Anne-Marie Nichols is a Windows Champion Blogger and may receive equipment and other perks to assist her in evaluating Microsoft products and services. All experiences and opinions are her own.
SkyDrive is Microsoft’s personal cloud storage service. It provides over 250 million customers with access to their files, photos and documents across all of their devices and platforms, including Windows, Windows Phone and Xbox, as well as Mac, iOS and Android devices. SkyDrive is directly integrated with Microsoft Office and lets you edit and collaborate on Office documents from any computer with the free Office Web Apps. With SkyDrive you can store more than 7k photos or 14k Office documents in the cloud for free.
Basically, you have access to everything on your SkyDrive wherever you are and on whatever device you may be using at that moment. This is especially handy when you’re traveling, even if you’re not planning to do any work while you’re away. Why? Because not only can you store your itinerary in your SkyDrive, you can scan back ups of important documents and more.
Before you leave on your home PC, laptop or tablet, create a folder just for travel documents such as itineraries, directions to your cousin’s home because GPS gets it wrong, and so on. You can also use your SkyDrive travel documents folder to store other travel documents such as notes you’ve left with your babysitter or your pet sitter, your packing list, that link to the 10 best restaurants in Atlanta, etc.
Scan your passports and driver’s licenses in case they’re stolen. SkyDrive is password protected, but be sure to have a good login and password protection combination to protect this sensitive information. If you’re traveling and incapacitated, it may be wise to share your login information with your traveling companion or even someone back home, like a spouse or even your lawyer.
People with ongoing medical needs have found it easier to keep scans of their doctor’s records, CT scans and MRIs in SkyDrive than to rely on their doctor’s office to email or fax over records in case of emergency, especially if something came up on a weekend or while in a different time zone.
Who doesn’t love taken hundreds of photos while traveling and worries about losing their camera – and all those wonderful pictures? Instead of waiting until you get home to backup those memories, most Windows phones will automatically back up right to your SkyDrive with a few adjustments to your settings. However, if you’re using a DSLR or point and shoot camera, you have two options. Find the cord that enables you to hook it up to a laptop, if you can remember where you put it that is. Or remove the memory card, plug it into an inexpensive memory card reader, plug it into your laptop or tablet’s USB port, then back it up to SkyDrive that way.
Have a teen who’s traveling somewhere for spring break or overseas over the summer? Insist that they share itineraries, scan their passports and IDs, and store them in all in a shared SkyDrive folder that you both have access to before they leave.
For itineraries and directions, I like having paper back up, because you never know when you’ll lose your cellphone signal or battery power on your device. If you’re traveling out of the country, research cellphone data fees and what your access to wifi will be like. If you’re bringing a laptop along on your trip, you may want to download some of the documents like your itinerary right to your hard drive.
However, don’t download your passport, ID or possibly even your medical records to your laptop in case it’s stolen. It’s best to keep all those sensitive documents in SkyDrive until needed!