Although it may seem ethereal and complicated, start “be” in the cloud is nothing but start using most online services that today we can find and integrate them into our daily lives. So, instead of using a download Outlook mailbox every few minutes via POP3, we use Gmail, a single place where we can centralize all accounts we want an orderly manner.
Similarly, to write simple documents or small spreadsheets, we signed up for Google Docs, storing them online and having them available whenever we need them, even from a mobile. For files that cannot be managed from Google Docs, we always have DropBox a service virtual storage that will allow us to have the same information on multiple PCs (or Mac) and even access from mobile. Therefore, it goes on.
The final benefits are obvious. The first is that if you really migrate most important to the cloud can stop worrying about work on a particular PC, then we can do almost the same from anywhere. For example, we may be with the XP work, get home, and keep doing the same things with a Mac, or take our laptop or netbook with Linux and staff continue to see the mail or by opening the same documents online.
In addition, this system provides the maximum telecommuting, significantly reduces maintenance costs and investments in backup and can share information with colleagues easily.
Therefore, in the following pages, we show you step by step a real migration to the cloud. Basically, it is to have email, calendars, contacts, documents, files, and photos online. Mostly use the free Google tools for personal user, although this practical is perfectly applicable to a professional user, we recommend using Google Apps for your own domain.
All synchronized with mobile
One of the greatest advantages of working in the cloud is that information is accessible via the The Internet from multiple devices, including mobile. In the case of using Gmail and applications, Google has a specific service to synchronize with mobile BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia and Windows Mobile our contacts, calendar, and mail.
The service works really well and we avoid having to periodically synchronize your phone PC, making all via the Internet. You can find detailed information about the service and instructions on each platform www.google.com/mobile/sync.
Mail, contacts, and calendar
Step 1 – Unify mail accounts in Gmail
The first thing you have to do is, if we have not already, to register an account in Gmail (www.gmail.com). Once you have it available, will group all our POP3 accounts directly into Gmail for, in this way, receive our messages in one place.
In Gmail, click Settings, and pinch tab Accounts and Import. Once here, we will go to Add POP3 email account, after which a wizard that will ask us our account data current mail will start. This wizard is important because, regardless of the configuration data, we give you the option to assign a label-downloaded message automatically with the same name as the account that you downloaded.
We recommend checking this option, because if you unify multiple accounts with this method, you can identify messages quickly. The wizard will end up giving the option to send messages on behalf of that account so that our recipients do not appreciate the change. After completing the wizard, Gmail will check the POP3 mailbox every few minutes to download all new messages automatically.
Another option to receive all our messages in Gmail is automatically pleased forward all emails of our other accounts Gmail address. Many servers offer this possibility, either from Control Panel or from your Webmail.
Step 2 – Export your messages to Gmail
Once we receive the mail in the Gmail environment, surely you may want to upload all messages that Outlook now you keep in the new environment. Okay, there are several solutions to this.
If you use MS Outlook and seek minimal complications, the simplest proposal by using Google Email Uploader (http://mail.google.com/mail/help/email_uploader.html) a utility created by Google itself going up all our messages from Outlook to Gmail. However, be aware that, if your email database is very large (several gigabytes), the process can even last for days. Therefore, our advice is to clean yourselves before anything, because you will save a lot of time.
The second alternative is to use the IMAP protocol. The good news is that this pathway will help us to raise messages from virtually any email client we have. The first will enable IMAP in Gmail (Settings / Forwarding and POP / IMAP / Enable IMAP), immediately afterward set the IMAP account on our usual email client. To do this, we can follow these instructions from Google.
Once configured everything, we will have to copy the folders on your local mailbox, the mailbox Gmail IMAP, considering that the folders that we will become labels. In this case, as above, if copied many messages have to be patient.
Step 3 – Export contacts to Gmail
Another important point is to raise us to store all contacts in Outlook to our Gmail account. The process not complicated, because we can use a step by step Microsoft itself will help us complete the task, which they, in summary, focuses on export the folder to a CSV file comma – separated later climb to Gmail. In this link, you have the detailed procedure: http://bit.ly/contactgmail.
Step 4 – Calendars
Located in the Gmail account, top left, you will see a link appears Calendar, Google calendar where we can manage our appointment schedule. If we click there, we will have a new window where you select the calendar view for days, weeks, months or as workweek or listing.
In addition, we can create different calendars with different colors for personal, professional, etc., and share them with other users of Google Calendar (click on Settings).
Finally, if we need to dump the Outlook calendar in Google Calendar, we can go back a step by step Microsoft itself: http://bit.ly/calendargoogle.
Step 1 – Take the Cloud your doc, xls and ppt
The next step is to upload to Google Docs documents we want to have online. We recommend selecting writings, simple spreadsheets or presentations without embedded graphics, complex formulas or macros, for that kind of content we cannot enjoy them in Google Docs.
The first thing we will do is click on Docs in the upper left, after which we will access the Google Docs environment. Here you can create new folders and documents (text, spreadsheets and presentations) directly on-line or, like our current objective, upload the files previously created with MS Office. Pinch in Upload and select the files to upload.
After this process, we appear in the list of Google Docs, and we can open them directly to check the result of the export. Of course, we may have to work a little with them in a matter of formats, cell size, etc., to leave them as they were.
Step 2 – Share, print, and export
All documents in Google Docs that we can share them with any other user of the service, print, and export. With the open, in the first case pinch on document Share, which will open a new window that will allow us to insert the email address to which authorize and to extend the invitation?
In the second, we will click on File / Print, after which it will generate and download a PDF of our local team that we can print directly. For the issue of export, we can go to File / Download as, where we find a number of standard formats in which to download the file locally.
Files and photos
Step 1 – Dropbox
The next step is to have a virtual storage drive in which to store all those files that cannot handle from Google Docs. In addition, although one of the improvements has been precisely the ability to upload any type of file, its capacity is limited (1 Gbyte), and is also necessary to download and upload any file to edit it.
Therefore, we have chosen Dropbox (www.dropbox.com), a service of free online storage up to 2 Gbytes with clients for Windows, Mac, Linux and iPhone, which even allows us to access our files from a web browser. Therefore, we begin downloading and installing the appropriate client for your operating system. The specific case of Windows will create a folder called Dropbox within Documents. From there, everything foremost with that folder will be copied and synced in the cloud, so we recommend you move all your files there and work with them on that folder. The first synchronization operation, especially in the case of several Gigabytes, can take several hours.
From here, we will have to load the appropriate client on each of the computers we use to work and wait for the files to be synchronized. Moreover, Dropbox allows us to share files with other users of the service.
Step 2 – Picasa
We ended up talking about the practical Picasa Web (http://picasaweb.google.com), the Google service that allows you to upload and manage all our photos on-line (up to 1 Gbyte free, or 20 Gbytes for $5). If we connect to your address after validating us with Gmail user, will access an environment with 3 tabs: My Photos, Favorites and Browse.
The first time you connect, we will be asked, though, that we download the Picasa (http://picasa.google.com) software, which is allowing us to upload all our pictures locally to service. During that process, we will ask something very important: if our photos will be public and will only be accessible to those we choose, after validation with a Google account. To do this, once uploaded, we can invite people who interest us clicking Share.