I’ve been getting a bunch of questions about how I use my iPad for academic stuff, which leads to the broader question of how I integrate my academic and technological lives. I’ll try to answer that briefly here (though I’m still happy to talk with you about it).
Cloud Storage — The Backbone of My Workflow
Cloud storage serves as the backbone of my workflow. For Cloud storage, I variously use Google Drive, SugarSync, Dropbox, iCloud, and Box.net. These applications are on my home MacBook, work MacBook, iPad, and phone. They keep all of my relevant files synchronized. My primary computer is my home MacBook, so it is host to many more documents than my other devices. As such, it is backed up regularly to an external hard drive using Mac OS X’s Time Machine. This way, I ensure that all of my files are backed up, and all relevant working files are synchronized across all of my devices.
I use iCloud for Apple’s iCloud based services: Notes, Reminders, Contacts, Documents (Pages, Keynote, Numbers), Photos & Photo Stream, and backup for the iPhone and iPad. When you upgrade to iOS 5 (or soon iOS 6), iCloud should be part of the setup process. Using up to 5GB of space on iCloud is free, but more than that will cost you (though it is cheap). iCloud does not yet have a general file storage feature, so I can’t use it for most of my other needs. Continue reading