As the life around us accelerates on the digital path, we constantly find ourselves striving for effective, rapid and most importantly, secure online means to store and share our valuable data and information. Personal.com is a relatively new online web services that excels in providing its users with a data storage/sharing platform with a clean, uncluttered and user-friendly interface, and an uncompromising approach when it comes to securing your personal online data. Just recently, Personal has released its official mobile client for Android, while its iOS app is still in the pipeline. The app provides you with an extensive pool of gems (categories), covering almost every facet of daily life, allows you to store data under these categories and share them with other users added to your network. It even lets you request required data from others.
The official Personal client for Android can be termed as a notes management tool, digital data storage vault, information sharing platform or even a handy helpdesk.
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Whether it’s the password of your Wi-Fi router, address of your kid’s babysitter, description of your ‘for-sale’ Sedan, list of nearby amenities (hotel, bars, spas, coffee parlors etc.), personal notes, phone/mail contacts, social profile info, possible alternative routes to the office, or some highly sensitive information such as your credit card number, bank account details or computer/mobile password, you’ll (most probably) find a category for it within Personal.
But this is just half of what the app does. There’s another aspect associated to it as well: creating an address book of contacts with whom you’d like to share your data. You can create a new contact from scratch, attach various details with each, such as email address, phone number and save it under a group of your choice (acquaintance, family, coworker, friends, etc.). Invites to new contacts can be sent via email. You can share your data with multiple contacts, and in turn, request required data from as many contacts as you like.
To access all these features, you must be logged in with a Personal account. New users can sign up for an account from within the app. The registration is free.
The app has all the aforementioned categories/gems (and more) arranged as individual tiles on its homescreen. Start picking the required ones, adding relevant data under each. You can create multiple instances of each supported category or benefit from some of the most commonly used community gems (such as vehicles, personal info etc). Unfortunately, as of now, the app does not support adding custom gems, but believe me, you will be hard-pressed to find a category that isn’t listed within the app; try finding one!
Each individual category in itself is very detailed. In the ‘vehicle’ category that I stumbled upon during my brief trial-run of the app, I had the facility of adding huge volumes of data, including car essentials (nickname, status, type, make, model, year), identification (license issuance, plate number, VIN, registration expiration, color, axel number, capacity, notes) and seller data (purchase date, condition/mileage on purchase, previous owners) etc.
Pick as many gems as you like and add as much data as required under each. To share a gem with someone, just tap the big share button at the bottom of the screen, pick your gem(s) and contacts, add a brief message, and tap Grant Access. You will find similar options for requesting data from others within the Request tab. All activities within your network can be viewed from within the Feed tab.
First-time users might consider the app to be a bit too congested, owing to its many categories, subcategories and the amount of information that can be fed to each. However, once you get a good grip on all the features of the app, you’ll find that it is no less than a reliable companion for storing, sharing and accessing data that could otherwise easily be misplaced or even misused. Personally, I feel all the app needs is the availability of its client across more platforms to facilitate a wider (casual as well as business) userbase in exchanging vital information in a secure and instantaneous manner.