I wrote a few weeks ago on my blog, Writerly Goodness, about my purchase of and experience with the Galaxy Note II and the ASUS Transformer. I offered some links at the time to the posts that I perused to learn which apps would be best for writers.
One app that appeared on every list, without exception, and that came highly recommended, was Dropbox.
What is Dropbox?
From the developer’s site:
“Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Dropbox was founded in 2007 by Drew Houston and Arash Ferdowsi, two MIT students tired of emailing files to themselves to work from more than one computer.”
In other words, Dropbox is an online file storage and information management service.
You can, and are encouraged to (more on that in a minute), install Dropbox on all your computers, tablet, and smart phone. All of these installations sync up, and when you put files into Dropbox on one of your electronic devices, it is available to every device that has Dropbox installed on it. Update a document on your desktop? Dropbox ensures that the changes are available from all of your devices.
This amazing little app makes it possible to work on multiple computers at multiple locations without having to email yourself the document, or carry around your precious work in progress (WIP) on a vulnerable USB or another, clumsier storage transfer device like an external hard drive.
You can also protect your work by having a back up of your important files on Dropbox, one that will be accessible even if your hard drive goes kerplewie.
Dropbox is a boon to students, professionals who travel, and, of course, writers.
Signing up and getting started
When you visit the Dropbox site, you are presented with the following screen:
First, download Dropbox onto your computer. Follow the instructions, step-by-step.
Then create your account. The download actually prompts you to do this, but if you accidentally close the wrong window, you can easily create your account by returning to the Dropbox site.
It’s as simple as entering your name, email, and creating a password for the service, and, viola! you have a Dropbox account.
Once you enter your account, you will be presented with the Get Started page.
The standard installation will offer you 2.25 GB of space, but as you can see, you can complete a few painless activities to obtain additional space.
Installing Dropbox on additional computers and other devices are two of these activities.
You don’t have to complete any of the activities if you don’t want to, but each one will give you additional gigs to burn.
If your main purpose in using Dropbox is document management, then you will likely not exhaust even the standard 2.25 GB. Go ahead, check out the total file size of your documents folder (I’ll wait). See? If you’re managing picture and video files, that’s another story.
I’ve been using Dropbox for a few weeks now, and have found it easy, convenient, and reassuring. Dropbox is secure, and you don’t have to worry about toting storage devices around. Your work is always waiting for you on the internet and you can access it on the road, any time you need.