I’ve Moved….

Location Independence Internet LifestyleOne of the key benefits of having your own online business is supposed to be location independence.

In the extreme it’s the notion of sitting on the beach and having an “F5 refresh” party watching the money rolling into your bank account.

Of course, this is far from reality:

1. Most web business owners either work from home (as I have done since late 2010) or have their own office that they work from.

2. In order to sit back and watch the money roll in, you’ve got to put in a lot of time and effort first (funny how some people forget this isn’t it?!)

Now, this said, during my time online I have run my business from remote locations. I’ve sat in hotel bars and reception areas with my laptop and a coffee making quite a bit of money in locations including New York, Miami, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Montpellier.

However, I could only do that because I’d put the work in first before I jetted off!

In general though, for 90%+ of the time I work from my home office here in London. I like it here, my commute is around 10 seconds and I know that I can work whatever hours I choose.

Having said this, towards the end of last year I did start thinking that I am somewhat tied to my desk not least because all my files are on my main desktop computer.

This meant that if I went away working can become a little tricky: I forgot to bring that file I need, I didn’t remember the password for this site, where are my notes that I made last week?

Small stuff, but if you’ve ever tried it you’ll know it can REALLY slow you down!

Moving To The Cloud

“The Cloud” means all the computing resources you need being stored remotely on other computers and delivered over the internet.

For example, instead of storing a written article in Word on your computer’s desktop, with cloud computing you might store that article in Google Drive which means you can access it anywhere in the World (as long as you have internet access of course!).

So this is what I’ve been transitioning to over the last 2-3 months.

Here’s my basic set up:

1. Dropbox
This is a brilliant service which is also free.

When you install Dropbox you get an extra folder on your computer. Any files you put into that folder are stored locally on your computer but also copied to the Cloud.

At a very simple level this means I can put a file into my dropbox folder and then access it if I’m downstairs on my laptop watching TV or away for the weekend in a hotel.

I now store all my niche research, product development files and my TODO list. The last of these is really important on a day to day basis because wherever I am I can open my TODO list, which I keep as a simple text file, and carry on working through my tasks exactly where I left off.

2. LastPass
I LOVE this!

It’s a free piece of software that remembers all of your passwords (I have dozens). I won’t say too much more about this as we looked at it in this previous post, other than to say if you aren’t using it you are missing out in a big way!

3. Google Drive
Personally, prefer Dropbox to Google Drive but it’s still well worth investigating. It works in a similar way and I still use it a little bit, specifically for running surveys as I demonstrated here.

4. Amazon S3
I use this for storing my product and marketing files. So when someone plays a video it’s streamed quickly and efficiently direct from my S3 account.

It’s also incredibly cheap – I think the biggest bill I ever got way around $40 for a month and that was during a product launch where thousands of people streamed my videos. GHG members can see exactly how it works in this session.

So Go On, Start Moving To The Cloud!

These are the tools I use and of course there are literally hundreds of others.

But the main point I wanted to get across is that it’s a great idea for you to move to the Cloud. You don’t have to do it all at once. To start with just get going with LastPass, then start using DropBox and so on. The more you do it the more you’ll get addicted, it really is such a time saver!

Agree/Disagree? Do you use any other tools which others might find useful? Please like/tweet and drop your thoughts below :-)

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43 Responses to I’ve Moved….

  1. Ian Muir January 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    Rob I can confirm – Last Pass is brilliant.

    I use Drop Box occasionally – usually when I am out of the country, but maybe I should use it more! However, I need to invest in a better, non-Vista laptop now!

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

      Hi Ian,

      Ah yes, Vista is not the best so I’ve heard. Having said that I’m hearing mixed reviews on Windows 8. But thanks for your thoughts on this – always good to hear.

      Cheers,

      Rob.

      • igor Griffiths January 22, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

        I agree with Rob, from what I have heard Windows 8 is optimized for touch screens and tablets thus not totally PC friendly. I currently use Windows 7 and love it, think of it as XP with a new touch of paint.

        • Russ January 22, 2013 at 7:58 pm #

          Windows 8 is a bit of headache. It works really well. You can start your computer in less than 30 seconds. The system is great. Windows 7 boosted. It has two operational screens – Apps and Desktop. You want to avoid the App screen unless you are on a tablet. Why? Because everything opens up full screen so difficult to work on more than 1 application at a time. So you want to be working with the traditional desktop. It is still there but hidden. What you need to do is in the App store download a “Desktop Start” app and you have the traditional operating system that you are used to. The only weakness is the search function. Get around that by using Google.

