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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

Passionate Writer & Researcher

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Last Updated on June 17, 2019

40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2019 Updated)

Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone (all categorized based on their functions) to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

For Getting Things Done

1. OmniFocus

This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

Download it here.

    2. Forest

    Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

    Download it here.

      3. Things

      Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

      Download it here.

        4. 30/30

        Recently covered here at Lifehack

        , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

        Download it here.

          5. Any.Do

          A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

          Download it here.

            6. PocketLife Calendar

            This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

            Download it here.

              7. Asana

              We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

              , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

              Download it here.

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                8. ToDoist

                This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                Download it here.

                  9. FlowTasks

                  From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                  Download it here.

                    10. Calendars 5

                    This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                    Download it here.

                      11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                      A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                      Download it here.

                        12. Due

                        A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                        Download it here.

                          13. Checkmark 2

                          I use this app

                          for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                          Download it here.

                            14. TeuxDeux

                            Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                            Download it here.

                              15. Wunderlist 

                              Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                              Download it here.

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                                16. Nirvana

                                For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                Download it here.

                                  17. Priorities

                                  An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                  Download it here.

                                    For Building Habits

                                    18. Productive

                                    With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                    Download it here.

                                      19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                      You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                      Download it here.

                                        20. Streaks

                                        This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                        Download it here.

                                          21. Remember The Milk

                                          Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                          Download it here.

                                            22. Day One Journal

                                            When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                            Download it here.

                                              For Files Organization

                                              23. Evernote

                                              Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                              Download it here.

                                                24. Pocket

                                                You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                Download it here.

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                                                  25. Sync.Me

                                                  This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    26. Droplr

                                                    One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      27. Dropbox

                                                      Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        28. iDolly 

                                                        In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                        Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          29. Soulver

                                                          It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            For Working Smarter

                                                            30. Captio

                                                            A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              31. Drafts

                                                              A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                Download it here.

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                                                                  33. Doodle

                                                                  This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                    I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                      35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                      A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        36. GoodReader

                                                                        This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          37. LogMeIn

                                                                          Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            For Improving Security

                                                                            38. 1Password

                                                                            There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                              You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                              All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                40. Truecallers

                                                                                Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                  More Great Apps Recommendations

                                                                                  Reference

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