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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

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            Last Updated on May 14, 2019

            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            8 Replacements for Google Notebook

            Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

            1. Zoho Notebook
              If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
            2. Evernote
              The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
            3. Net Notes
              If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
            4. i-Lighter
              You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
            5. Clipmarks
              For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
            6. UberNote
              If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
            7. iLeonardo
              iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
            8. Zotero
              Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

            I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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            In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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