Organizing Cloud Storage

Gooooooooood morning everyone!

I wanted to do something a little different today, maybe talk about something that some of you already have some familiarity with. Cloud storage is something that we hear a lot about, but I think with how many options have surfaced, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by your options.

So what I’m gonna do here is go over some of the big ones for document storage, some of their benefits, and then some tips on using cloud storage overall.

The things that most cloud storage applications overall will let you do are fairly straightforward:

  1. Create or upload documents and files
  2. Share these files with whatever viewing limits you choose (people with the link, specific email addresses, etc.)
  3. Keep your files tied to an account, not a machine. So if you lose your phone or your computer’s hard drive gets nuked, your files can still safely be accessed on another system.
  4. Monitor when changes have been made to your files, and in some cases, by whom.

The commonly used storage applications are Google Drive, Box and Dropbox.

Google Drive

  • The tendrils of the Google Monolith stretch far and wide. If you have a Google account, you can get 15GB of storage for free from the get go.
  • Any attachments you receive from your emails in a Gmail account can be moved to your Drive quickly and easily.
  • You can search for terms that appear within a document, not just by document titles.
  • Create slides and documents within the Drive itself, as well as surveys, and flow charts on top of files with Google Drawings. There are even more ways to upgrade Drive, depending on what you need.
  • On a portable device, you can switch to an offline mode so you can work even if you lose a connection.
  • If you have an Android device, you can actually scan documents and instantly save them as PDFs to your Drive.

So Google, being the all powerful being that it has become, ties most of its services in to your Google account. If you’re making an attempt to disengage from the Google machine, you may consider a different option.


  • You can save a wide variety of file types.
  • Your storage will sync across all devices with a Dropbox app, regardless of whether you’re an Apple/Mac or Android/Microsoft user.
  • Create links to share your content via email or text message.
  • You can preview and download DropBox content sent to you even if you don’t have a DropBox account.
  • You can use Dropbox to back up and organize photos and photo albums.
  • You can activate security measures to keep your files safe, such as two-step verification.

DropBox offers a bit more leeway in terms of who can view your files, although you do need an account to edit files in a group. Be aware: there is a “sign up with Google” button. Those tendrils, man.


  • You can manage project timelines and view files quickly across many different devices.
  • Processes can be automated to delegate and follow updated files quickly.
  • Move files and assign roles with ease.
  • Password-lock files.

Along with many of the functions that come with Drive and Dropbox, Box is a good tool for people who are a part of or manage a team of people working on projects at a more administrative level.

So now that you have a basic understanding of how Cloud storage differs across platforms, how do you manage this storage? Many of you may already be using one or more of these applications, and keeping track of everything can be a little overwhelming at times. Here’s just a few tips to keeping everything in order for yourself.

  1. Stay consistent with how you name and organize files. Putting dates or specifications to classes or subjects in your file names will save you time going through files to find what you’re actually looking for.
  2. Don’t get caught up in a labyrinth of folders and subfolders. There’s a balance between one unwieldy Documents folder and having dozens of small folders for each individual assignment or project. Have a few folders that separate content in a way that makes sense to you. Make sure that you’re saving the appropriate files to their proper places right away, to keep things in order on a regular basis.
  3. Make sure you’re not holding onto any fluff. Anything that you know you don’t use, anything you just downloaded from an email attachment once…don’t be afraid to let it go.

If you have files across multiple applications, there are a few apps that allow you to consolidate and search between multiple Cloud storage applications.

  • Seagate Media syncs with Google Drive and Dropbox even without an internet connection.
  • QuickAccessCloud works with all three of the above, for Apple devices.
  • Otixo, Hojoki and PrimaDesk all also work with the three above and offer both free and subscribed accounts.

What do you guys think? Do you have any preferences in terms of cloud storage and why? Would having an application that syncs all of your Cloud files be helpful to you or not?

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