There are two things in life I regret wasting money on: the expensive photo packages at high school dances, and flash drives. The first because, let's be honest, I never look at those pictures and I'm not married to any of those girls. And the second because I lose flash drives faster than I'm losing hair (which is pretty impressive).
Don't get me wrong, I liked flash drives. They served a great purpose: allowing you to easily transfer files. But I found myself forgetting to bring them with me and when I inevitably lost the drive I lost all my stored files. This is why cloud storage has held such a fascination for me.
I've talked before about a number of cloud storage options like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkyDrive. While I still use each of these for different things, my new favorite cloud storage has eclipsed them all.
It's called CloudUp and it's a simple, stripped down interface that gives you exactly what you want in a file storage system without the fuss. It's easy and free to sign up for an account.
In CloudUp, you create collections (kind of like folders) to store your files. You can easily create a new collection by pressing the blue plus button in the top right corner. This will take you to your upload screen. Give your collection a title and start uploading files.
Like other cloud storage options, CloudUp allows you to upload files from your computer. You can do this through a traditional upload interface or just drag and drop from your desktop (my favorite method).
But that's only the start. You can also easily store items from around the web. Let's say you're on a site and find a picture you love. Click and drag that photo over to your CloudUp tab and drop it in your folder. And voila! The picture is now included in your storage.
You can do the same thing with YouTube videos and URLs.
This makes CloudUp far more powerful and useful than nearly any other cloud storage option because you can store all your favorite files, links, images, videos and music together.
Once inside your folder, you can click on any individual item to see it enlarged and get a preview. Then you can press the next and previous buttons to quickly filter through your files. If you land on a video, it will auto play.
As if this wasn't cool enough, CloudUp has great sharing capabilities. Want to share your collection with someone? You can invite them via email through the share button, or you can simply send the URL to the folder. Have private items? You can set a password to your collection. Not only can you share the whole folder, you can also share individual items within the folder. Each item has its own unique URL. This makes sharing large files very quick and easy.
Let's say your friend sends you a link to their CloudUp collection and it contains a number of files you need. You can simply press the Download button in the top right corner and CloudUp will download a .zip file with all those files.
In addition to the web version (which is what I primarily use), you can also download a Windows or Mac install, which provides a faster drag-and-drop interface. You can also access CloudUp on your mobile device. There is no official app, but the site is so mobile optimized you would never guess it because it works just like you'd expect an app to.
Truthfully, it doesn't get any easier than CloudUp. I find myself using it all the time for packaging files to send to people. I also like to use it when I take pictures with a professional camera and need to easily transfer those photos to my phone so I can post on Instagram.
Give it a try. If you've been hesitant to try other cloud storage options, or love the latest and greatest, CloudUp is a definite must.