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4 Clever Ways to Access Your Data While Traveling

4 Clever Ways to Access Your Data While Traveling

Times have changed, and what was considered normal just a couple of years ago, isn’t such nowadays. For instance, the concept of traveling without remote access to our data is no longer acceptable.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing: for example, I’m all excited about the possibility of having all of my most important data available on the go. I mean, what’s the point of having only desktop-available data? What happens if I travel and need to send an important attachment? Or what if I’m visiting a friend and want to show him some pictures of my dog? Shouldn’t it be perfectly normal for me to be able to do this?

That’s why we’ve invented welcomed the 21st century so eagerly—these days we have things like iPads, Androids, iPhones, and such, and we should use them to our benefit, not just to browse Facebook. For example, why not using them to get access to all data important to us with no hassle? Here are my favorite ways to do this:

1. SugarSync

SugarSync

    Just to give you a short explanation of what SugarSync is I can say that it’s exactly like Dropbox—only better. There are a couple of things SugarSync does way better than Dropbox:

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    • You get 5GB of free disk space instead of just 2GB.
    • You can backup and synchronize any folder you wish, not just the one named Dropbox.
    • You get a much better iOS app (not to mention that there are apps available for every major mobile platform).

    The rest of the functionality is pretty similar to Dropbox’s, so you get in-the-background data synchronization and backups.

    Since we’re talking about accessing your stuff while traveling, however, let’s focus on that. The iOS app allows you to access all of your backed up content even if you don’t have it on your iPad. In addition, you can pick certain folders to be synchronized to your iPad as well, which is probably the quickest way to get any file on an iPad.

    With SugarSync, you’ll never have to fear that you’ve left something important at home.

    2. Gmail

    gmail offline

      (I know that listing Gmail here seems too obvious, but bear with me—remember we’re talking about traveling.)

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      The thing with email is that it’s only effective if your mailbox is in the exact same state, no matter where you access it from. That’s why using any desktop apps is becoming a bit obsolete. This is also why Gmail has gained so much popularity over the years: thanks to its web-based interface, it’s accessible from anywhere.

      Also, Gmail has a number of mobile apps available. If you use a couple of devices at the same time, you can get an app on every one of them. Android, iPad, iPhone, you name it. Gmail gives you the option of hooking up every email address you own, not just the ones ending with @gmail.com. Feel free to visit the official tutorials (here) to find out how to do it.

      3. Reading Devices

      kindle fire
        pocket

          Reading is a great relaxation activity, mostly because you can do it at all times and in all places. However, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to come back to your reading exactly where you left off? If we’re dealing with traditional books, then it’s quite simple, but with digital—or better yet, online content—it’s a completely different story.

          For digital books, consider getting Kindle , for which there are apps available for PC, Mac, iOS, and so on. What’s great about Kindle is that it automatically synchronizes and remembers the page you’re on, regardless of the device you’re using at the moment.

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          For online content, you might like to get Pocket. This is a very clever service that lets you mark any webpage for “reading it later”, and then you can access your reading list from every device where you have your Pocket installed (again, Android, iOS, web access).

          4. Google Drive

          google-drive-logo

            Google Drive is the final tool on this list (Google Docs is now a part of Google Drive).

            The idea is simple: you get an online drive from Google where you can keep your Google Docs files (and other ones too), then by using mobile apps, you can access those files whenever you want. Just like Gmail, everything is easy to use and very functional. To be honest, I’m a big fan of Google Drive and I use it for a number of different things: keeping track of all my articles, my to-do lists and GTD-related projects, my shopping lists, my financial spreadsheets, my workout schedule, my travel plans, and my things-to-eat list.

            I bet the last one raised your eyebrow—what’s a “things-to-eat” list? Well, I’m a fan of healthy eating and preparing my own food, so I like to list every interesting idea I get the minute inspiration strikes me.

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            If you’re not an “I-handle-my-own-food” type of person then you can still use this “things-to-eat: concept pretty effectively: you can, for instance, list the restaurants you want to visit— find them on Zagat, or Yelp; or the things you want to get delivered through a food delivery service—like eDiets, Diet-to-Go, or BistroMD. You can choose whatever works for you.

            When it comes to the above, I encourage you to move your own “something”-lists to Google Drive too: you’ll make them much more accessible, and available from any device.

            Using Google Drive for productivity-related things is pretty straightforward, including keeping any financial spreadsheets (although you should add some additional file protection there), and when it comes to working out and dieting, you’re free to use whatever type of file suits you best (I use simple text documents).

            This concludes my list. Do you have any more ideas on how to access your data while traveling? What would look good as the item #5 on this list?

            Featured photo credit:  young woman using laptop on the beach via Shutterstock

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            Karol Krol

            Blogger, published author, and founder of a site that's all about delivering online business advice

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

            Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

            Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

            Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

            So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

            Joe’s Goals

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              Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

              Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

              Daytum

                Daytum

                is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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                Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

                Excel or Numbers

                  If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                  What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                  Evernote

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                    I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                    Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                    Access or Bento

                      If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                      Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                      You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                      Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                      All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                      Conclusion

                      I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                      What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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