So you’ve decided to move your entire office operations online? Great! Thats one of the best decisions you can make personally and professionally. There are a number of benefits that having all of your working documents on the cloud has: Access to information anywhere, automatic backups, and collaborative working to name a few.
Once you have everything up and running it should be smooth sailing working online full time. However, for those users who have a tons of documents, files, and spreadsheets that they want to transfer online, there is some upfront work that needs to be done. But the good news is that after this little hiccup you’ll be set for life, and the time & money savings over the long run will outweigh any inconvenience that transferring causes.
The most likely situation is that you’ve got a ton of files sitting on a local hard drive and want them loaded to the cloud. You’ll want to go through these files and find the ones that need transferring, this is a good time to ‘clean house’ of anything that is keeping your file management unorganized. Moving everything online can be a fresh start to your file management, so you don’t want to take along all the baggage that has been weighing down your potential for organization.
Once you’ve curated your content, and hopefully trimmed it down a good ways, its time to get it online and start working. For the average user we recommend Google Docs, which is a free Office 2.0 resource put out by Google. This is the most popular office suite online due to its price (free), accessibility, ease of use, and collaborative tools. You can easily work with the file types that your familiar with, be that Word Documents, Power Point presentations, or even Excel workbooks. These files can be viewed and edited within the browser using Google Docs applications. There are personal and business versions, with the latter having extended features to help small businesses collaborate between remote employees.
To get started with Docs all you need is a GMail account, which provides you access to Docs. From here you can start uploading files and getting to work. The easiest method for file upload is the most straight forward: Simply hit the ‘Upload’ button that is located on the left menu panel within the interface.
You’ll be prompted to browse to the files you want to upload, or you can drag and drop the files into the browser window. These files will be added to the Docs file system in the same folder structure as they were uploaded. Test that everything worked by clicking on each file. The contents of is should be shown in a preview window. From here, if you want to edit the file all you need to do is click on the filename itself, and the browser will redirect to an editing window.
From here you can start sharing files among other users, all the need is their own GMail account. To do this just right click on any file or folder in the menu system and hit ‘Share’. You’ll be prompted to enter email addresses of those you want to be able to edit the document.