There are some tools which quickly become essential for tech related management and Dropbox is one of them. I first started using Dropbox when I built my fist small business website and I would literally be lost without it.
What is Dropbox?
Essentially it is a software application for securely storing and syncing files – but it is so much more. It is available across different platforms and different systems – Windows, Mac, cell phones and tablets.
You can save your important files and then access them online from any other device you have set up. You can even simply log on to the Dropbox website and work on your files online from any device – anywhere.
You can also give others access to some or all of the files in your account – enabling sharing. When you change any file it is saved and updated – synced. The power of this simple set up is great for any small business.
No more worries of losing your data when your computer dies. For anyone who remembers the days when you could lose everything in one go Dropbox is a savior.
Best of all – Its Free. There are of course paid plans but straight out you get 2GB free storage. This is more than enough for most small business users – I have been using it for years and have never needed to pay for extra storage. Most of your files are very small – unless you store a lot of video.
So Dropbox gives you a secure free storage facility and easy file management – best of all, it is really easy to set up and manage. I can’t speak highly enough – plain and simple software and it’s free!
How it Works
When you sign up and install Dropbox it creates a folder on your computer hard drive which is securely stored in the cloud – cloud storage (check this out if you are lost). This protects you from losing your data – ANY files: accounts, invoices, pictures, video and website contents – any important files you do not want to lose.
This is your Dropbox – you can now save all of your important files to this folder. You can simply drag and drop existing files and when you create new ones you simply “save as” and save in the Dropbox folder.
This folder is saved in the cloud and can then be accessed from anywhere or any internet enabled device. The file is automatically in sync – if you go in and change a file the changes are saved and whenever you access it again it is up to date.
The DB folder itself is easy to organize. Just like ordinary folder management in windows you can easily create a filing system using folders and sub-folders. You can move and save everything very easily – just drag and drop or save as. Highly organized filing for free!
The system is password protected to keep things safe. If you want to allow someone else to have access to your files remotely you can set this up – you can choose to share all files or only certain ones – with as many people as you wish.
More adventurous users can use Dropbox for more complicated tasks – if that’s your thing but I like to keep things simple and efficient.
How I Use Dropbox
Everything I create, write or just want to keep safe goes in my Dropbox folder. I have it organized into different folders – my own filing system, all within Dropbox. Set up different folders for – invoices, letters, photos, contacts, website content. If you already have organized folders simply transfer them into your DB folder.
I access the files mostly from home but when I’m at work I can easily use them – I also use my mobile to open Dropbox.
The syncing feature works perfectly and saves you worrying about files being updated. I remember running around with memory sticks between different computers hoping not to wipe something important.
There are similar products available now online but to be honest I have looked at them and didn’t bother trying them. I have a software product which works perfectly – I don’t think it can be any easier or more efficient than Dropbox – “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
If you value your small business files you really need to look at using Dropbox. Whether you make use of all of the features or not, the secure storage is more than enough reason to get started. Save time and have peace of mind – and don’t worry, there is no big learning curve. It is really easy to get started and will not be a time suck. You can get started here – Dropbox.com.