At our October meet-up Emma from Cox Consultancy kindly talked us through some of the great cloud based tools she is using every day that are sure to save you time & money. As these could potentially save you lots of time and money we wanted to share the details with you so this blog post is quite long.

Firstly what is cloud computing and how is it relevant to my business?

Cloud Computing simply means ‘internet based computing’ so what you are working on is not actually stored on your computer but on the internet

          Cost Related Benefits

  • Save on local storage space on your computer
  • Free or low cost applications
  • Wide choice of free applications available
  • Free trials available so you can find one that suits you and your business

          Time Related Benefits

  • Easy and fast to access data.
  • Documents created online are automatically backed up so you don’t need to backup yourself (but I do recommend having two backups – one online and one on a local disk)
  • Sharing is easy
  • Can be accessed from your smartphone, desktop, laptop, tablet

5 great tools are Skype, Slideshare, Dropbox, Evernote, and Safecopy

 How many of these are you using?

Skype now owned by Microsoft provides an internet based telephone system where you can call another Skype user for free. You can use Skype on an iPad, iPhone or Android phone where you have a wireless connection and the call is free.

Free calls including conference calls to anyone in the world who has Skype {All you need is speakers & a microphone to make voice calls}

Free video calling, screen sharing & instant messaging to your clients or colleagues {To make video calls you will need a webcam inbuilt or separately connected to the computer}

Slideshare is the YouTube of the business world it gives you the ability to upload slides from your PowerPoint presentation to share. If you have delivered a presentation that you are proud of then why not share it with others?

  • Attract new customers and business contacts by uploading professional, quality driven presentations. The best presentations are also spotlighted by the Slideshare site which would prove to be an invaluable promotion tool for your company.
  • Track back function allows the user to monitor how many people have viewed their presentation once it has been uploaded.
  • Instant transcription of your presentation allows for certain Keywords, to appear in the text version of your presentation; which gives you a SEO boost.
  • Embed your presentation in other Social Media outlets such as your company’s Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account & LinkedIn profile to maximize the output of your presentation.
  • Whilst the service is FREE, a premium membership (SlidesharePro account) can be purchased, offering you the chance to create a custom channel, upload HD videos, remove ads and much more.

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Don’t you ever wish that you had that document with you or find yourself constantly emailing files/documents to yourself and your clients? Why not set up a Dropbox account and share access to certain folders by sending the individual an invitation to view it. You can grab Dropbox apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry

Tips for using Dropbox:

  • Share folders with clients so you can both work on documents together (and reduce travelling)
  • Invite your friends/clients and get 500mb extra space for everyone who joins (plus lots of other ways of getting extra space. I started with 2gb and now have 5.4gb)
  • Backup your photos on your phone to Dropbox (plus you get extra space for doing this!)
  • Read PDFs in Dropbox on your iPad through the iBook’s app

How many of you have heard about the Evernote app? It’s a ‘one stop shop’ to store everything…

  • Emails
  • Audio Notes
  • Web pages
  • Screenshots
  • Scanned items
  • PDF files
  • Projects
  • Tag your notes so you can find everything easily
  • Access from PC, MAC, phone, tablet etc.
  • Share with colleagues (requires Evernote Premium)

Following the meeting one of our members was up to the small hours “playing” with Evernote as she had clearly seen how this app can benefit her business.

When was the last time you backed up your pc?

Safecopy is an online backup that supports multiple folders and multiple computers

  • 3GB space for free (more available on paid versions)
  • Access from computer or smartphone or iPad

 

If you would like to know more about using any of these applications or need help setting them up please ring 07970 066317 or email Emma@CoxConsultancy.org.uk

We would love to hear your experiences of using these tools so feel free to comment below.

 

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