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6 Reasons You Should Use The Cloud

6 Reasons You Should Use The Cloud

Does this situation seem familiar to you?

— Hey, can you please send the snaps that you took at the cafe last night?

— Sure. I will upload it to the Cloud, will share the link in a while. :-)

(With a confused face, you scratch your head and look up at the sky) — What the heck is the Cloud?

This is exactly what happened in the hit movie, “Creed”, when Michael Jordan told Sylvester Stallone that the photo he clicked was sent (or “uploaded”) to the Cloud. Muscular Stallone had little to no idea what the Cloud was – like a caveman discovering the joys of electric heating.

I have to agree that tech terms (to non-techies) can get very confusing sometimes. Although they sound simple, it’s often another world to them.

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Interestingly, we use “Cloud services” on a daily basis: Gmail, Google Drive, DropBox, OneDrive – these services are all cloud-based.

What exactly is the Cloud?

Let’s look at this like we’re newbies. I was – I didn’t understand much of the technology at first. As I found nuggets of knowledge that were explained clearly, I “got it” much quicker, and everything made a lot more sense.

We have been using emails and accessing websites for more than a decade now. For all these services to work, it needs a server (which is essentially a computer that is connected to high-speed internet 24/7). In most cases, this computer has similar components to what we use: RAM, harddisk storage, CPU, motherboards, graphic cards, etc. The main differences, though, are that it never shuts down, is connected to internet 24/7 and has specific applications installed on it that transform it into a server.

Now, imagine, if there is no space left in your hard disk, the RAM (or CPU) has crashed and you are unable to connect to the internet. In that case, you will not be able to login to your computer. So, if there are any important files in your PC, you will not be able to access them because you will get a connection error. This is called DOWNTIME. You know those sites that are “down”, with pages showing “503 Error” (unable to connect to the server)?

Usually, that downtime is a result of those components crashing. Technicians or webmasters have to go into the server and fix errors.

This doesn’t happen in the Cloud ever. The Cloud has 100% “uptime”, because it isn’t just one thing – it’s a series of internet servers based online.

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So, after getting the dirt on what Cloud is, let’s look at what the Cloud actually does.

What does the Cloud do?

1. Redundancy

When there is a hardware (RAM, CPU, motherboard etc.) failure in a server, it will route traffic to a backup server. Therefore, hardware failures won’t affect the evil downtimes. Similarly, in the case of software failure (server configuration), when files are not accessible, the server will again route traffic to backup servers. In the case of traffic spikes, the Cloud will route partial traffic to a backup server to avoid load issues which can crash the server.

2. Scalability

In Cloud servers, you can increase/decrease resources (RAM, CPU, storage etc.) anytime as you see fit. This is not possible with traditional shared, VPS or dedicated hostings.

That is why many industries run their services in the Cloud. When traffic goes off the chart and one can easily increase resources of the server.

3. Cloud = 100% Uptime

Whatever application, files, images, videos are there on the Cloud, they’re all accessible all the time. The Cloud also makes accessing and sending everything faster.

So, if one server or some hardware goes down, the other one comes up. So, you don’t have to worry about losing information at all.

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4. Hosting

It is difficult to find a web host that has almost 100% uptime rate.

  • Dedicated hosting would be a better choice than a shared or VPS hosting, as dedicated hosting has 100% server-hardware/resources dedicated to it
  • Whereas with shared hosting, all resources are shared with neighbours
  • While in VPS hosting, specific resources (like 2GB RAM out of server 32GB RAM etc.) are assigned

Surprisingly, neither shared, VPS, or dedicated hosting can guarantee 100% uptime when there is hardware failure. Whether it’s because of heat, unforeseeable crashes, or anything else that can derail you – such as software failure which is often due to traffic spikes that can’t be handled with the current server’s configuration, configuration faults, or server update faults.

It’s important to remember that Cloud servers are expensive, meaning they will take a check out of your wallet. This is because Clouds are a phenomenal service to the internet, and Cloud hosting services know this.

5. Cloud Hosting Providers

Public Cloud servers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, RackSpace, and SoftLayer are incredibly (and almost unbelievably) expensive.

