Introducing Dropbox for sharing working documents.

Hi, not sure how many people are using Dropbox at the moment or are familiar with what it can do, although I have noticed a few articles on ezine etc.

Basically Dropbox is a free online storage system or storage in “cloud” as some people refer to it. It works great as a free personal backup between with between 2 and 8 gigabytes of free storage (if you require more there is a paid upgrade).

How it works is that it creates a folder on your hard drive that works the same as any other folder and you access it in the same way through Windows Explorer or through the usual and open and save as commands etc. The documents files and folders then exist on your hard drive and also somewhere up in the cloud. When you install Dropbox on a second or third computer and log into your account it then synchronises that folder and all the documents folders etc will then be copied onto your computer. When you alter a copy on one computer it automatically updates in the cloud and then on your other computer when you next use it. Very nifty and I would not like to be without it now.

I started using it as a personal storage so I could access the files I was working on in the office when I was working at home (or indeed there is a iPhone and Android app as well so you can access from the phone). I have now gone beyond that and started using the sharing facilities for business and outsourcing.

Basically you create a file for a project or company, then send invites to Dropbox users who you want to have access to the files and when they accept you all have access to the same files. Any member of the team can access files ,use save, them alter or update them and everyone has access to the latest edition. It works especially well for files that are too big to e-mail and where members of the team want the latest information. I used a similar system a couple of years ago when working for a large contractor and thought it was good then but that was a private server that they had set up and was beyond the reach of the rest of us mere mortals!

With Dropbox this facility is now available to all. I am currently working on some large projects and when I receive instructions, calculations, photographs, website designs etc I can upload them into the relevant Dropbox folder and near enough instantly all the members of the team have access.

You can of course have different folders for each project and assign access to different people as appropriate. When the project is completed you can then take out of your Dropbox, if you need the space, and save on your hard drive.
Hope you find that useful. If you did and you would like a Dropbox account please click here and you will get a free account.

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