Just yesterday, I had two people with whom I work need a file in my possession. Both times, I was away from my computer and would not be able to send it to them until I returned to the hotel. But I didn’t have to wait; I told them where to find it on the company Dropbox, so they were able to access the file without me having to:
- Find it myself
- Email it to them
My office is sometimes in Kansas; sometimes in DC; sometimes in Iowa; sometimes in any state where the plane lands. Frequently, I need access to a file I don’t have stored on my computer so I’ve discovered the most effective way to store- and share- files is with Dropbox. Especially, big files like photographs which are hard to email, Dropbox works like a charm.
Dropbox exists in the cloud which means that the information you store in there can be accessed from anywhere on the earth, or in space, if you can just connect to the internet. Some folks don’t trust the cloud, but it has proven to be secure.
Think of Dropbox as a room full of file cabinets that you can virtually walk in to, open up a certain file cabinet, either look at the file, copy the file, email the file, or give someone else permission to look at just that file.
Recently, the founders of Outreach, Inc., – Floyd and Kathy Hammer – were invited to the White House by President Obama and former President Bush to receive the 5,000th Points of Light award for their amazing work in feeding hungry people. We hired a PR firm in DC who managed to get that message out to nearly 580 million households through a variety of media. As the Outreach marketing guy, I had a lot of media asking me for photos, videos, and a host of other information. All I had to do was store those files in a Dropbox folder, give them permission to look at just that folder, and they did the rest. I didn’t have to email hardly any files. The time it saved me was staggering.
Here’s how to get started with Dropbox:
- Set up an account on Dropbox– you can get one for free
- In the process, it should load the Dropbox icon on your desktop
- Create a folder on your desktop and load files in you want to store, like photos
- Drag that folder onto the Dropbox icon and it should load up automatically (don’t be surprised if it takes a while to load if you are putting a lot of photos in)
- If you want to share that folder, then when the Dropbox opens up, click on “Share” and write in the email of a person you want to share the folder with:
Important Note: You are not sending them the whole folder. Instead, you are sending them a link so they can look at your folder.
Another really nice thing about Dropbox is that if you, or someone else, deletes your files and folders, Dropbox can restore them easily.
To keep me organized, productive, and efficient, I have discovered Evernote and Dropbox as the handiest pieces of software that I cannot live without.
But I’m always looking for new ways of productivity, so if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!
Note: Starting tomorrow, for three days you can receive my book, Hunger Bites: Bite Sized Stories of Inspiration for FREE! The Kindle version for either your Kindle or iPad will be free Saturday, Sunday, and Monday on Amazon.