Tech Tools: The Cloud


Ever been out on a job and no one could find the plans? Or, worse, you’ve got the plans but you find out too late that they’re an old version? Annoying, right?

Loads of tradies have been there too and just as many have been made furious by the same thing, which is why many chippies, plumbers and sparkies have embraced a technology previously used only in techie offices and by those in the IT industry.

That’s right, boys (and girls): we’re talking about the cloud.

No, not the one in the sky, the one on the internet. This mysterious place is home to all your documents and, if you and your business are using the right technology in the right way, you never need to see an outdated plan again.

Most of the time when a big boss hears about anything IT, their instant response is that old tradie classic: “Sounds expensive!” But this stuff is cheap as chips, easy to use and works really well to ensure everyone is across what needs to happen on a job and, perhaps more importantly, what has happened already.

The most widely-used ‘cloud storage solution’ is Google Drive. Google Drive works by storing all of the documents you upload (either from your desktop or from your Gmail account, very handy) and allowing multiple users to access and update them, which is perfect for projects with multiple stakeholders (like, say, a builder, a plumber, a sparky and a plasterer) all able to update documents, add new ones and make changes. There are also a wide range of cloud-related apps that can streamline business practices on and off the work site, too.

If you were looking for any more reasons to give the cloud a go, here’s another one: if are working for yourself or running a small business, Google Drive is the perfect way to manage all of your expenses spreadsheets and stuff like that as well, thanks to handy Google Docs, that mimic traditional spreadsheet and word processing software with the added benefit of being able to be used on the go.

So there you have it: the skinny on the cloud and how it can help tradies both on the tools and when balancing the books. Do you use Google Drive or any other cloud-based storage for your work? What do you think? Let us know over at our Facebook page. We love a chat.