Luckily for us, there are true Cloud servers that are top tier providers like the big guys mentioned before. The only difference? They aren’t expensive.

Servers such as Linode, DigitalOcean and Vultr, just to name a few. Linode was actually listed among the top 4 cloud servers being used by top 10,000 Alexa sites.

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There is a downside, however. These more affordable Cloud hosting servers may not have 100% scalability or redundancy features, the way the big dogs do. Keep in mind that they are just as worthy of hosting your files/documents/site etc. as the more expensive providers.

6. Installing & Configuring Cloud Servers

Sadly, the main trouble comes in when it’s time to actually set up a Cloud server, which requires high-end technical skills and costs a good sum. Luckily, we have ServerPilot that can do this work for free! That’s something to cheer about.

With all the advantages Cloud hosting offers, it’s still confusing how people resort to traditional hosting methods. Hopefully you’ve learned a thing or two about the huge benefits Cloud hosting gives you and your valued visitors. In the end, aren’t we doing this for the happy experiences of our visitors and customers?

Featured photo credit: heladodementa/pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Maya Levine

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Last Updated on May 28, 2020

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2020 Updated)

No one can dispute the countless benefits technology has brought us. Undoubtedly, it has allowed us to connect, perform, improve, and leverage our resources beyond what was once imaginable.

If you’re not taking advantage of some of the hundreds of time management apps and tools out there, you’re definitely missing a trick.

But with so many apps to choose from, how do you know which ones to use?

Well, this will depend on your needs. That’s why we’ve put together a list of 18 of the best time management apps that can help you with the most common challenges of managing time.

Let’s dive straight into the list.

1. Rescue Time – Use Your Time Wisely

    If you have doubts if you are using your time sensibly, this app will send you weekly reports to indicate what things are stealing your time. Aside from its automatic time-tracking feature, this app also has distraction blocking and efficient report tools.

    RescueTime helps you avoid being overwhelmed by too many tasks. This app also has a team software that’s dedicated to time management among team members. With this app, you may be shocked to discover how much time you’re actually wasting.

    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

    2. Remember The Milk – Keep on Top of All Your Tasks

      If you’re struggling to manage everything you have to do, and you work with many different devices, then this is the app for you. It’s a great free tool that is compatible with your mobile, computer, Gmail, Outlook, etc., and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management.

      This app will help you to manage your tasks easily and reminds you of them – wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others, making it a great tool for teams as well.

      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

      3. Focus Keeper – Boost Motivation to Complete Tasks

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        This app is based on the principles of the Pomodoro Technique, and it is aimed at individuals who procrastinate and feel overwhelmed by tasks. It has a simple, efficient user interface that is easily customizable based on your needs.

        Focus Keeper is designed to enhance your focus and remove any anxiety you might have with time pressures. This is a great app to use if you want to prevent yourself and your team from being burned out.

        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

        4. Toggl – Keep Track of Time Spent on Projects and Tasks

          Effective time management starts with being clear on exactly how much time you actually spend on your projects and tasks and through analysis – working out how you can manage them more effectively. Toggl allows you to do all this even with its simple design.

          Toggl includes great time-saving features integrated with its intuitive interface. This is a great alternative to time-sheets if you need to track how much time you spend on different projects.

          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

          5. Dropbox – Store and Send Large Files Easily

            There are many apps that allow you to transfer content from your computer to other devices, but Dropbox is free and it is easier to use than the others. With the Dropbox app, you can even access and share important files on the go. It is an easy way to share your files and documents with others for improved productivity.

            Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

            6. Evernote – Keep All Your Notes in One Place

              Evernote is a free productivity tool that allows you to capture all your ideas, thoughts, and images in many different ways (e.g., with voice, notes, or images). You can even record your meetings, interviews, speeches, and ideas, create lists, add voice or text attachments, and share your files with friends. You can also sync Remember The Milk with Evernote to better optimize your time.

              Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

              7. MindNode — Focus on Tasks at Hand With Mind Mapping

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                Mind mapping is a great productivity technique, and Mindnode is one of the best free mind mapping apps available. It helps you to become more organized by focusing your thoughts – thereby gaining clarity on what needs to be done.

