Friday, November 2, 2012

Want To Sync Your Cloud Services?

Things like Evenote, Dropbox, Google Drive, Sugar Sync?
Maybe it's my geekery, but I love cloud computing. I've been hooked on Evernote for years now, and Dropbox has a special place in my nerd-love cubby.
I don't have a lot in Google Drive at this point, but that would be my anti-establishmentarian side, not wanting "all my eggs in one basket"... Google is so ubiquitous it's a bit Orwellian.
But that's another topic.
One thing I'm learning, partly from experience, and partly from sources like David Allen's GTD and my new hero Power of Moms, which took the GTD system and made it pertinent to moms, is to consolidate all my "stuff" into ONE inbox or bucket, rather than have it all over the place, and have to waste time and energy trying to figure out where I put that important thing I need!
So, I've got some stuff in Evernote, some stuff in Google Drive, some stuff in Dropbox... and I've been really stressing over which to use as my main bucket, and the easiest, most efficient way to migrate everything into it without losing things or wasting ALL my time that I've redeemed through these great methods I'm learning!
Enter CloudHQ (referral link)

I was thinking how great it would be if I could just sync those services, have them all have the same thing in them, and then I wouldn't have to wonder where something was, it would be in all of them! Which is great when I'm collaborating with someone else, I wouldn't have to take a file that I keep in Evernote and put it in Google Drive so someone else could work with it, and then try to remember which Evernote files weren't "at home" and why.
After a bit of looking around, I stumbled across this service, which is exactly what I was dreaming of! It's got a few more services too: besides Evernote, Dropbox, and Google Drive, there's also Sugar Sync, Box, and Basecamp.
Depending on which plan you choose (and YES! there's a free plan!), you can have up to 10 synchronizations running. You also have the option of one-direction syncing, or reciprocal syncing.
They will convert your files to what works with each service; and the part I really like a LOT is that when syncing between Evernote and Google Drive (all I've done so far, but more is coming because I love this thing!), they make 2 copies of the files: one in Google Docs format (or MSWord, if you want), and one PDF. I'm not sure what that means to you, but to me it says "Here, I'll give you two so you can do as you like: one that your friends can edit as you work together, and one that can only be looked at, not changed, so you don't have to worry.
It took me a few minutes to figure out just how to set things up to run just as I like, but it wasn't complicated at all. Like I said, a few minutes- and that's with a couple of toddlers asking for graham crackers and cheese and tattling on each other! :0D
One of the biggest bonuses about using this service is the quick and helpful customer service. There is a chat window live on the site, and each time I've used it (well, both times), I've gotten answers within minutes to my questions, and bonus help and info as well!
I've used CloudHQ for a couple of weeks now, and I'm pleased as punch with it. The first sync takes a little while, depending on how many files are needing to be uploaded. I had well over 1000, and it took about 3 hours. After that, the syncing has been almost instantaneous and certainly not slowing me down. You can also browse all your files right there from the website, without going to all the services individually, AND you can toggle the option of deletion being sync'd or not! I have it on right now, but I can definitely see a scenario of turning that off and having a mine of all the files you've had so that if you ever do need the history, there it is!
There is also a backup service included, where all of your files are backed up to your hard drive, wherever you choose, once a week.
I'm really not sure how I would improve this service, other than possibly adding more services (fetchnotes, delicious, pocket...).
If you decide to give any of the services mentioned here a try, would you consider using the referral links in this post to do it? on some of them, I get perks like free space or discounted services for referring new customers.

(Disclosure: I was offered a bonus at CloudHQ for doing a review here on my blog. While that did motivate me to write a review, my opinion and recommendation of the service / company are just as I've said)


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