Why the Cloud on the Horizon is NOT a Tornado, by Matthew Weigert
When you consider a tornado’s rampage, its most basic impact changes the way we lived. For Dorothy, the tornado took her from her Kansas homestead to Oz. As a result, she is a new girl after the storm, living a better life.
Tornados upset the normalcy of people’s lives and forces them to change. Technology too makes people change their lives. It changes them enough to make them run and hide from it.
In the same vein, the “Cloud” makes people run for fear of grasping its seeming complexity. The Federal government’s National Institute of Science and Technology makes the Cloud a virtual storm that makes people want to run for shelter.
“Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.” http://csrc.nist.gov/publications/nistpubs/800-145/SP800-145.pdf
Many people see the Cloud as a dark storm on the horizon. They say, “I have no idea what’s in it, but I am going to hide from it.”
Dump the government’s definition of the Cloud. The Cloud is more like a white puff in a blue sky.
Consider it as a storage place for your work. The handy part is that your materials are accessible from anywhere and anytime, just like on-demand television. I use Evernote as my Cloud. Apple’s iCloud is another version. Microsoft has OneDrive, and Google has its Google Drive. I can get the work whenever I want it, and the work is stowed away for me. With all the information stored in the Cloud, I can read and write—and rewrite—from my smartphone, my computer, any other computer with access to the Internet. I can even go on the Evernote website to work.
Then, hit a sync button, and the information is updated in the Cloud. Each device shows the updated documents.
Consider the Cloud as the great organizer too. In my closet, I have a spiral notebook with pages filled with writing. The handwriting is tiny, and I would never be able to find anything even if I wanted to. With the Cloud, file names can solve many problems and make searchingeasier. Save documents as “revised” or, as one editor recently told me, set up a file of “fodder,” where you can jot down ideas and background that are unlikely to be used. By breaking up documents, you can avoid single documents that are massively long. Instead, the Cloud allows for setting up folders and makes them on-demand.
Don’t fear the Cloud on the horizon. Let me show you how to MOVE on up … to the Cloud:
1. Choose a host, such as Evernote, Google Drive, or iCloud.
2. Download the software onto the devices you expect to use for accessing the files and data, such as your smartphone, laptop, or tablet.
3. Start creating new documents.
4. Create new folders—and subfolders—in which to organize documents, data, photos, or scanned items.
5. Tag documents for quicker access to similar items.
If you already have documents that you’d like to store in your personal Cloud, upload them. It’s largely clicking and dragging the documents from your computer, such as your desktop or another folder, to the Cloud.
Google has a tutorial on uploading documents: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2424368
Apple has also has a video showing the how-tos of iCloud: https://www.apple.com/support/icloud/
Evernote also has a video describing its services: http://evernote.com/video/
DO YOU USE THE iCLOUD? WHY/WHY NOT?
Matthew Weigelt is a freelance writer and journalist. While in Washington, DC, he wrote about the legal world for several trade publications. He covered Congress, the White House, and other federal agencies. He also has worked as a congressional staff member on Capitol Hill. He has been published in the Washington Post and was featured in the Post too. He began writing on a dusty word processor as a young teenager because of summertime boredom. Visit MatthewWeigelt.com. He also blogs at Read Between The Pages.