Number two in my series of desktop apps that I use – this time Dropbox.
Dropbox is the simplest concept in the world, so simple that quite often people don’t think about it – they just get on with it – and as I discussed in my Evernote post, it is all about workflow. Dropbox fits into my workflow as if it has always been there. If you, like me, like evangelising about the myriad of tools you use online, this is the tool to start with. Right, here is the Elevator Pitch (or Granny Pitch as I like to call it!).
How many memory sticks do you have? Where are they all? Have you had to go and invest in an external hard drive to carry all your stuff around because memory sticks aren’t big enough to hold everything? Rather than having to put the memory stick into the computer, why not save the file to a folder that saves your work to a space on the web, which you can access at any time? Well, why not take a look at Dropbox? It allows you to save files to the web, backup projects, synchronise files with other computers all with security and privacy? And, you get all of that for free! Tempted? Click on any of the Dropbox links to take a look!
OK – pitch over, how do I use it? I use it in three ways:
Like a memory stick
Just like a memory stick, you save your file to a folder on your computer (generally called My Dropbox). In that folder, you have the option of saving it to a public folder or somewhere only you can see. The vast majority of things are saved to the private area, and I have about nine different folders, and a gazillion files in there – just like your normal file structure!
For file synchronising between two computers
I use a laptop for work, and we have a laptop at home. Making sure that files are available on both machines at all times, is important. A good example of how this has worked in practice was when Jet was looking for a new job. She would write an application, and I could open it to check it while she worked on another.
For sharing with the world
If you save an item to the public folder and right-click on it, you can copy the ‘public link’ which then allows you to share it in whatever way you want to. I did this at BETT quite a bit as I had saved the TeachMeet Takeover flyer and presentation there for other people to save down and use.
So, the file is shared on your computer, the home computer and online, which means you can access your file whenever you have a web connection. The best bit is that it is all free – I haven’t upgraded my account (you can, up to 100GB) but I haven’t the need as yet!