How to: move your business to cloud computing

Make your workflow easier and more efficient with Web-based computing

A Calendar in the Cloud

A desktop calendar helps you schedule your appointments, remember important events, and keep your life in order--as long as you're in front of your PC.

A calendar that syncs to the cloud ensures that you'll always have access to your schedule. It can sync wirelessly to your smartphone, and will keep your entire schedule flawlessly in sync.

To handle the job, look no further than Google Calendar and the Google Calendar Sync plug-in for Microsoft Outlook. Once installed, the calendar can perform seamless two-way synchronization between your desktop Outlook calendar and Google Calendar.

Bonus for your phone: If you have a BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia S60, or Windows phone, Google Sync for your phone wirelessly syncs your calendar with your device so you can check your schedule on the go, add an appointment, and rest assured that the next time you sit down at your computer, your calendar will be in perfect sync.

Contacts in the Cloud

Your contacts are the lifeblood of your business, so making sure they're always backed up, accessible from anywhere, and up-to-date is incredibly important.

If you shell out for the Google Apps Premier Edition not a bad idea if you're serious about syncing your data with Google's cloud), you also gain access to Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook--a tool that deftly handles syncing of your contacts between Outlook and Google Contacts. (Unfortunately, Google supports contact sync with Outlook only with Premier accounts.)

If you don't want to commit to Google Apps Premier but you'd like to sync your Google Contacts with your Outlook contacts, check out GO Contact Sync. Want to try a non-Google app? Plaxo is an excellent online contact management service that syncs with Outlook like a charm.

Bonus for your phone: Google Contacts, like Google Calendar, syncs seamlessly with BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia S60, and Windows phones.

Google Sync for your phone is particularly handy with contacts, especially if you often add new contacts from your phone: Transfer a contact from your phone, and Google Sync will wirelessly sync to the cloud and then back to your desktop.

Syncing Files and Folders to the Cloud

If you're not especially concerned about creating or editing files online, you may prefer to use a file-syncing application such as Dropbox or SugarSync to sync your documents to the cloud.

After installing one of these utilities on your computer, you can instantly sync and back up any file between the cloud and any computer that has the app installed on it. Thereafter, anything you add to a synced folder syncs between the Web and every desktop where you've installed it.

E-Mail in the Cloud

E-mail is exceedingly important to any business, but syncing e-mail between your desktop and the Web--whether via your company's e-mail server or a cloud service like Gmail--isn't exactly new.

If you use Gmail or Google Apps, we recommend setting up Gmail's IMAP with your desktop e-mail client to keep your desktop client and your Gmail inbox in perfect sync. (To enable IMAP in Gmail, log in and visit the Forwarding and POP/IMAP page.)

Once you've set up Gmail IMAP on your desktop, your desktop e-mail client of choice will always be in perfect sync with Gmail in your browser.

Adam Pash is the editor-in-chief of Lifehacker, a popular Website that focuses on technology, productivity, and making your computing life easier.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computing

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Adam Pash

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things


Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on Good Gear Guide

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?