Running your own business can be stressful and creating a system to organise your work is super important to able to be productive especially when it comes to organising your digital life.

I have tried out many systems over the years and always found that using Google Drive and DropBox works for me. Both applications are ‘cloud’ storage systems. Which mean that it allows you to store, access and edit your documents and photos from anywhere. They offer mobile applications to make documents easily accessible wherever you may be.

I wanted to share my knowledge on how to use these tools effectively. And show how it can help you declutter and organise your small business.

DropBox

I am currently using the paid version which gives me 2TB of storage. It’s a small investment for a very useful tool.

DropBox is super easy to use, you can add documents and images from your desktop or handheld devices. Create different folders and share them with clients or employees.

The download option allows you to get documents straight to your device without having to log in. A very useful feature if you run your business on the go.

Large files and images that can take a lot of space on your computer can be stored in DropBox and you can only download them if you need too.

For example, I took hundreds of photos from our holiday, and I didn’t want to use storage on my laptop as this is solely used for work. I uploaded my images straight to DropBox where I can look at them and select the photos that I want to edit on my laptop.

I mainly use DropBox for graphics, images and file storage. I have created several personal and business folders to sync with the folders on my computer. Just in case the unthinkable happens at least I know my files are backed up!

Google Drive

Organise your folders and subfolders with ease. Google allows you to colour code your folders for easy recognition. It is also easy to move, edit or share your folders so your clients or collaborators can access, download or edit documents.

Google Docs, Forms and Spreadsheets are all included in the program. Which mean that you don’t have to have Microsoft Office to run your business!

Gone are the days when you have to wait for someone to edit or read a document. Google Docs allows you to actively collaborate by creating a link that you can share with others. If any revisions made on your document you can also easily view who did what and when.

With its automatic saving feature means that you will never have to lose another document again. There is no fear of the consequences if your application crashed! Google automatically saves your work every few seconds if you’re like me who forget to save every few minutes! Google Docs also allows you to integrate and automate with other apps such as Asana or IFTT.

Creating documents and spreadsheets on the go is a breeze, so you’re not stuck in front of your computer every time you need to edit some work.

Conclusion

The best things about Google Drive and Dropbox is that they are affordable. It does not matter if you’re a personal user or a small business, their plans have options to suit any budget.

Their clean and non-invasive interface is great to work with keeping distractions and complicated menus at bay, ideal for those who aren’t too tech savvy.

Google Docs offers a free account with 15GB free storage, enough to get you started. Gone are the days when you have physical folders and files. It is environmentally friendly and a great way to promote a paperless office.

A standard DropBox account starts at £10 per month and that includes 2TB worth of storage. You can also sign up for a free 30-day trial to see whether it works for you.