Searching for the perfect cloud

I’m still having trouble finding an ideal cloud computing solution. I haven’t written much recently because Google Docs is just enough of a pain in the ass to get to that I don’t bother with it. Turns out I have to be able to write locally, including on my phone. So a 100% web-based solution is out.

For the moment, I’m back to writing in plain text files (not only do I not need word until my third draft, which is more of a revision of the second than a full draft, but it’s actually a distraction dealing with italics and word count when I’m trying to compose) and keeping them in sync via Live Mesh. This works, and works well, but the Mesh clients on my netbook and smartphone chew up a lot more CPU and battery than I’d like.

Rumor has it that Google is going to announce their GDrive cloud storage any day now, and that it will provide access from any device. Given that they say the same thing about Google Docs, and Docs is frustratingly read only on mobile devices, I’m not sure how much to believe them there.

On the PIM side, I’ve ditched hosted Exchange and it’s montly fee (hey, in these troubled times, etc.) and opted for NuevaSync. This works just like Exchange as far as Windows Mobile is concerned and gives me “set and forget” over the air sync to my Google Calendar and Gmail contacts. I’m not one of those “thousands of contacts in discrete categories” kind of people, so Gmail contacts is fine for my needs.

I am currently without a tasks solution, though. I’ve tried implementing GTD for Evernote, but the Windows Mobile client is too limited to really manage my tasklist in Evernote on the go. I’ve tried RememberTheMilk, but don’t like the web interface and don’t like their timed-sync client for Windows Mobile. Google opened up Gmail Tasks to mobile users yesterday, but Opera 9 can only handle the basic XHTML client. If NuevaSync can bring the same easy syncing I get out of Gmail contacts to Gmail tasks, that will be a home run. But until that happens, I’m pretty much at a loss.

2 thoughts on “Searching for the perfect cloud”

  1. Funny you should have just written this as I’m running into the same situation myself and was thinking about posting about the sorry state of mobile synchronisation on my blog.

    My Wing is still my primary PDA device, even though I don’t use it as a phone anymore. And WM and Macs don’t present a great mobile sync arena at all. The most important app I have requiring synchronisation is PhatNotes, which syncs fine with its desktop app – in Windows only. This means I have to boot into Windows to synchronise. Evernote Mobile still doesn’t allow local storage on the device which I absolutely require.

    As a Mac user, you’d think I’d be a prime candidate for an iPhone, but the iPhone is way too limited. No on device editing of documents, no notes on the device, no tasks. Forget it.

    Okay, I can sync the calendar and contacts using the Missing Sync but there is no pure cloud application I can use. Sigh – I’m about to give up on the whole idea.

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