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Dropbox: The Ultimate File-Sharing and Syncing App
By: Joe Eitel
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    2010-03-03

    Table of Contents:
  • Dropbox: The Ultimate File-Sharing and Syncing App
  • Dropbox and Akira
  • Using Dropbox for Maximum Productivity

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    Dropbox: The Ultimate File-Sharing and Syncing App - Using Dropbox for Maximum Productivity


    (Page 3 of 3 )

     

    Now that we've discussed how Dropbox can be used to remotely control a PC, it's time to find out ways that the application can be used to promote productivity. Admittedly, remaining on task and being productive are hard things to do on a home PC, especially when the Internet is just one click away. Thankfully, the Dropbox application has a few tricks up its sleeve.  

    There are countless productivity tools and services that people count on to help run their lives and their businesses, and if you think about what tools you rely on the most for your business needs, you'll probably name standard CRM and invoicing tools. Obviously, these have become critical for day-to-day operations, but unexpected applications like Dropbox can pack a surprising punch, and not just because of the obvious perks like synchronizing files. So, it's time to think outside of the box -- no pun intended.  

    Dropbox can quickly become a critical part of your daily process, but let's just reiterate what Dropbox does exactly before we get into ways it can make you more productive. After being installed, the application creates what's referred to as a "Dropbox folder" on your computer. Essentially, this means that a user can drop a file of any type into the Dropbox and, in a way that almost seems magical, that file will then appear on each and every one of the user's shared computers. Not only that, but individual folders can also be shared among other users. So, now that that's out of the way, here are some ways you can use the application to increase your productivity: 

    Simple Network Sharing

    For those who have a small business and must travel often, depending on their laptop to act as their mobile office, Dropbox can prove to be an even more efficient option for file sharing than going through the trouble of setting up a shared network folder. Mainly, this is because the Dropbox app has a built-in versioning function, which gives it the ability to access files, even if the user is away from their home or office computer. This is incredibly useful, because whether the user returns to using their office PC or checks in from their laptop, any changes that occurred to the files they were working on will automatically be pushed back to any other users who are on their network.  

    Password Synchronization

    In terms of password synchronization, Dropbox is useful to just about everyone, not just small business owners. A majority of us do a lot of online shopping, banking, posting, and socializing online, which means that many of the websites we routinely visit on any given day requires us to type in a username and password, and obviously, these aren't easy to keep track of. So, it goes without saying that a good password management system is very critical these days, and thankfully, Dropbox has this covered. After all, we can't be very productive if we're staring at our computer for twenty minutes ripping our hair out trying to remember our password.  

    By using Dropbox in conjunction with the affordable software called RoboForm, Dropbox makes it easy to keep all account information, usernames, and passwords in sync with every computer you use. All a user needs to do to make this happen is move their RoboForm profile to their Dropbox folder and point all of their computers to it. Once this is complete, users will always be able to log on to each and every one of their sites from any computer -- and here's the best part -- never forgetting their password again.    

    File Distribution

    Setting up shared Dropbox folders is an excellent way for users to be able to distribute reports or other information to their clients. The information users send out using their shared Dropbox folders gets "pushed" to all users, meaning their clients will no longer need to retrieve any data that they need. Using this same file distribution method, clients can also easily share files back without ever having to concern themselves with e-mail limits or other frustrations.

    It should also be pointed out that using Dropbox in this way will be especially helpful to technophobes or those not too keen on having to learn new ways of doing things with technology. This is because there are no new interfaces to learn, which means a less tech-savvy user will have a much easier time learning this Dropbox method than any other that may be implemented. 

    Other Options

    Dropbox is a huge steal. Not only is it easy to use and incredibly flexible, but it's also free for up to 2 GB of storage. Monthly plans are also available, but even with 100 GB of storage, Dropbox will only run you $19.99.

    Downloading Dropbox for no other reason than using it to remotely control your PC may not be worth it. If that's the only aspect of the application you're interested in, you may want to consider using an app that does just that.

    LogMeIn, for example, is an application that be used for business use or personal use to access and back up home or work computers from anywhere with an Internet connection. The service also enables its users to support, access, and manage their Windows PCs, Macs, and smartphones.


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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