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21 tips for supercharging your cloud storage

Rick Broida | April 30, 2013
Cloud storage isn't just for files and photos. With the right tools and services, you can do much more: organize data, or automate uploads and downloads. Synchronize, of course. Score extra space without paying an extra cent. Run a basic Web site from a cloud service, manage media, or even fax.

WORK OFFLINE

17. Make your Google Docs available offline

Google Docs is great for creating and editing documents of all stripes, but if you're cut off from the Internet, you're cut off from your files, right? Wrong: Google Drive for Windows syncs your cloud drive to your local drive, making documents available even when you're offline. However, you'll need to use Chrome for your Web browser, at least for Docs purposes, add the Google Drive Chrome app, and enable offline access.

18. Access your favorite Dropbox files offline

If you use the Dropbox app on your phone or tablet, there's a crafty way to make select documents available for offline viewing. Just open any given document, than tap the star icon to add it to your favorites list. The app stores those favorites locally, so you can access them even when there's no Internet connection--like when you're on a flight or subway train.

FAX, PRINT, SCAN UTILITIES

19. Send and receive faxes

You can finally put the old fax machine out to pasture. Web-based HelloFax can integrate with most cloud storage services. Newly received fax pages will land right in your account for easy viewing, sharing, and archiving. Better still, you can fax documents directly from your cloud, meaning no more printing pages and then walking them to the fax machine or scanner.

20. "Print" documents from your iDevice to Dropbox

Collobos' FingerPrint software for Windows allows your iPhone or iPad to print to any connected printer, but it also supports virtual printing to cloud services like Dropbox and Evernote. That means you can route pretty much any email, photo, webpage, or other printable item from your iDevice directly to an online account. The only rub: FingerPrint isn't free. It'll cost you $19.95.

21. Turn your phone or tablet into a scanner

The camera built into your smartphone or tablet probably has sufficient resolution to capture documents. All you need is the right app to deliver those "scans" to the cloud-storage service of your choice. For example, Doc Scan (iOS, Free), Genius Scan (Android, $1.59) and Handyscan (Windows Phone, $2.99) will take a snapshot of any document, convert it to PDF if needed, and sync it to Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, or a similar destination.

 

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