Cloud storage is everywhere these days. If you own an iPhone it is very likely you have iCloud to back up all your files and photographs. Android users will be signed to Google Drive and store important files there.
The ubiquitousness of cloud storage platforms is easy to understand. Convenient and easy to use, (many just run in the background), they give us access to our files across multiple devices, make it easy to share files, and importantly, provide a reliable backup.
The good news is, cloud storage is an integral part of most virtual mailbox services available today.
Whether the service has its own dedicated cloud storage facilities or allows connection with a 3rd party platform, you will be able to use cloud features to store and retrieve your mail items.
Anyway, today we will look at how you can best leverage cloud storage alongside your virtual mailbox service.
What is cloud storage and how does it work?
Cloud storage is basically a way of storing your files remotely.
While traditionally your files were only stored on your device, (your laptop hard drive for example, or your phone’s internal memory and flashcard), now, you can use a 3rd party platform to store your files in their digital storage facilities too.
This remote storage system is accessible wherever you may be (as long as you have an internet connection). This allows you to log in to your account from any device and see all of your files in one place.
The security and backing up of the files are all managed by the service, and you enjoy the convenience of being able to expand the capacity of your cloud storage by just opting for a different plan, rather than purchasing a larger hard drive or some other means of physical-digital storage.
Cloud Storage and Virtual Mailbox Services
When you signup for a virtual mailbox service they will often have their own cloud storage facilities.
This is where your digitized scanned mail is uploaded for you to view within your account.
Your dashboard automatically provides you with access to the cloud storage and as with the likes of Traveling Mailbox and Anytime Mailbox, the storage capacity (in terms of the number of files you can save there), is unlimited.
This is a great feature and means you have access to items on all devices without needing to share them from one location to another.
It also makes archiving easy too. You can create your own folders and directories within your virtual mailbox service dashboard so your mail is organized and simple to retrieve.
You could create a folder for the different bills that you receive for instance or invoices from a particular company. When you need to find something, you click the directory and locate the file.
Furthermore, a good service provider will scan your mail using technology that makes the contents of the document searchable too.
You can type in search terms and the system will bring up documents that contain the words from that search. This makes finding relevant documents a lot faster.
Virtual Mailbox Cloud Storage integrations
But what if your office already uses a different cloud storage platform and would rather not utilize the one offered by the virtual mailbox service?
This is not a problem as most services come with levels of integration. For instance, Earth Class Mail integrates with 3rd party cloud storage services, such as Google Drive, DropBox, and Box.
Traveling Mailbox also connects with Google Drive and Dropbox. (Both services also integrate with accounting software such as QuickBooks and Bill.com, but we’ll save that for another guide).
These integrations allow you to seamlessly connect your existing or preferred storage platform with your mailbox service, making your mail easily accessible. The same level of search function will also exist.
Benefits of storing your mail in the cloud
There are many benefits to storing your digitized mail items in the cloud.
1. Safe and secure
Having cloud backups of your important documents means they are safe and secure.
There will be no misplaced or lost mail items, (unless you unintentionally delete the only digitized copy).
Also, with reliable backups, you or your business will never be the victim of documents becoming illegible due to physical damage.
They exist in digital form so can be copied and transferred with a click of a button.
2. Superior Organization
With your files stored in digital form, you no longer have paper clutter and suffer the frustration of physically searching through reams of paperwork trying to locate that one important document.
As we have described above, a virtual mailbox combined with cloud storage gives you the ability to easily search for an item.
Using a keyword related to the specific item you’re searching for, will bring up targeted results from your file storage, saving you countless hours digging through the physical archive.
3. Access mail and documents anywhere
Got an internet connection and your device of choice? Great, then you can log in and view your digitized mail from the cloud wherever you are.
This level of accessibility is probably the greatest benefit of your mailbox and cloud storage.
Digital nomad, remote worker, or a family of expats – the mail you need access to is available 24 hrs a day from your service dashboard.
4. Easy to share
Sharing an item of physical mail means you literally have to hand it over to the person you want to give it to or send it through the post.
A virtual mailbox and cloud storage says goodbye to all of that. The fact your mail item is already in the digital realm and accessible from your cloud storage means you can easily share access through the platform, email it, send it via a Whatsapp message if you want…
There are countless options when it comes to sharing your files once they are in the cloud.
5. Integrate with other software platforms
Having your digitized documents stored and accessible within cloud is only the first step. For businesses, the ability to then connect the stored files to accounting and organizational software (such as QuickBooks or Evernote), helps to streamline processes across the workplace and in the case of enterprise users, departments, and office locations.
The list of benefits here will be the topic of a future article, needless to say, digitizing and storing documents in the cloud opens up a lot of opportunities for business users.
And there you have it, now you will hopefully have a better understanding of how your virtual mailbox service works with cloud storage.
More importantly, you will also see how that connection can benefit you.
To find out more about virtual mailbox services that use cloud storage, head here.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