Welcome to the Education Connection. Each month, the SDP Education Committee will address the questions you have on learning tools that can advance your knowledge, better your business and make your life easier. If you have a question or want to learn more about a particular topic, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was written by Mary Kingslan Gibilisco CDA, Chair of the Education Committee
What is Dropbox and why should I use it?
Dropbox is an ideal way to share files with an editor of a chapter newsletter or magazine, and send large files to your commercial printer or anyone with whom you are collaborating, such as committee or chapter members.
How do I get Dropbox and use it?
Dropbox is available as a free download online at www.dropbox.com
When you download and install, you'll have to sign into your Dropbox account or create a new one. Next, the program will create a folder on your computer called "Dropbox." You can choose where to install it or accept the default location. Remember, you can always move it later.
Once installation finishes, a shortcut icon will appear; it will appear in the top menu bar in Mac and the system tray in Windows. The shortcut lets you open your Dropbox folder with just a click. From this same icon you can also reach other preference settings, such as the folder's location and throttles on upload and download speeds.
To use Dropbox, you simply store files in the Dropbox folder. Everything else is automatic. Bear in mind that file-syncing services are different from cloud backup services. If you delete files from your Dropbox folder on your computer, they will also be deleted from all the other devices where you have Dropbox installed and your online Dropbox account.
Like most other file-syncing and storage services
, Dropbox automatically syncs your files everywhere, so they're available on any Internet-connected machine where you've installed Dropbox or that has a web browser. Files you save at home automatically show up on your office computer. Photos you upload from the Dropbox iPhone app show up on your laptop at home, and so forth.
According to Dropbox, there is no file size limit for files saved to Dropbox via the desktop application or mobile apps, provided your account has enough room. Files uploaded through the website, however, are capped at 10GB.
Speaking of the website, it's a handy place to visit anytime you're on someone else's computer and need to get your files. You have to download them to edit them, and re-upload them when you're done, but some of the other tools are quite useful. You can share files, view a gallery of all your images organized by date, and see how much space you're using and how much you have to spare.
Dropbox solves a simple problem with a simple solution. Download and install Dropbox
, put your files in it, and you'll never again worry about not having access to the latest version of all your files. Also, it's an excellent tool for backing up your files. Install and start sharing your files with your collaborators today!