Friday er, Saturday! As you can see, us creative, ‘right-brain types’ are so prone to letting time get away from us. Anyway…
As promised, we are going to start with some of the tools that I use every day to make my life work. One of the great things about the online world of late is the advent of ‘cloud’- based services. For those not aware of what the ‘cloud’ is, it is essentially companies that have developed online services that are hosted on a central server, instead of your local PC. The great advantage to this is that you can access these services from anywhere- your PC, your smartphone, tablet, iPad…even a friends or public PC via the web. You may even be using cloud-based services right now and not even realize it!
I was sitting the other day going in my mind through all the tools I use thinking which was the one I use absolutely most often…it is s close tie, but the #1 is probably Dropbox (www.dropbox.com). Now if you’ve looked at Dropbox, you’ve said, ‘great- online storage…big deal, so what?’ Well basically what dropbox does is to create a local folder on your device- Windows PC, Mac, Android, iPhone/iPad, and even Linux! That local folder is then synced using their cloud servers across any other device that you setup the Dropbox software on. When you save, access or edit a file in your Dropbox, it is replicated across all your other devices. You can even share folders in your Dropbox with others, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account! It is a convenient way to share files with your family or co-workers. AND, in its basic form…it’s FREE.
In a nutshell, here’s how it works-
1. Go to the Dropbox website (www.dropbox.com) and download the software. Again, you can run Dropbox on Windows, Mac, Linux or many smartphones and mobile devices.
2. Install the software. At this point, you will be asked to setup a Dropbox account. The basic (FREE) account gives you 2Gb of initial storage. There are also paid options if you want more space.
3. The Dropbox software will install, and you will then find a new folder under My Documents called ‘Dropbox’.
Installing Dropbox on additional devices is just as easy. The only difference will be that when you get to the step that asks you about your account, you will select ‘I already have a Dropbox account’ then enter your account login information. Now, anytime you save a file, or create a folder under the ‘Dropbox’ folder, it will also sync that change with any of your other devices that you have Dropbox installed on. (The only exception to this is for your mobile devices, Dropbox does not download the files themselves- it downloads a listing, then opens a selected file.)
Now at this point, you’re probably saying “well, 2Gb is fine, but that’s not going to take me long to fill up. Can I get more space?” Good question! There are several ways that you can increase the size of your Dropbox. First,when you open your new Dropbox account you are given a list of tasks that, when you accomplish them you’ll get an extra 250Mb of space. Also, you can refer friends…for each friend you refer that sets up their own Dropbox (from your referral) you get an addl. 250Mb and your friend gets an extra 250Mb. You can get up to an addl. 8Gb this way. You can buy more space. Their ‘Pro 50’ package is $9.99/mo. or 99.99/yr. There is also a ‘Pro 100’ package that is $19.99/mo. or $199.99/yr.
Dropbox is a great tool for having access to files wherever you might need them. Next time, we’ll talk about some different ways to use Dropbox. Got some cool ways YOU are using it? Post, and share with all of us!