10 Ways to Make the Cloud Work for You


Wrangle All of Your Web Apps

Do you ever see that screen and draw a complete blank? Single sign-on can be rather handy in those instances, although not everyone is convinced of its security. iStock/Thinkstock
Do you ever see that screen and draw a complete blank? Single sign-on can be rather handy in those instances, although not everyone is convinced of its security. iStock/Thinkstock

Thanks to cloud-based services, you can do more without ever leaving your favorite browser, but just how many usernames and passwords can one person remember? (New York Times technology writer David Pogue once revealed that he has account names and passwords for 87 sites!) And what if you want an integrated view of your favorite Web apps? Or the ability to drag and drop files from one service to another?

Cloud storage management is one answer to these questions. Just like the apps they manage, these solutions work from the cloud. Different service providers support different apps, but they almost all include the big-name file-storage services like Dropbox. After the enrollment process, you enjoy single sign-on capabilities, which means you can access all of the connected services with a single username and password. You also have the ability to search and find any file regardless of its location and then drag and drop it between services. And you can preview and share documents and images without moving to the application where they're stored.

Otixo, which bills itself as "your dashboard for the cloud," is one of the leading contenders in this space. It offers a (not free) premium bundle that includes both its Web and smartphone applications. Primadesk is a similar service, but it also integrates some of the leading cloud-based e-mail systems in addition to file storage. It offers both free and paid versions.

Author's Note: 10 Ways to Make the Cloud Work for You

Back in 1998, I started the slow and steady move to adopt cloud-based services for any process or function that made sense. I migrated my e-mail to Google Apps and never looked back. Today I use a number of Web applications for everything from database creation to task management. I'm not sure if I have as many Web accounts as David Pogue (see No. 1 in this list), but I might give him a run for his money.

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