I did not realize how much I loved the cloud until this week.
This is my last week @Poynter, and I spent part of the day clearing off my work MacBook Pro to hand in.
The process is typically a major pain. Words docs, spreadsheets, presentations, photos, music, and email all need to be found and saved onto external hard drives or thumb drives and reconstructed on a new machine. I still have Zip disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs and even a Syquest disk laying around from previous migrations.
But this time: painless.
Most of my working documents are in DropBox. All of my email and calendars (personal and work) are stored in various Google Apps accounts. The majority of my news reading is done via RSS feeds stored in Google Reader. Firefox is syncing my bookmarks (somewhere) but I use Delicious and Instapaper in most cases anyway. All of my notes and to-dos are in Evernote. Almost every photo I have taken in the past year is still on my iPhone – a few are on Facebook, Flickr and Instagram. When traveling I watch movies on Netflix and TV via Slingbox. And, Twitter is what it is.
In fact music is the only real cloud hold-out for the moment, though I have that backed-up to Amazon’s Cloud Drive and an external drive at home just in case.
Scanning the laptop – the only files actually saved locally are applications and random downloads that could be deleted. The entire process took about 20 minutes, and I can walk away fairly confident I am not leaving behind anything I am going to need later.
And – bonus points – most of the apps I use on the laptop have iPhone/iPad equivalents. So despite being without a computer for the next few days I am barely going to notice. Actually, I would be much more distressed if I lost my phone for the weekend.
Sure Amazon’s cloud crashed for three days last week. So far – the risk is worth it.