantrap, nine password doors, storage redundancy across geographic locations and emphasized anonymity in CBS Sunday Morning's clip, businesses along with individuals rely on these data centers to safely maintain data security.

Offering speed, security, flexibility and savings, "the cloud" is here to stay so utilize it in whichever ways will help you the most. One way you probably capitalize on "the cloud" is manually choosing which files to upload for storage and sharing in an online file repository, like Amazon S3Box, DEVONthink, Dropbox, eFileCabinet, Egnyte, Google Drive, iCloud DriveSpiderOak or SugarSync. Another way to capitalize on "the cloud" is through an automated back-up of everything on your computer, including documents, program files as well as hard drive settings, and options for this functionality include Amazon Glacier, Backblaze, Carbonite, CrashPlan, IDrive along with Mozy.

Your online file repository is not the same as a cloud-based back-up solution. Yes, both of these protect you from the ill effects of hardware failure, natural disasters, ransomware and theft, but they do so for different types of content and offering varying levels of ease for accessing that content when needed. Whether you utilize Amazon S3, Box, DEVONthink, Dropbox, eFileCabinet, Egnyte, Google Drive, iCloud, SpiderOak or SugarSync as your online file repository, it does not alleviate your need to implement an automated, cloud back-up via Amazon Glacier, Backblaze, Carbonite, CrashPlan, IDrive or Mozy, too. While your choice for online file repository will focus on saving your documents to the cloud, syncing them across your device, enabling sharing for greater collaboration and making it easy to quickly access those uploaded contents, that's not enough; your choice for cloud back-up provides automatic, continuous and secure saving of everything on the hard drive of your laptop or desktop computer, which is worth it's weight in gold when your hard drive dies, is corrupted or gets damaged beyond repair. Create your account on the website of your chosen back-up solution, download the software to your computer, tell it what to back-up and, then, make sure your computer is connected to the Internet at least once each 24-hour window of time; all your data will be downloaded to the data centers and secured for restoration when it's needed.

How do you utilize "the cloud" to manage your electronic files? What is your preferred online file repository? How about your solution for automatic, cloud-based back-up? 

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