  2. John Banks January 22, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Hi Rob,

    Nice post!

    I use Google Drive all the time, not only does it allow my access files from the cloud it also allows me to access files across multiple devices. Great for checking that ebook on the morning commute, or checking those notes on the go from my smartphone….

    Must check out lastpass – heard great things about this. I am terrible for passwords. Lost count how many times I have to reset accounts!

    What about Evernote? I stumbled across this the other day as a recommendation from someone, have you heard of it/used it?

    Thanks for sharing the post,
    Regards,
    John

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Hi John,

      Yes, Evernote is extremely popular. I don’t use it myself but there are some raving Evernote fans around so worth trying it!

      Cheers, Rob.

  3. Bercolini January 22, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Hi Rob. Happy New Year to you and yours. I’ve been using Monster Cloud to store files since I lost a lot when my desktop went down.
    British based and very secure – it’s £10 a year for everything.
    Haven’t had to test it out yet, thankfully.

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

      Hi Bercolini,

      Thanks for the tip – I hadn’t heard of this so something else for my TODO list ;-)

      Cheers, Rob.

  4. worldpeace January 22, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    What about privacy issues? Doesn’t the cloud leave you in some doubt about others finding a way to access your material? Or are you confident the security is good enough not to pose a problem?

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi worldpeace,

      All of these services have SSL encryption and are extremely secure. Of course there is always a risk but then there’s a risk of being hacked on your desktop PC or it blowing up and losing the data. Overall, I feel the Cloud is safer actually.

      Cheers, Rob.

  5. Walter Kelly January 22, 2013 at 1:33 pm #

    Hello Rob

    Yes, a great post and one I’d like to support. I’ve been using Last Pass for quite some time and it works a treat. Like you, I’ve many passwords and with just a click of the mouse you’re signed in automatically. What a time saver!

    Regarding ‘The Cloud’, this is something I’m about to start doing, as I needed access to a file two weeks ago while away from my home computer. I can see the benefit of having this set up, especially when you’re away from home. Thanks for reminding me!

    Regards

    Walter

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 6:05 pm #

      Hey Walter,

      Sounds like you are one step towards the Cloud already and glad to see you are reaping the benefits – keep up the good work :-)

      Cheers,

      Rob.

  6. andrea January 22, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Hi Rob, great post.

    I would also add evernote. I’m still working in an office job, but have lots of ideas come to me during the day (not work related :)), and I find having this app on my phone invaluable.

    I use KeePass for my passwords, works great for me.

    Cheers
    Andrea

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

      Hi Andrea,

      Great to see you here and thanks for sharing your experience with this, great to have your input :-)

      Cheers!

      Rob

  7. Paul January 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    Hi,
    please can you send me “101 Profitable Niches Analyzed…And How To Make Money From Them”
    yur form was not working @2.10 pm today 22/01/2013.
    Thanks,
    Paul.

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

      Hi Paul,

      Sure no problem, I’ve sent it to you on email. Subject: “eBook” :-)

      Kind regards,

      Rob.

  8. Russ January 22, 2013 at 6:22 pm #

    Evernote is the *******. Why? It enables you to capture an article and have it stored in your Evernote folder which is easy to search. Have you ever tried to find that great article in a 1,000 bookmark folder. Forget it.

    The guys from Evernote also have a great screen capture tool called Skitch. Free. and allows placement of text on image. Don’t need to buy anymore WSOs for this.

    I would also say considering Mega. Damn 50 GB of free cloud storage. Just released, so lets see what the problems may be.

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 7:44 pm #

      Hi Russ,

      Thanks for the tip. We should definitely add evernote to the list :-)

      Kind regards,

      Rob

    • Ken Rowland February 19, 2013 at 3:50 pm #

      Hi Russ

      I like the sound of Skitch if it does as you say. I can see the use of software that allows text to be put on an image.
      I will certainly be checking these Evernote guys out
      Hoping I’ve picked up something useful
      Regards

      Ken

  9. Kevin January 22, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    Hi Rob

    Happy New Year to you and to all of your readers (well, better late than never I say….:0)

    Thanks for the article which is interesting as always.

    I’m well aware of cloud computing and have a number of business associates who are using just such a facility.

    My main problem with it mirrors an earlier poster with regards to security.

    I deal with mainly personal and financial information and as such I have to be registered with the data protection people. I wouldn’t even consider putting private information of this type on a third party site and indeed it would probably be contrary to data protection law in any case.

