In my piece on online file storage services, I wrote about two popular services, DropBox and SugarSync that synchronize files across multiple PCs as well as provide access to files from mobile phones. While I think DropBox and SugarSync are the best options due to their ease of use, there are two other ways to store files online and access them from mobile phones, by using Evernote or Google Docs.
Google Docs is a combination of a web-based application for creating documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, and file storage. One way to use Google Docs is to upload an Excel spreadsheet and have it converted into a Google Docs version that you can edit and share with other users online. Google recently added the ability to upload any file type and store it online. If you upload a Microsoft Word document and not convert it to Google Docs, you then download a copy of the file to edit it using Microsoft Word.
Google provides 1 GB of free storage but you can buy additional storage at very affordable rates. Five dollars per year will get you 20 GB of storage, and if you need it, you can buy 1 TB of storage for $256 per year, and get a free Eye-Fi card.
The downside to Google Docs is that it is a web-based application and therefore the default way to access your files on a mobile phone is with a web browser. In my experience accessing files in Google Docs with the Android browser and Mobile Safari on the iPhone is straight forward but editing files can be a little bit of a hassle. Third party apps exist for the iPhone and Android phones for working with Google Docs.
The files that you store in Google Docs do not synchronize with desktop computers. The premium version of Evernote, which costs $45 per year, does provide offline copies of files. While the free version of Evernote only allows attaching PDF files to notes, the premium version allows you to attach any file type to a note, and Evernote does not charge for storage space on their servers. Instead, Evernote limites the amount of data you can transfer using your account, and premium users are limited to 500 MB per month of data transfers.
On desktop computers you can open and edit file attachments and then directly save any changes in Evernote. The changes you make with then synchronize with all Evernote clients. On mobile phones you can use a variety of editors and document viewers that support the type of file that is attached. For example, my Nexus One came with the Quickoffice viewer that I use to view Word and Excel files attached in Evernote.
Neither Google Docs or Evernote are the simplest tools for working with files online, however, both support the ability to store files so if you already use Evernote for notetaking or Google Docs for editing and sharing documents online, it may be worthwhile for you take advantage of their file storage capabilities to keep some of your files online.