Dropbox is a simple, free and simple online way of getting at the files you need from anywhere there is a computer.
If you run any type of creative activity, you can bet there is a computer, or several, involved.
Here at WeLikeArtists.com, apart from editing and organising all the information for this site, we use our computers for design, archiving, accounts, e-mail, letters, presentations, finding information and, and, and...
Today most of us work on several machines: perhaps a desktop and a laptop or phone. A machine at work and one at home. The problem is that you are in one location and the file you need is on a different device.
Dropbox solves that problem. It allows you to have a folder on several computers which automatically synchronize themselves in the background. Pop a file into the Dropbox folder on your studio computer and it will appear on every other device you have a Dropbox folder on!
This works seamlessly. We have been using it for a months and found it to be one of the easiest organisational services around - and completely free.
So how does it work? Just download a small piece of software (Mac, PC and other "flavours”) onto your computer, register for a free account and that’s it. A Dropbox folder appears on your computer. Repeat the process on your laptop (or another computer, tablet or phone), and when you place a file into one Dropbox, it also appears on the other!
The basic free account gives you 2GB of storage and, for every friend you recommend, you receive extra storage (up to a total of 16GB). So, in effect you can quickly have a free account with 18GB of storage.
An extra advantage of Dropbox is that your folder is also synchronized on their secure website. This means that you can simply browse to their site, sign in and access the files in your folder!
More interestingly, you can share folders with specified people, which is brilliant for collaborations or just swapping files. Set up a folder in your Dropbox for your friend in New Zealand, click on “share this folder”, enter their e-mail address and, as long as they have Dropbox installed at their end, you can swap files with them. They can’t access any of your other files, just the one you specify, so the system is secure.
We use Dropbox to regularly collaborate with one of our advisors in London. He drops images into his Dropbox, on his computer in Earl’s Court, and it instantly appears in our Dropbox in Nottingham. We also get a nice little message on our desktop to say it happened.
For those of you who are mobile, there are a number of downloadable applications which help you sinc your stuff with your iPone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and Blackberry phones.
This will revolutionise your working day. We love it. www.dropbox.com