I am going to make a huge statement.
If you are a meeting or event planner and do not have a backup of your important planning documents, you are an idiot. All meeting and event planners should have some type of cloud storage.
It is mission critical that you have online, offsite storage of your documents, images and other files to prevent a disaster that will not only ruin your career, it will ruin the event, meeting, conference or incentive for the attendees, the sponsors, the stake holders and the people that are working the event. Your stupidity will crush a lot of people. Don’t be that person.
If you are smart and have the proper back-up, a computer crash is nothing more than an inconvenience, something to swear about, kick your computer, click a few buttons and move on. It is not the career ending nightmare that it could be.
One of the reasons that many planners do not have a good online backup plan is the cost. Either they cannot afford it, they are cheap or the company they work for is cheap. There are plenty of reasons why money might be an obstacle and some are valid (you are broke) and some are foolish (you are a tightwad).
I did some digging and here are 8 online cloud storage services that offer free options. They are all over the board on how much storage they offer. Some have just a little and some have a massive amount but they all offer at least 1GB of storage.
What do I Use
I actually use a couple of the solutions on this list. I have a paid subscription to SugarSync. In my opinion, it is the best on the list. The reason SugarSync is above the others in my opinion is something called the “Magic BriefCase” (MBC). The MBC is a file folder that holds any documents that I want stored in the cloud and they are synced across multiple devices.
I put my important meeting and event documents in this folder and they are automatically shared and kept up to date on my laptop, in the cloud, on my desktop computer and my iPad. My information is in FIVE places. In addition, there is an iPhone App in case I need something in a pinch. That is crazy efficient.
I also use DropBox, you can see my review here from a long time ago. I have the free option for DropBox and use it to store all of my web design files. Beyond being a virtual closet, DropBox makes it easy to share large files so I am able to send big graphic design files to my clients with just a couple of clicks.
YouSendIt is another on the list that I like and use often. Got big file to send? Go to YouSendIt, upload the file and the recipient gets an email with a download link. Super simple and great for sending files that are giant. The sending is free up to 50MB and then you move to a paid plan. I did not know they offered online storage as well. That makes it a bonus.
One of the surprises on the list is Windows SkyDrive. The Redmond crew is offering 25 (not a misprint) GB of FREE storage. That blows the crap out of everyone else on this list. No one else even comes close. I know that many people have problems with Microsoft but they do make good products and they are really trying. Give it a shot, I am planning on it. Really… 25GB of storage……that is a small hard drive’s worth of files.
Here are 8 online storage sites that offer free storage
The free Dropbox account comes with 2GB of space that you can use for as long as you like and if you need more, they have Pro plans up to 100GB. One of the cool things is that beyond storage and file sharing, DropBox also syncs files so you are always up to date.
25 GB Free
1GB of storage and an easy way to send large files. My advice? If you have large files that you send often, put them in YouSendIt and they will be stored and ready to send at a moments notice.
Box.com offers 5GB of storage and syncing. Again, nothing special but it is a quality service that does what it does well.
1 GB Free
Get 5 GB of storage…. whooo hooo.
I love the Magic Briefcase and this service. So much so, I have a paid account.
All of these products work well, the best choice is the one that works for you and the amount of storage you need. There are also paid services that do not offer a free option like Carbonite. Try them out and pick the one that you are most comfortable with. I am going to give SkyDrive a try this week. 25 GB is a ton of storage for free and because it is Microsoft, there is a certain sense of security.