Dropbox is one of our favorite tools here at Belle Communications. We use it daily for collaboration, file sharing and, as Kate explained in a recent video post, it helps us maintain a paperless office. It seemed only logical to me that this should be the next tool featured in our Toolkit Tuesday series. Today we are sharing seven ways to use Dropbox that will simplify your workflow and make file sharing a breeze for both business and personal use.
Meet Dropbox: Your Virtual Filing Cabinet
In case you are reading this and are brand new to Dropbox, here’s how it works: When you add a file to your Dropbox folder, it automatically syncs in the cloud so that you will be able to access that file from any of your other devices that have Dropbox installed. Even if you are using someone else’s computer or device, you can still access your files on the web by logging into your Dropbox account.
You get up to 2 GB of space free when you sign up for a Dropbox account. If that isn’t enough for your needs you can pay to upgrade or earn extra space by completing certain tasks (such as, inviting your friends to try Dropbox).
7 Ways to Use Dropbox for Business
1. Send and Receive Large Files. Probably the feature Dropbox is best known for is the ability to send large files without having to deal with huge email attachments. Simply add files to your Dropbox folder and then share the link to a certain file or folder with anyone – including non-Dropbox users.
2. Collaborate Using Shared Folders. When you share a folder with another user (or someone else shares a folder with you), it means that the files appear in both users’ Dropbox folders and both users can edit the files in that folder. You can invite other Dropbox users to a shared folder from the “Sharing” section on Dropbox.com (click “Options” next to the folder you wish to share).
Note: Unlike Google Drive, Dropbox does not alert you when another user is viewing the same folder or file as you. However, it will save a “conflicted copy” if two users change a file at the same time, so none of the changes are lost.
3. WordPress Backup. If you use WordPress to power your website, grab a plugin such as WordPress Backup to Dropbox to – you guessed it – backup your WordPress site in Dropbox. It will save all of your website’s files, media, and databases to a folder in Dropbox. You can automate the process and schedule how often the backups will occur as well as whether to exclude any files from being backed up.
4. Automatically Save Screenshots. In my pre-Dropbox life, when I used my “print screen” button, I would open a Word document or other blank file type and paste the screenshot there, just because I didn’t know of any other way to access the image I had just captured. Now, I have Dropbox set up to automatically save all of my screenshots for me. To turn on this feature, click on the Dropbox icon in your taskbar (for Windows users) and select “Preferences.” Then check the box that says “Share Screenshots using Dropbox” under the “Import” tab. Now when I hit the print screen button, a jpeg of my screenshot appears in my Dropbox folder. Presto!
5. Share Photos. You can upload images to a folder in Dropbox and then share the link to this folder with your clients or co-workers, without the need for everyone to sign up for a photo-sharing service. You can even set your Dropbox Preferences so that photos and videos will be automatically imported to your Dropbox folder when you connect your camera or smartphone to your computer.
6. Access Past Versions of Files. Did you delete a file you needed, or save changes to a document when you meant to “Save As” under a different file name? Not to worry. Dropbox saves past versions of files for 30 days (for free accounts), so just access your Dropbox folder on the web and click “Previous Versions” under the “More” tab. From there you will be able to view and restore any past versions of the file.
7. Email Everything to Dropbox. The free service Send to Dropbox lets you email your files to your Dropbox folder. The app will provide a unique email address for you to send files to, and all your emailed files will automatically be stored in a folder called Attachments.
There are many, many more things that you can do with Dropbox … so tell us, what is your favorite way to use this incredibly handy tool?