With cloud services, businesses of all sizes can benefit from not having to rely on physical infrastructure like hard-drive storage systems, file and email servers, or software to access their files and data. Working in the cloud allows business professionals to benefit from the “anywhere, anytime” availability of their files and projects, which means hassle-free collaboration among clients, team members, and business partners.
Here are a few of the top cloud services … some of which I can’t imagine working without:
Google Drive: Google Drive (previously called Google Docs) is like a virtual “one-stop-shop” for your business’ syncing, creating, and editing needs. With Google Drive you can create word processing documents, spreadsheets, presentation documents, forms, new docs in the Web interface, collaborate with other users in real time, convert to Google’s file format for online editing, and export the finished products to more standard file formats, such as .doc, .rtf, .pdf, etc.
Office365: Project management in the cloud speeds up the whole process of project management by allowing information to be available to team members at any time. Office 365 is Microsoft’s name for one of its many varieties of Office 2013, and is a subscription-based option that is downloaded from the cloud to use on your disk in the same way you’ve used earlier versions of Office. Office 365 subscriptions let you have Office installed on five devices at any one time. Subscription rates run around $45/month.
DropBox: Dropbox does not offer online document creation and editing, but for its stated purpose (file-syncing, file collaboration, and file storage), it works beautifully. Dropbox boast dependable servers (no down-time)l easy installation, automatic and smooth file-synchronization. It is ideal for working with files you can store in a single folder as well, with the option to share or not to share folders. Dropbox basic plan offers users 2G of storage for free, and up to 100GB of storage is just under ten dollars a month. Refer someone else to Dropbox using a special referral link, and both you AND the people you refer get free space as a referral bonus!
Docusign: How slick is it to get important documents signed via the cloud instead of waiting for the customary “I’ll email it to you, you print and sign it, scan it, and email it back” dance? DocuSign Pro moves the process of getting important documents signed completely online and assists in propelling projects forward quickly. It also offers a tagging system that shows the recipient what to do and results in a full (court-accepted) audit trail of the process. DocuSign is a professional choice for electronic signing of documents.
My Hours: myHours.com is a time management, timesheet, time tracking solution. It enables users to track their work time, projects worked on, and tasks being performed. MyHours is web based, and can be used from any location at any time. MyHours personal accounts are free to use and the Company Account version allows employers to access to their team’s time tracking data, and know how much time is spent on specific or client projects.