Over the past few years, some exciting tools have been developed to take your business into the cloud and allow you to share information without a long string of email correspondence. This is also known as cloud computing and it can be a great way to streamline your business tasks, helping your company to be more profitable.

Below you will find a few of our favorites and what we like about them. Not everyone is ready for cloud computing, but it will become more secure and cost effective over time. Cloud Computing offers you the opportunity to run your business from remote locations, access data from multiple devices and in many cases, save you significant dollars on hardware and IT expenses.

Dropbox – If you haven’t heard about Dropbox, it’s worth checking out today. It is like having your own server, allowing you to store documents on your computer, in the cloud, and on any other computer where you add the program. It works like a hard drive, but the information is also in the cloud and syncs automatically. Even if you do not have internet access, you can still access the documents on your computer.

Asana – This is a great project and task management tool for small teams. It is easy to set up, easy to assign tasks and easy to navigate within it. The free version provides many features but you must always be online to access the tool.

Evernote – Oh, the number of ways you can use Evernote. You can take pictures of receipts and add them to Evernote, make a grocery list and check off the items as they’re purchased, take photos of your favorite wines or save web articles. You can download the app for your smart phone, add it to your toolbar or access the web version. The organizing feature is the best, allowing you to find almost everything in a simple search. There are so many options the program provides, it’s hard to list them all!

Box – Used mostly for business, this tool allows you to share large files and set permissions on what recipients can do with the files. We’ve seen big name companies using Box when they send PowerPoint presentations and other large files. While it does not allow you to put an app on your computer (that we know of), it’s worth considering due to its security features.

Google Drive – We recently started using Google Drive on a limited basis, mostly because of the security that surrounds Google. With Drive installed on each of our computers, we can have multiple people working on one document without having multiple copies of the same document. If someone makes a change, it shows up on everyone’s document instantly. If you want to go back and see who made specific changes, it’s simple to do.

We have included a link to each of these tools but wanted to let you know that we are not being paid to endorse them. If you decide you want to use Dropbox and click on the link above, they will add some storage to our account, but they won’t be sending us a check!

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