This Article is About
filing taxes
lifestyle choices
different computers
profound impact
tax time
simple fact
handheld devices
own computer
different things
How Cloud Storage Made Filing Taxes Easy
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How Cloud Storage Made Filing Taxes Easy

I really dread tax time, and it has nothing to do with how much money I end up owing the government. It's the hassle of gathering all these records and then turning them into a form known as the return.

Getting an accountant several years ago reduced a lot of the hassle. I just gave her the paperwork and she did the rest.

This year I didn't see my accountant once, did not give her one scrap of paper or email her one single file. Even so, she filed my return just yesterday and I have nothing left to do but await my refund. How did I manage that?

Two words: cloud storage.

I emailed the accountant a link to my folder containing all our tax information. These days you can get just about everything in electronic form, and what you can't you scan. She simply pulled all the information out of the folder on her own computer and used it to file our return. Then she dropped a copy of the completed returns in that same folder and although we live thirty miles apart (and that could have just as easily been 300), I got them within minutes.

Cloud storage is one of those recent technological developments that already has a profound impact on the way people live their lives. In one sense, it's a product of previous lifestyle choices, such as the choice to own multiple computers and handheld devices. But it's also driving lifestyle choices and opportunities, such as the simple fact that my accountant could have been living anywhere in the world.

I've been amazed at the many little and big ways that cloud storage has made my life easier. Take the situation of multiple computers in the home, for example. I have different computers that do different things. There's my laptop which I do all my heavy writing on. Then there's the computer that's connected to the printer. Then there's my tablet PC that I take everywhere. And then there are those library computers I work on because I now consider my laptop to be too cumbersome to actually carry anywhere (yes, times have changed).

I own one of those little attachments on my key chain known as a flash drive. This is what I used to use to transfer my files from one computer to the other. It made it possible to use more than one computer, but the process was still cumbersome, and I had to be sure to update all computers whenever I modified a file. I hardly use it anymore. I just pull the file I need from the cloud and do what I need with it. If I modify it, it updates that file on every computer. When I work on a public computer, I just have to log into my cloud storage account and download the file from there.

My children love to do artwork on my tablet PC. I have it set up so that their artwork uploads to the cloud and I often use it for artwork on my own website or in articles like this.

I love to take pictures wherever I go. Those too get automatically uploaded to the cloud and usually before I get home they are waiting for me on two computers at home, even the library computers if I just log into my account.

For a while I worked with three other volunteers in a local food pantry. I was the one who set up much of the volunteer scheduling system. When it was time to hand that job off, I simply shared the folder containing all the relevant files. At the end of the month I will leave that folder as I no longer need to be keeping the information around. Before cloud storage, I would have either needed to create a CD with all the files, or email 20 files one by one. Instead I just shared a folder. And I got to get the updated files instantly whenever one of the other volunteers worked on them. My husband who is still involved has created some artwork and added it to the file. The other three volunteers who share that folder can monitor his progress each time he saves a file if they so desire.

Just looking at my own experience I can see that cloud storage is going to be a game changer. It's already made a difference in how I manage my electronic life, and even things that didn't used to be primarily electronic. From doing taxes to easily accessing artwork, the cloud is an integral part of my life. Definitely something to not be missed.

Street Talk

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