I have always been pro-Google. Ever since I signed up for my Gmail account nearly 10 years ago, I have loved the simplicity and usefulness of their products. I watched eagerly as they rolled out new solutions, sometimes even spending time in Google Labs- where I stumbled across Picasa.
Picasa was probably my favorite Google product. It used the power of search to quickly organize a growing problem on my computer – photos. I simply turned Picasa on and it showed me where all my pictures were. It even included editing features – all of this for free!
Then my computer started going very slow as it categorized all of the photos on my hard drive. I needed to clean some of them off. It was Picasa that convinced me to buy an external hard drive so that I could start backing them up. It helped, but it wasn’t the same. I loved having all of my photos in a single location, but carrying it around on a small drive worried me.
The Cloud- Based Revolution
There were times when I couldn’t use Google products as much as I wanted. For a long time even, it was my guilty pleasure. When I first signed up for my Google account, I worked at Microsoft. The two tech giants were just entering their technology war, and as an employee of one, I had sworn allegiance in the form of an employment contract. All Google URLs were banned from my company computer. So for years, I logged on my email from personal devices, almost as if I were looking at something way worst.
At work, it was my job to sell Microsoft products, but I rolled my eyes when product development said we would now be competing with Google. Introducing Office Online! I thought it was a dumb idea, and swore silently to myself that I would never leave Google for Microsoft in regards to any online service.
I left my Microsoft job shortly after that and was free to use any cloud-based software I chose. I downloaded Open Office and opened a second Gmail account.
Am I Eating My Words?
Fast forward a whole bunch of years, and I have an entirely online business of my own – one involving a lot of online content (plus, all of the pictures I kept taking). My post-Picasa external hard drive is now too full to accept any more documents, and I am in need of an online storage solution.
Immediately, I turned to Google.
I am not a novice to Google Drive. Although I initially questioned the sanity of having all of my files linked to my email, I appreciated having separate Google drives for clients. It was an easy way to share large files, and it included a basic document editor. Why wouldn’t I backup all of my files there?
Well, in the end, my initial concern became the reason. I don’t want everything associated with my personal email.
Here’s an example of my real-life challenges:
- Photo of youngest child – saved to personal Google Drive
- Web content for client A – saved to their Google Drive in a personal folder
- Blog Post for jennmariewrites – saved to business Google Drive
- Blog Post for client B – saved to their Google Drive in a personal folder
- Video footage of family vacation — no room
That is four different Google drives, (out of a possible 7). Remembering which drive has the space and where certain content is located was beginning to become maddening. I suppose I could upload, log out, and log back in as needed, but I thought the idea was to make it easier, not harder?
I needed something simple and easy, and for once, Google was not it.
Out of desperation, I turned to Microsoft. It’s been years now, and I’m sure the product development team has had plenty of time to work out their bugs, right?
I signed up for a free trial, and within minutes I not only had 1 TB of space but an entire suite of Microsoft programs to go with it. Yes, I still swear by Open Office, but industry standard is still MS Word.
Because it is Microsoft, it looks exactly like my Windows, which meant no learning curve on how to create a folder or organize anything. I downloaded Word, typed a blog post and saved it to my One Drive. There were very few extra steps, and no “click here to upload documents”. Save. Done. Best of all, there was no cutting and pasting into Google Docs, and then fixing the formatting because of the sworn “we will not be compatible” feud. There was no file converting. I simply wrote, saved, and moved on.
Microsoft Tools in Google World
Okay, so Microsoft won the simplicity test, but would the solution work with my four Google drive clients?
Well, considering I am running a Windows 7 desktop alongside a Chromebook, this question was sure to come up. So I went to the Microsoft Online website, logged in with my ridiculously cumbersome username, downloaded my files to my Chromebook, uploaded it to my Google drive, changed the format to whatever the Google doc equivalent is, and shared with the client.
Okay, so 6 steps… but at least it worked.
I mean it’s not like I was going to compose the writing on a Chromebook.. the keyboard’s too small and it isn’t compatible with Grammarly.