I use a lot of stuff when I log on to my computer each day. I have a laptop, lots of software to write, record or develop whatever I’m working on that particular day, and all my mobile devices to keep me connected when I leave the house. But, at the end of the day, there is only one thing I would be completely and utterly helpless without – Dropbox.
Dropbox, along with the other cloud software tools I use – from storage to scheduling to collaboration – make it possible for me to work from anywhere. I forgot to charge my laptop but I have a meeting I need to attend? No problem. I’ll just borrow my wife’s laptop and login to Dropbox. I’m stuck on the train for a couple hours with nothing to do? No problem. I’ll load up a file on my phone or tablet and edit.
Cloud computing has made it possible for me to do a job that was already incredibly mobile literally anywhere. And because the technology I use is now interchangeable, I don’t have to worry about the laptop I buy or whether I can use my office at home on any given day.
The Tools You’ll Need
If you’re just getting started as a writer in this business, you’ll need a few simple tools to get started. My list is as follows, but I’ve included some alternatives in case you’d prefer something different:
- Storage – I use Dropbox and love it. It works well on every device I own and I have instant access to my files. I’ve heard equally good things about Box.net and there are many people now switching to iCloud for their iDevices.
- Note Taking – Evernote is the king of all note taking tools. It is fluid, speedy and works on every device I own (and a lot I don’t). I record personal notes, meeting notes, ideas, and pictures of cool things here and can access them instantly anywhere I go. There are other tools that do similar things, but why?
- Web Office – I have a Google Apps for Business account for my company (all two of us) and love it. With custom email addresses for my domain in Gmail, collaboration friendly Google Docs accounts, Calendars, and a bunch of other tools I haven’t even uncovered yet, Google has my back. All the same tools are available for free as well if you’re still in the pre-investment stage.
What these tools allow me to do is access all of my files, notes, email and calendar entries from every device I own anywhere on the planet. I can login to a friend’s computer and print a contract or borrow my wife’s phone and jot down a note. It doesn’t matter where I am or what I’m doing and that makes live significantly easier.