What would you think if I said that my head is always in the cloud? (singular, not plural). Ten years ago, you would think that I was a “space cadet” (remember that term, wow, I’m showing my age). 🙂 However, I have to tell you that I spend a majority of my work day in the cloud, but not in space. So what is this thing, the cloud?
The cloud is more than those white puffy things that we see only occasionally here in the desert. The cloud is a series of web based services that live on the internet (not on your computer). Facebook is a good example of a cloud app. We didn’t purchase it or download it onto our computer. Because of this, every time they do a format change, we get a new facebook look that leads to weeks worth of “bring back the old facebook” complaints from fellow facebookers. 🙂 The advantage is that we get updates as soon as they are available without having to buy software again. Imagine if you didn’t every have to upgrade any of your software. The frustration for some is the lack of control over some features (like when facebook makes a design change and we liked the old way better.) Whether we like it or not, things are moving to the cloud so you might as well learn what this cloud can do for you.
Here is a very brief glimpse of the different ways in which my head stays in the cloud throughout my workday.
Various Google Apps and Google Products — Let’s just say that the world of google is worthy of about 20 or 30 blog posts. I will expound on Google products and their practical uses at a later date.
Calendar — I use Google calendar, but it is worth a stand alone mention apart from the above mention about google. My google calendar is shareable with anyone even if they are not on the same server (like Microsoft Outlook requires). It also synchronizes to my Meeting Scheduler program making it so much easier to schedule meetings.
Meeting Scheduler — As a new small business owner, I have much to do and limited resources to do it with. Wouldn’t it be nice to have my own personal scheduler? Well I do, through Doodle Meet Me Profile. My calendar in the cloud syncs with my meeting scheduler in the cloud to create my own personal assistant. To view my available times for meetings, you simply go to my “Meet Me” page.
Social Media — Obviously, the twitterverse, the vacuum of facebook, and LinkedIn are all services hosted in the cloud. So when I’m doing my social media thing, it’s in the cloud.
Website — It goes without saying that a business or organization’s website will live in the cloud. However for me, and many other people, the construction of that website is no longer done on your local computer, but in the cloud through services like WordPress, Blogspot, or Tumblr.
Customer Relationship Management — ContactMe.com is my new favorite friend as it tracks customer relationships and has “contact forms” that travel with you onto your facebook fan page or even on your website. Thanks Holly Baumann Photography for that little gem.
So after looking at these tools, we are only halfway through my typical “day in the cloud”. Stay tuned for more to come in “Head in the Cloud Part 2. Until then, breathe deep, open your eyes and enjoy this ride that we call life.