In the last few weeks – I have been looking at my productivity. I want to use fewer apps while not losing any of my productivity. I thought of canceling my Microsoft subscription; however, I soon realised that wouldn’t work. I have an Asus Vivobook, thus I am in the Windows/Ecosystem anyway.
But that didn’t solve the problem, or the few that I had.
The ecosystem needed:
- to integrate with my email, calendar, cloud storage, and task management app
- be able to be activated by my voice
- be cross-platform
I have been using Microsoft for a few years. I grew up with it at school and it has always been the default application for my entire life working in Windows.
However, as time as gone on there was just one big problem for me. The calendar. While yes it is possible to have more than one calendar, there are extra steps that you have to take in order to get them to overlay each other. Even then, as soon as you click off – it reverts it back to default.
Also, out of all of the Office Suite, I only really use Microsoft Word, followed by Outlook. I use Excel a little and don’t use Powerpoint or OneNote at all. So even though I am paying yearly, I am not getting the value out of it.
About a month ago – I had decided to use a Google calendar for my events – with everything else on Microsoft. It worked at first. Though intergrading both was a bit fiddly to get it sorted. Even when it was working, it wasn’t 100% easy to use. The more I looked at what I needed to keep track of, it soon became clear that moving (mostly) over to Google would solve my issues and I would have everything in one place.
So now, Google is my home base. I brought a monthly subscription to Google One of just 100GB – and am going to update as I needed. On the drive, I will keep EVERYTHING except my video files. With my 1TB of space on Microsoft, to be used for my video library. This includes videos I have downloaded and also courses I have taken. Also – it is where I will be backing up my laptop too.
I’ve never really been away from Google as I have had many accounts because of YouTube – but it has been years since I have used it as storage, aside from the odd thing. I set up a new account that I love in order to make the switch to Google. Probably the biggest reason why I chose to switch is because of collaboration and intergration.
First off, a lot of people will have a Google account, thus it is going to be easier to share and collaborate with people. By having Microsoft Word – I have the desktop when I need to cite stuff with my longer works.
While yes, I have Amazon Alexa, they don’t integrate with Google, let alone Microsoft. Changing from Alexa to Google means that everything is in one place.
This leads to my task manager, Todoist. I have switched back and forth over the years and keep coming back to this app. One of the main reasons being I can talk to my devices and when given a certain command – they will add tasks to my list. This is extremely convenient, but also practical for me. As I have only use of one hand – typing on my phone sometimes can be hard. If I can note the todo down, and sort it later then this is a bonus for me.
Google Photos is also a huge drawcard. While both Microsoft and Google allow you to automatically upload your photos – the AI built into Google is something that I adore. The fact that it will recognise a picture of Ted and put it in the right album saves me so much time. I know there is this in Microsoft, but I have just found the UI really clunky. Also, the way they store the photos is like traditional storage when you would download photos from a camera, in a Year folder then the month it was downloaded in another photo.
Where to from here?
There are two things I plan to do when my subscription ends for Microsoft next year. I plan to purchase Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and Powerpoint). I will switch my Office365 subscription over to just a OneDrive subscription.