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Use Your Virtual Wallet

Your phone can store much more than just your credit cards. Cloud-based services like Dropbox and Google Drive are excellent ways to store essential documents such as PDFs of your I-20 form and your passport. You can also store a formatted MS Word doc or PDF of your résumé for job interviews and online applications. Any time you need to share these documents for an application process or for your reference, they’ll be available offline, stored securely on your phone, for easy sharing.

You can also use these same services to store PDF receipts, plane tickets, and contracts — anything that takes up space in your pocket, wallet, or bag and that you’re likely to forget otherwise. Here’s our favorite apps for safe (and free) cloud storage:

Dropbox — A simple secure solution for sharing files in any format, synced across all your devices. Dropbox Basic only offers 2 GB but you can upgrade by referring friends. And you can fit hundreds of PDFs and Word docs in that amount of space. If you need more room, however, there’s other options.

Box — Box is functionally identical to Dropbox but offers 10 GB of space for its free users. Those of you sharing hi-res photos or audio files will benefit from this added headroom.

Google Drive — Offering a generous 30GB of storage space, literally everyone with a Gmail-based email address has access to this virtual hard drive. The app isn’t the easiest to navigate on a phone and people without Gmail accounts may experience difficulties accessing files. But you can always use Drive as a backup for any file then download later.

Evernote — Another great cloud-based solution, Evernote works like a virtual notepad to store ideas, reminders, and attachments on the go. Save PDFs and other documents here then access them through any app on your phone.

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