32 places to put stuff
I have a lot of places in which I put things I care about.
I use Reminders to store…well, reminders of things I need to do. Basic lists. I have a wish list of stuff I want to buy on Amazon, but then I have another list of other non-Amazon stuff to buy in Reminders. I also have a few lists and notes for things in Apple Notes. I keep my passwords securely in 1Password. I use Trello to manage projects, but not all projects because not everyone uses that. For some things, I need to make a Google Doc or Sheet. (Somehow, I’ve literally never had a need for a Google Slides presentation.) Sometimes those projects have other materials. If I’m collaborating, they get shoved into Google Drive or (occasionally) Dropbox. If it’s a personal project, it’s most likely iCloud Drive. If it’s something in Adobe’s ecosystem, it might end up in Adobe Creative Cloud - I barely ever use it, but sometimes things occasionally end up in there. I use Scanbot to scan papers, receipts and stuff for storage in one of these places If it’s a work thing, it goes to Sharepoint which also includes a hook into OneDrive. Sometimes it’s a manual or guide book for something, in which case it goes to iBooks, which is basically iCloud but also sort of not. Speaking of iCloud services and reading, Safari Reading List also houses some reading materials that I care about.
Photos can of course be stored in many places - it doesn’t really matter where they go as long as they’re everywhere all the time. In case they aren’t, well, they start in iCloud Photo Library, then go to Google Photos and Amazon Prime Photos.
All this stuff backs up to one of two external hard drives, and an Amazon S3 bucket.
Sometimes I write. I like Markdown for my own personal writing, so I write lyrics, creative ideas and blog posts like this one in Ulysses. I can’t use that for my day job, though, so for that I use OneNote to write & share notes & documentation with my team. We use a proprietary solution for managing technical projects. Roadmap documents? Excel and Word. Not Trello, at least yet, because I need to get people to adopt it and we’re a pretty tight Microsoft shop. Speaking of which, Powerpoint. We still use Slack to communicate, and I use it for some other things. Sometimes I save notes and to-dos as starred Slack messages. Of course, there’s always stuff in one of 3 Gmail inboxes, my work email via Microsoft Exchange.
This is a list of apps in which I can put things I care about. They all have incredibly discrete functions in which they’re invaluable to me, but they all each have storage capabilities too. There’s also all the physical papers and forms and stuff filed away in a bookcase.
Thank goodness cross-platform search technologies these days aren’t awful, because if I had to remember in which place I stored something, I would be lost pretty much constantly. As much as the app economy and tech startups fascinate me, it’s almost too easy to lose track of everything. If productivity tools like Workflow and IFTTT make it so much easier to keep things in sync, and there’s backup solutions galore, why does the digital side of my world still feel so fragmented?
As much as Apple’s plan to store users’ entire Desktops and Documents folders within iCloud for syncing purposes is slightly nerve-wracking, I appreciate the effort to help consumers keep their shit in one place. I realize this anxiety is partly my own neuroses and my being raised on a file system paradigm, but I also have to imagine that the fragmentation of the cloud storage (and general digital storage) markets are part of why tech is so overwhelming for some.Posted on September 11, 2016