Dropbox is a FREE application that allows you to share documents and files between a number of different computers, smart phones and people. This means that files stored on computers can be available wherever you have internet access. So if you lose your laptop or memory stick, you will always have a copy of your files .
When I work with other people I often need to share files to get their input,contribution or feedback. Previously, that meant sending emails back and forth and trying to keeping track of different versions of the same document. This often leads to confusion and delays.
In spite of the best of intentions, I or somebody else has on occasion, either corrupted or lost a precious memory stick containing critical work files. There had to be a better way.
This is how Dropbox can overcome these problems.
- Create the file and invite the required users to share your file or folder
- The other users receive an email inviting them to share your files
- They can access the files by installing Dropbox and logging in using their user name or they can share your account. If they share your account, they will only see the files or folders you have decided to share with them.
- Everyone has access to the files from any computer, that has internet access. they can also access the files using their Smartphone.
- All the changes made to the files are automatically synchronised with the other users. They receive a message via the system tray in Windows and Linux or Growl on the Mac, when files have been changed or uploaded.
How to get Dropbox on your computer
If you prefer to create your account without the “invite a friend” program, click in the any of the Dropbox images in the post.
- Go the the Dropbox website and enter your details. If you click on the Dropbox logo on this post it will take you directly the website.
- Go to the Download page and select your operating system
- Click on the Download Dropbox icon and the download process will begin
- Agree the terms and conditions
- Follow the Setup instructions
Once you’ve signed up for the Dropbox account you’re going to share,the first step is to create a root folder in the account.
This is done in the website. This folder can then be shared with other people who already have a Dropbox account. It is important to organise your file structure and communicate that structure to the others. if you neglect to do this your file management can become confusing.
I have found that using Dropbox as a collaborative tool is fairly simple to do and it just makes life much easier. If this post has encouraged you to try Dropbox or are already using Dropbox and have some crafty tips, feel free to share them in the comments.