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Why Dropbox Is an Amazing Tool You Should Consider Using.

What is Dropbox?

Dropbox is cloud-based file storage system that’s been around for over ten years.  It’s the “granddaddy” of all cloud-based applications.  A lot of companies have tried to mimic what Dropbox does, like Google Docs, OneNote, Evernote, and more. So, why would you want to use Dropbox over these other applications?

Because:

  • It’s a free service for up to 2.5 GB of storage.
  • It’s cloud-based, so you can bring all your photos, docs, and videos wherever you go.
  • Any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically be saved to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website.
  • Dropbox saves your version history and can retrieve deleted files.
  • You can share documents and files for easy collaboration with others.

How Dropbox Works

With Dropbox, you can access files and folders any time from your desktop, the Web, and mobile applications, or through applications connected to Dropbox. All of these connect to secure servers to provide access to files, allow file sharing with others, and update linked devices when files are added, changed, or deleted.

You must first sign up for a Dropbox account at www.dropbox.com and then install it on your computer.  Once you’ve done that, anything moved or copied into that Dropbox folder will then be duplicated to the cloud (backed up).  You can now work on your files right in the Dropbox application.  (You must make sure that Dropbox is running in the background, otherwise, files won’t be automatically synced.)

To add files into a Dropbox folder, simply drag and drop them into the Dropbox folder on your desktop. Or, use the “Save As” menu option in most applications to save files directly to your Dropbox folder. Files in your Dropbox folder will automatically sync to dropbox.com and to your other connected devices.

Easily share content from Dropbox with other people.

Within Dropbox, you simply create a message, attach a file and send it to those you chose. They’ll receive the link to your file, and have access to it. They don’t need a Dropbox account to access it unless they want to provide feedback in the message stream. You can also specify whether you want them to edit it or not, and track who’s logged into your files, when they did, and what they edited.

Other Great Features

Dropbox Paper:  With Dropbox Paper you and your team can create, update, and collaborate on documents—and keep everything synced seamlessly across all your devices. You can see the recent documents you worked on and create new documents within Dropbox.  There’s no need to open Word to do this.  Plus, Dropbox has templates you can use, such as meeting templates.  You simply add action items, messages, images and more. Your shared team can access your meeting notes, and if they have permission, can input information as well.

Version Control:  You can go back in time and pull up old versions of files.  You’ll never have to worry about losing them.  Dropbox keeps snapshots of all changes made to files in your Dropbox within the past 30 days (or longer with Extended Version History or Dropbox Business). You can recover older versions of files, restore deleted files, or undo deletion events.

Dropbox automatically renames the version if you make edits to, and saves it.  You simply go to “Version History” and you can see the document and all the versions that were created. It also notes, who edited the version and when.  If you want to restore a previous version and use it instead of the latest one, you can do this too.

  • Share Screenshots:  If you take a lot of screenshots on your computer, use Dropbox to save and share them instantly. You can save any screenshot you want to your Dropbox.  Once you’ve created the Screenshot Folder, and you make a screenshot, you’ll get a prompt asking if you want to save it to Dropbox. All the screenshots you take can automatically be saved to Dropbox. Dropbox will also create a link to your screenshot and copy it to your clipboard, so it’s ready to share.
  • Comments:  With comments, you can now have conversations around Dropbox files, both on the files you own and the files people share with you. This keeps your conversations organized in one place, and provides a way to gather feedback in just one step. If you want to make a specific comment about anything you’ve saved and shared in Dropbox, just open the document and type in your message.  For example, you want to share a screenshot—simply go to it, create a message and send it to the people you want to share it with.
  • Photos:  Dropbox makes it easy to store photos.  It brings all of the photos and videos in your Dropbox account into a single, well-organized view. Your photos and videos are sorted by the date they were taken, with the most-recent items appearing at the top. You can quickly navigate them by clicking on the timeline on the right.Simply upload your photos to Dropbox so they don’t take up space on your computer or phone.  You’ll be able to access them from any computer.  You can also drag and drop new photos, and you can share them as well.
  • Bookmarks:  When you go to a website and want to remember it and save it, rather than doing this on your computer where you have to copy and paste it to share, save them to Dropbox and easily share them with others.  Either highlight or drag and drop URLs to Dropbox, and collect and share as many websites as you want. Create a new folder in Dropbox called Bookmarks (or whatever other term you’d prefer to use). You can drop URLs anywhere into Dropbox, but for our purposes here we’re talking about how to create a bookmarks folder. If there’s a URL or set of URLs you constantly refer to for a work project it would make more sense to save those web addresses to the project folder.
  • Delete It and Retrieve It Files Option:  Dropbox will continue to save all your content, and if you’re starting to run out of space, you may want to move files into the Dropbox trash folder.  But, if you decide you want some back, Dropbox lets you retrieve them easily.  You can recover any file or folder deleted in the last 30 days from the Dropbox website (or longer, if you have a Dropbox Business account, or a Dropbox Plus account with extended version history).

Another advantage Dropbox has over others:  Because it’s been around so long, developers have had time to make their applications work with Dropbox. Now, there’s a plethora of Dropbox applications you can use.

For example, Dropbox Forms, an online form application, has integrated with Dropbox.  The form you create and results can automatically be saved to Dropbox.

Another is dropittome.  You can create a specific URL for your Dropbox and send it to a client or colleague for access.  It has the capability to be password protected as well.  It’s an easy way to share files, and others don’t need a Dropbox account to receive them.

The URL Droplet is a great way to save URLs.

Send it to Dropbox creates an email address for your Dropbox. This way, you can receive, send and save emails right from Dropbox. When you save your emails to your email application, it can become unruly.  Dropbox provides a better way to organize emails.

Give Dropbox a try. You’ll find it to be an amazing tool for all these reasons and more.  For more information on Dropbox, or information about future webinars, contact Puryear IT at: (225) 706-8414 info@puryear-it.com

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