                This app allows you to customize various visual tags and templates to suit your needs. You can also easily share your documents with others.

                Available on iOS and Desktop

                8. GoodSync – Back Up and Sync Your Files Effortlessly

                  This software allows you to back up, restore, and synchronize your files easily. It supports folders from a variety of locations, and it has filtering options that let you exclude subfolders from synchronizing.

                  This app also allows you to sync files to and from your phone. If you have never backed up your files before, you should definitely take a look at this tool.

                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                  9. MyLifeOrganized (MLO) – Manage Your To-Do Lists Effectively

                    Check this out if you find it difficult to manage all your tasks, work with your to-do lists, and organize your goals. This task management software helps you target what you should be focusing on to reach your objectives.

                    MyLifeOrganized is one of the best task management apps for focused work. It automatically generates to-do lists with priority actions for your immediate attention so that you can track your progress methodically.

                    Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                    10. 1Password – Have All Your Passwords Remembered

                      1Password allows you to keep all your passwords in one encrypted database – protected by one password. This saves you time when you forget your passwords and need to retrieve them. This also allows you to use various passwords for different accounts so you don’t compromise on security.

                      Available iOS, Android, and Desktop

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                      11. Pocket – Keep Your Eye on the Ball

                        When you’re surfing the web, it’s easy to get distracted by enticing and fascinating websites. That’s why you need effective time management apps like Pocket. You can use this tool to save your ‘finds’ to access and read later on at a convenient time. This prevents you from getting distracted and negatively impacting your immediate work.

                        Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                        12. Focus@Will – Boost Your Attention Span

                          This amazing app combines neuroscience and music to boost your productivity. According to the developers, it’s possible to increase your attention span by up to 400% using Focus@Will, making this one of the best time management apps available.

                          Focus@will is ideal for those who find it difficult to focus while studying, working, or reading. It also helps you control your ADD.

                          Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                          13. Alfred – Interact With Your Computer in a Smart Way

                            This small and simple tool allows you to launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes. This makes life so much easier as you don’t need to go through the start menu to access what you want. The only downside is that it’s only available for macOS.

                            Available on desktop (macOS)

                            14. Forest – Boost Your Focus by Growing a Forest

                              Forest is a unique reinvention of time management apps. This unique and fun app helps you stay focused and on-track by making you focus on another thing.

                              The concept is simple: whenever you want to focus, plant a virtual tree. If you stay focused, the tree will grow. If you lose focus, the tree will die. As the app’s name implies, you can grow multiple trees to create a virtual forest!

                              Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop (Firefox Add-on)

                              15. Trello – Track Your projects in a highly visual way

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                                Trello is a hugely popular app that you may already be familiar with. It works by allowing you to create cards for tasks that you need to complete. Each card moves across the Trello board, which is typically broken into columns such as To Do, In Progress, and Completed. This serves as your cue to start working on and completing the associated tasks.

                                Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                16. Quire – Unfold Your Ideas

                                  Quire is an innovative time management app that helps boost your team’s productivity. The strength of this app lies in its features for collaboration and ease of sharing. You can streamline and adjust your workflow based on your team’s needs and preferences.

                                  Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                  17. TimeTree – Have a Shared Calendar With Your Family

                                    This TimeTree app allows families or teams to share multiple calendars and appointments with each other. So, whether you’re planning a party or running a local sports team, Time Tree can keep everyone up-to-date with all current and upcoming activities and events.

                                    Available on iOS and Android

                                    18. Todoist – Capture and Order All Your Tasks and Activities Easily

                                      Todoist is close to being the ultimate digital to-do list and one of the best time management apps out there. It’s available via browser and app, and it lets you schedule all your tasks and activities. Each item can be flagged for priority as well as a given due date. There is also a neat option to add notes to any of your tasks.

                                      Available on iOS, Android, and Desktop

                                      Final Thoughts

                                      The above list covers what we consider to be the very best time management apps and tools available. And the good news is that many of them are completely free of charge!

                                      So, what are you waiting for? Select the ones that will be the most valuable to you, and begin boosting your productivity now!

                                      More Productivity and Time Management Apps

                                      Featured photo credit: freestocks via unsplash.com

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