The Rainmaker: Using the Cloud to Your Advantage

Losing a phone or laptop can be hard. Switching devices can also be hard. But it doesn’t have to be. I switch phones and laptops weekly, if not more often. In order to do so seamlessly, I need to keep most of my data in the cloud.

If you are concerned about security, then you may not want to keep your whole life in the cloud. But you should have a balance of security and convenience that is tailored to you.

Here is how I personally use cloud services to my advantage:

  1. Photos and Video – It saddens me to know that I don’t have most of the photos that I took with my first couple phones. Back then, you often had to manually back up everything you wanted to keep. Since then, I have relied on two services to keep track of my photos – OneDrive and Google Photos. Both have phone apps that allow you to automatically back up the photos on your phone, with enough storage that you shouldn’t need to worry about running out.
  2. Contacts – All of my contacts are connected to either my email app (I personally use Outlook) or Google, so I don’t worry too much about losing contacts anymore.
  3. Text messages – this is where it gets interesting. The biggest problem with Android is there is not one Google-backed unified service to keep track of your text messages across all devices. This will hopefully change soon, but I personally use an app called SMS Backup and Restore, which creates a file that you can save to Google Drive, and then Restore it from another phone.
  4. Documents – I no longer save documents to my computer’s drive, unless that drive is synced to the cloud. I personally use Microsoft OneDrive because it is readily built into Windows 10, but Google Drive and Dropbox have similar applications that work well.

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