Disclosure: I am a member of the Windows Champions team and the Microsoft Surface Ambassadors which provides me certain benefits. The opinions are totally my own.

SkyDrive-LogoHow we work with our devices has changed a lot over the years. I remember my first computer (my families when I was in junior high) and we had to save our work to giant 5.25” floppy disks. Then we moved to the smaller 3.5” floppy disks, then our hard drives started getting big enough to save directly to them. We had Zip drives, tape backups, and then CD-ROMs. Now thumb drives are still big. BUT we also now have the cloud! This means I can store my stuff on SkyDrive on one machine and have access to it instantly on all my other devices or any devices connected to the internet in the world! For me and my work of blogging and social media this is fabulous because I can work from anywhere at anytime easily now!

NOTE: If you are still emailing yourself photos and files to get it on another machine you need SkyDrive!

Waiting at airportI have four machines I use most often – my desktop, my laptop, a Surface tablet, and my smartphone. Let’s say I am working on my desktop in the morning on a proposal for a client. I can save that document directly to my SkyDrive account and then when I get to my lunch meeting with my Surface I can open that proposal and easily make changes as I go to it with the client. Later that evening if the weather is nice I might decide to work out on the patio – I take my laptop outside and can easily pull up that proposal once again. When I am traveling and have airport layovers I can easily work on anything via SkyDrive too. Get the idea?  (Don’t worry about that soda in the photo to the right, it was taken last year. I didn’t fall off the soda wagon, promise!)

Now along with sharing photos and files easily, SkyDrive also provides free versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote to all its users. This means you have access to these tried and true programs from any location. I know that Google offers similar programs (Google Drive aka Google Docs) but with SkyDrive you get the original Microsoft programs with functionality you already know and love. If you opt to upgrade to Office 365 you have access to the complete programs via SkyDrive also.

If you are working on a team project you can easily work on the same document at the same time via SkyDrive! Great for meetings! Even if not at the same time, you can share access with your selected files with others in your team to work on when the time is right.

SkyDrive gives you 7GB of free storage space (which is a lot) and you can buy more if you need it. It works not only on PCs, but also with Macs, iPhones, and iPads. It really is an all around great workhorse service. Here is a chart to compare SkyDrive to iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox.

So today was just an overview of SkyDrive, but I am happy to go into more detail on a specific area if you need me too. What kind of tutorials you would like to see in Work Wednesday?