    But having recently lost my main laptop (it gave up the ghost) I have been reminded of the value of my external hard drive.

    The one I use is small enough to carry around with me and so I always have that backup available.

    I can, however, see the value of a cloud system for files that may be considered as being non-sensitive. I’ll take a look at the two systems that you have mentioned above and see if they would be of use to my business.

    With regards to LastPass – I have been using that since you recommended it a while back and can confirm that it’s incredibly useful. But I also recommend keeping a written record of your passwords in a small notebook just in case you lose LastPass (as I did when my laptop crashed and burned !!)

    The laptop I was using before had the Vista operating system installed – can’t say I had any real problems with Vista – the machine was just getting old and overloaded.

    I’m currently running on an even older machine using XP – I had forgotten how user friendly XP is/was. But I guess I’ll have to think about getting a new machine soon and getting to know yet another operating system…:0(

    Still, I suppose Microsoft have got to keep going somehow……

    Cheers

    Kevin

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      Hi Kevin,

      What a brilliant comment, you make some really excellent points there.

      And I hear you on Microsoft ;-)

      Cheers!

      Rob

  10. igor Griffiths January 22, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    Well hello Rob,

    I can vouch for all of these apart from Google Drive which I have not used.

    Lastpass is brilliant as you can access all of your passwords, if you go premium you can even have them on your smartphone, so no excuses for not getting things done.

    I use dropbox to store my daily journal so if I am away, I can make an entry using my phone or a friends computer.

    You have covered pretty much all of the key ones I use and can think of Rob.

    Igor Griffiths

    • Rob January 22, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      Thanks Igor and glad to see you are making use of LP – I think everyone is in agreement on how good it is!

      Cheers,

      Rob

  11. John Banks January 22, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi,

    I just have to add Evernote is awesome. I have just downloaded it, and the Skitch app is equally great. I can see this being really beneficial when preparing for new posts etc….

    Thanks for the LastPass tip too – got that also.

    Useful night. (Not much in the way of work but two very good new apps to play with!)

    Regards,
    John

  12. Kate Benzin January 23, 2013 at 12:35 am #

    Great post. I’ve been using Dropbox and Lastpass for years now and love them both. I’d agree with others that Evernote needs to be added as well.

    But the other thing that I have found invaluable is using an external hard drive. I never store any data on my actual computer. Everything goes onto my external hard drive that has 1.5 terabytes of space and is a little larger than a pack of playing cards. I do a lot of traveling, so I carry it with me and I can hook it up to any computer and have all my files right there. Of course, I have my laptop with me, but sometimes I need to use the business center at a hotel and voila – all my files are right there.

    Thanks for a great blog.
    Kate

    • Rob January 23, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      Hi Kate,

      Another great tip there. Personally, I find that I can store most of my files in Dropbox but I can see that the external hard drive option is definitely something worth considering.

      Thanks Kate!

      Cheers,

      Rob

    • Ken Rowland February 19, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

      Hi Kate
      That’s what I do Kate. I copy all my important files to an external hard drive but I’d never thought of carrying the drive around with me…but hey…Why not?
      No size to it. I’ve only really considered it as a back-up storeage device.
      I’m glad you’ve highlighted this but maybe the lack of mention elsewhere in these comments makes me think there must be some downside!

      Regards
      Ken

  13. Johnny G January 23, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Hi Rob,

    Thanks for the list. I need to learn how to do all this so I can work anywhere. Keep the good articles coming, we appreciate!

    • Rob January 23, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

      You’re welcome Johnny, glad you found this useful :-)

      Cheers!

      Rob

  14. IanWhite January 24, 2013 at 9:49 am #

    Hi Rob,

    This kinda strange that you wrote this post at this time.

    Although I work for myself I’ve found I’m being tied to my office desk more and more.

    This is one of the main reasons for subscribing to your member’s area (anyone who hasn’t, I urge you to do so straight away – whatever starting position you’re at, Rob has the plan and the instructions to get you going forward) was to learn the technical side to online marketing.

    I’ve always been hampered by my lack of technical expertise and I need to conquer this so I can do away the techies I pay to do all this stuff. (when it seems to suit them, not me)

    I’ve used Dropbox for years (so much so that I’ve nearly used up all my ‘FREE’ space and will have to start paying for it soon *gulp*).

    One bit of software that I’m surprised no-one’s mentioned is ‘Remote Access’ software such as GoToMyPC or LogMeIn!

    I’ve used both and I find them invaluable (unless you’re trying to access them remotely from a netbook; too small!)

