How To: Streamline Your Cloud Lifestyle

How To: Streamline Your Cloud Lifestyle

Anthony Nguyen
Aug 14, 2009

Regardless of how you may feel when it comes to the laptop vs. netbook debate, there's no denying that the cloud is here, sucking up all our streamlined needs and then spitting it back out onto any computer that has an internet connection. So, got your netbooks and pens ready? We show you how to fully take advantage of the cloud, after the jump.

Going completely virtual with your resources may be a hard thing to put your mind around, especially coming from our days of paper trails and present day paranoia that someone's going to steal our info and sell it. And while this may be true for mystical corporations hidden from the public eye, most webapps these days have enough people watching their TOS (terms of service) like hawks in the sky.

So don't worry - if Facebook decides they want to start spamming everyone based on what major they graduated with in college, you're bound to hear news networks jumping on the media train, reporting the 500,000 outraged net-citizens that plan to ban Facebook from their vocabulary.

Still, we're talking convenience and peace of mind here, and whenever you have data replicated in multiple places that's easily accessible from anywhere, a little sacrifice actually goes a very, very long way these days. Check out our favorite webapps to get your started on your cloud living:

1) Get a Dropbox. Data is cheap. It's also really easy to delete. Have Dropbox make dupes for you automatically. Then sync them with all of the computers you own. Instant virtual USB stick.

2) Mint.com is like a virtualized Quicken. Even Lifehacker loves it more than we do. Aggregate every single bank account, credit card, and investment you own into a single webapp that allows budgeting, notifications of due bills, and best of all - it's free!

3) Use Google Apps to keep people on the same page. You can easily budget expenses with housemates using spreadsheets available to view by everybody. But that's just the beginning. Google Reader gives you an endless blog feed from anywhere. Google Calendar gets synced with any mobile device through Google Sync. Mmmm.. cloud.. tasty.

4) Meebo me! Meebo allows you to combine nearly all of your chat accounts into a single, web-based chat client. You have the option to save convos, combine contacts, and launch virtual co-operative apps with anyone on your buddy list.

5) Make your blog your digital moleskin. Whether you're a Blogger-holic, Typepad master, or Tumblr-er, you can easily turn your "once-in-a-blue-moon" habit into a full-on resource for all the things you love in life. Add your blog to Technorati or other blog portals to easily expand your readership and increase your searchability factor. Tweeting helps, too. Just like how we do.

Now you've got the hang of it. Now, we're kind of curious to hear your favorite webapps. Let us know below!

(Image by Roger@elaws as licensed by Creative Commons license)

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