I thought long and hard about doing a Personal Technology Tips series for this blog. I have so many tips I’d like to share. I am on my computer almost all day, every day, so I have a treasure trove of interesting tidbits I like to share if given the chance. The only thing holding me back – which tip to share first? The first tip obviously has the weight of seeming like the most important. But this would mean choosing amongst my favorite tricks and shortcuts. This is a hard task.
I have finally decided, though, and have determined that the first Personal Technology Tip may not be the most secret or even trickier to master – in fact, it is probably the easiest. My today’s Personal Technology Tip is Dropbox.
I hope that all of you are nodding along in recognition right now. If you do not use Dropbox, or have not even heard of it before, get on the internet and find their site. You won’t be disappointed. A quick recap for those in the dark: Dropbox is an online storage site with a lot of additional syncing and cloud-computing capabilities. Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s explore some of my favorite options in Dropbox.
The first thing I love about Dropbox is the ability it gives you to collaborate with others. You can share files easily with other Dropbox users, and they can alter them, share them with you, all while keeping track of different versions in on easy place. I’d like to see anyone try to accomplish that key idea – “easily” – using e-mail versions and multiple computers. It’s even difficult to accomplish using a shared network.
Afraid that this kind of ease looks too good to be true? Afraid that maybe there isn’t enough storage space, or the user interface is confusing? Think again. There is plenty of space – you can get 2 GB with just a free account, and upgrades are inexpensive and go up to 100 GB of storage. And the user interface is so easy that anyone can learn to use it.
I love Dropbox because I give a lot of presentations and often they are far from home. I can keep my presentations on Dropbox and have easy access to them anywhere, without needing to have my whole computer with me. This is just one small way that you can use Dropbox. You can sync your entire hard drive, or hard drives if you have multiple computers (home, work, office, shared), and you can set Dropbox to automatically sync files on a certain timeline, or whenever Dropbox notices that they’ve been changed.
Dropbox has plenty of storage, but 2 GB still has a hard time competing with the average desktop’s storage space. So what if you want to sync most of your files, but only the ones you use the most and share between work and home, and not all your files (especially large files like pictures and videos)? You can use selective sync to choose which files to sync.
Above all, my favorite feature is LanSync. Dropbox will search your Local Area Network (LAN) for new files and sync them to Dropbox, as well as downloading the new version to all the shared files across the network. That means that if move around on different computers at work or at home, you will have the same version of the file every time. Or, other users on the LAN will have access to the new version, which makes collaboration extremely easy.
Dropbox has so many other features that I feel like I could create a Personal Technology Tips series devoted entirely to Dropbox. I’m going to create a bullet list here to make things shorter, but I strongly encourage you to look further into these into options if it sounds like something you would use.
I could go on and on, but I will end here. In summary – I strongly encourage everyone to investigate Dropbox to see if it’s something they would find useful. If you use Dropbox and know of a great feature I failed to mention, please share it with me, I’d love to hear how everyone uses this program.
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.SQLAuthority.com)