It’s contract renewal season for me, and I’m kind of “heads down” working on what comes next. So I’ve been kinda distracted from sharing ideas and discussions with everyone.

I’m continuing my evolution into cloud computing, shedding local software as I figure out my approach. I’m lucky enough to have access to excellent coverage by T-Mobile, albeit EDGE only, plentiful free WiFi and T-Mobile HotSpots available to me as I go through each day. So I’m always able to be connected, most all the time.

The first step has been dropping Microsoft Outlook. This was a the biggest step of all, as it’s been my email client for over a decade, and a damn good one at that. Just a quick note on usability – much nicer to not have to wait for all the IMAP folders to sync! GMail is… well GMail, and has it’s own peculiarities to adapt to.

Now that I’ve got that one figured out, and completed, it’s on to the next steps. I’ve got hundreds of Microsoft Office documents that I need to review and move into the cloud. Reviewing them will not be the problem, and getting them into whatever service won’t either.

But… which service to move these to? Google Docs & Spreadsheets because it’s tied to all my Google account stuff? Or should I go for Zoho Office? I’ve used both for almost the same amount of time (~2 years) and find pros/cons to both. There’s also ThinkFree, which may be most like the native Microsoft Office environment.

That’s going to take some thinking… in the meantime I’m going to sort through several hundred megabytes of documents, some quite dated to be quite honest. It’ll be nice to trim down to what’s actually valuable and relevant.

Probably the biggest Microsoft Office app besides Outlook that’ll be hard for me to replace is OneNote. Since the release of Office 2003, this application has been a staple of my note taking. For all sorts of things, like projects, seminars, meetings, online research, etc… It’s become indispensable and its really hard to find a replacement, but I think I may have it. Zoho Notebook is the closest I’ve seen of anything, so I’ll be working with that for the next few weeks to see how viable it is as a replacement.

So there you have it, an update on where I’m at. I still have more questions than answers, but I’m finding many more online solutions than a year or so ago when I last really considered doing this. It’s now actually feasible to migrate online. With the critical components of connectivity and software services, I’m well on my way to reducing my dependence on legacy software.

Have you bit the bullet? What’s worked for you? Heck, what headaches have you had that may have pointed you back to locally installed software?

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