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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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            Last Updated on August 29, 2018

            5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

            5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

            Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

            Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

            Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

            1. 750words

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            750 words

              750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

              750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

              750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

              2. Ohlife

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              ohlife

                Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

                Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

                3. Oneword

                oneword

                  OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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                  Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

                  4. Penzu

                    Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

                    With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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                    5. Evernote

                    Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

                    Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

                    For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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