    Anyone else use them?

    Regards

    Ian

    • Rob January 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm #

      Hi Ian,

      Glad this helped and was timely Ian!

      And yes, of course GoToMyPC is the kind of service I used to use for work. I guess storing things on the cloud makes your PC just a “terminal” so you really don’t need to go to it so much. But still a good point though, thanks for mentioning it.

      Cheers,

      Rob.

  15. Mark January 24, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    I couldn’t live without Dropbox. I’m a web designer and store all my client files on Dropbox, it allows me to just grab my laptop and go. I can then pickup with work from wherever I am.

    I haven’t come across LastPass, I’m going to take a look now. With many services making you change your password on a regular basis and having to use a mixture of uppercase and lowercase this could well be a godsend.

    • Rob January 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm #

      Hi Mark,

      I know what you mean, it’s quite amazing how much we rely on these tools. But the great thing is that all the files in Dropbox are also on your PC so if the worst happened to Dropbox life would go on!

      Cheers,

      Rob

  16. Steven Stuart January 25, 2013 at 12:09 am #

    Hi Rob,

    I will definitely check out LastPass, cause remembering passwords has always been a problem with me. I carry around a small notebook that I’m always afraid of leaving behind or losing, and I also use my iPad a lot these days and it’s not all that great for typing.

    I have recently gotten into Dropbox, as a way to store Mp3 music files, but I need to spend more time with it. I can see it has a lot of possibilities. Thanks for the tips.

    • Rob January 25, 2013 at 10:57 am #

      Hi Steve,

      Great stuff I think you’ll love LP! It also let’s you choose stronger passwords (as you no long have to remember them) so it has a security benefit too.

      Great to see you here on the blog too – talk soon I’m sure!

      Cheers,

      Rob

  17. Lewis Saka January 25, 2013 at 1:25 pm #

    I use a cool app on the iphone called simplenote which is great for jotting down blogging/money ideas on the go. It syncs to a similar app on my laptop.

    Lewis

    • Rob January 25, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      HI Lewis,

      Excellent – thanks for sharing this :-)

      Cheers, Rob

  18. Russ January 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    LastPass – pretty damn good. Thanks for the suggestion. Can it work through a VPN?

    Dropbox is great. But you want to add some chipotle sauce and make it one of the hottest products you use, automatically backup your websites into DropBox using WordPress Backup to Dropbox.

    Lewis, Mullenberg’s company (WordPress) just bought simplenote. Expect to see in WordPress soon.

    • Rob January 25, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

      Hey Russ,

      Better check with them on the VPN – I would think so though.

      Good tip on the backups. I send mind to Amazon S3 but Dropbox is equally as good :-)

      Cheers!

      Rob

  19. Howard January 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Like Kate, I carry a backup drive, although mine only (!) has 150 gigabytes, which is plenty for my data files, and a few “portable apps.”

    But I don’t use that as my main store. It’s my backup. I’m pretty OCD about backups (which has saved my ass on more than one occasion).

    One of the things I like about LastPass, Evernote, and Dropbox is that all of them keep local copies of everything, and just sync changes. That way, I have a sort-of automatic “backup” although I still occasionally copy everything to my own separate backup.

    I figure S3 is probably pretty reliable, but I would never store ANYTHING exclusively in the cloud. I am troubled by the fact that it is difficult to back up my Kindle, which is one reason I mostly go for free ebooks, and hesitate to buy any (you can’t actually own most Kindle books because of the heavy-handed DRM imposed by most of the major publishers, and Amazon has already demonstrated that they are capable of deleting anything from your Kindle whenever they want).

    I haven’t gotten enough traction in video to justify paying for S3, but I hope I will reach the tipping point soon.

    • Rob January 30, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

      Hi Howard,

      Great input there thank you for sharing it. Maybe someone else can help with a suggestion on Kindle. I would say S3 is extremely inexpensive so I’d definitely recommend giving it a try at some point.

      Cheers,

      rob.

  20. Steve January 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    I’ve recently made a conscious effort to relocate to the cloud. It has its pros and cons like anything, particularly after investing in a Google Chrome laptop. Have to get used to Google Docs instead of Word and the Internet access issue can be a pain but wireless will become more ubiquitous as time goes on so that will get better.

    I also signed up with Zovo storage for £30 a year and they have an open access app for the iPhone so you can stream videos when you’re out and about which is handy.

    • Rob January 30, 2013 at 5:17 pm #

      Thanks Steve, another one for our list here on Zovo!

      Cheers – Rob

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