Monday, 3 August 2015

Digital Nomad - Up in the cloud

Over the last few months I have getting to know more and more about cloud services so that I can become a digital nomad. I have been suitably impressed by what can happen. The ease of transferring data and working on documents all on line is great.

Now I know that I am behind the eight ball on cloud services, but that is not a problem. While I like to be an early adopter, I also know that not rushing into things has benefits. I like to wait so that most of the bugs get worked out. Waiting for the 2.0 version or even later means you avoid the issues of the first model or system.

Now there is a lot of cloud systems out there available for people that want to be a digital nomad. The one I have been using is Google Drive. It is a free cloud system and has a lot of features to go with it including Google Docs, Google online version of Windows Document. I now use it for both work and personal business. It is quick and simple.

Of course before you rush into get Google Drive you should read the fine print on the agreement. One of the reasons it is free is because Google is going to track everything you do with it, share that information with their marketing department, and maybe the marketing departments of other business. If you don't have a problem with that, then go ahead and join up. If you want to keep your data yours, then I suggest a paid cloud service. You should remember that if you have a youtube account, blogger account, android phone, or any other service by Google they are already tracking your data. These are some of the trade offs when you are a digital nomad.

Before I go on I will say that I am not endorsing Google. I am just saying that I have used them.

There are limitations to a cloud system. The first and obvious is that when you don't have internet you can not access your data. A good example is this article. I am writing this on a plane to Melbourne (and now I am editing it on the way to Hong Kong). So there is no internet and I have to write this on Google Docs offline. Once I am on the MTR (Hong Kong trains) with free internet travelling into the city or in my hotel room Docs will auto update to the drive and I have everything back on the cloud again. Simple.

The other issue is security. While Google may read your files, there is the issue of hacking. If your Drive cloud account is hacked then the hacker may have access to personal or business data. And hackers are after all of that stuff. So when you look for a cloud account look for the one with good security.

I find my cloud account has given me a lot of freedom. I can write any where I want or record my radio show, edit online and post straight from there. It means I am not stuck a computer in a room in the house. On a nice day I can go to a café, or park, access either a wifi hotspot or my phone account and do my work. I can travel and stay in touch so easy. My business is now portable, and that gives me real freedom of being a digital nomad.

So have a look at a cloud account. Google Drive is fine, but you need to Find one that suits your needs and start making your business and life more mobile. I mean, where would you rather be, in a dreary old office or sitting in a coffee shop. You still do the same work, but a much better environment. Remember a great life is about doing more and having a better time. I hope to see you with all the other digital nomads in the e cloud (or coffee shop.)

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