Here's a typical scenario: an organisation's staff are located in different towns; they need to collaborate closely whilst minimising administration time, expense and inconvenience. They also need to communicate with the public and prospective clients, sometimes sharing documents with them.
There are desktop computers in the offices and laptops with staff members. Individuals have tablets and smart phones as well. The organisation would like the data held in documents and files to be accessible on all of these in the office, clients' homes, car or bus.
The organisation has a web site which is great for their visibility but is not cost-effective for storing online a large body of files. Could the much-vaunted Cloud be the answer?
Both Google https://www.google.co.uk/ and Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/ are Cloud providers with solutions for individuals and organisations. Each have free and paid-for options. In order to choose, why not experiment?
Both have a simple 4-step procedure which can be used to share files on web pages or in emails, thus:
1. Whilst logged in to your laptop and to your Cloud provider,
[Dropbox - navigate to your Dropbox folder]
[Google Drive - click on the Google Apps icon and choose Drive].
2. Navigate to the file you want to share and create a link to; right-click on the file's icon.
3. In the resulting context menu, choose
[Dropbox - "Share Dropbox link" - a URL (link) to the file will be placed in your copy buffer]
[Google Drive - "Share" or "Get link", depending upon how widely you wish to share the file - a URL (link) to the file will be displayed; use Ctrl + C to copy it to your copy buffer].
4. Whilst editing the web page or email item, choose to insert a link and paste (Ctrl + V) the URL into it - when you save your work, the file will be available to viewers.
As the saying goes, "Other Cloud providers are available", but these are two of the most prominent. Check them out and experiment. It is worth spending time on this, but you won't necessarily need to spend much money.
Apart from their secure collaboration and public sharing facilities, Clouds are also great off-site backup devices in their own right.
Example file links
Circle of Fifths (.ods Open Document format spreadsheet) Dropbox Google Drive
Circle of Fifths (.pdf Portable Document Format file) Dropbox Google Drive
Circle of Fifths (.uos Unified Office Format spreadsheet) Dropbox Google Drive
Circle of Fifths (.xls MS Excel 97/2000/XP/2003 spreadsheet) Dropbox Google Drive
Circle of Fifths (.xlsx MS Excel 2007/2010/2013 spreadsheet) Dropbox Google Drive
Circle of Fifths (.xlsx Open Office XML spreadsheet} Dropbox Google Drive
Experiment with Clouds (.doc MS Word 97/2000/XP/2003 text) Dropbox Google Drive
Experiment with Clouds (.docx MS Word 2007/2010/2013 text) Dropbox Google Drive
Experiment with Clouds (.docx Open Office XML text file) Dropbox Google Drive
Experiment with Clouds (.odt Open Document Format text file) Dropbox Google Drive
Experiment with Clouds (.pdf Portable Document Format file) Dropbox Google Drive
Experiment with Clouds (.txt Plain text file) Dropbox Google Drive