So, I for the past few years, I’ve been giving more and more of my digital life over to Dropbox, and it’s changed the way I use computers, and how I think about information, and share content with my wife.
Someone asked me recently how I use it, so I thought I’d write up a short explanation.
First, I upgraded to the 50gb a year plan. This costs $99/year and is worth every penny. I know plenty of people who bought larger hard drives for their computers, iPhones, or iPads, or whatever, and paid much more than $99 for that extra room. But for me, I worry more about how much I can store in my Dropbox than anything else.
I should also state that I am a tech geek retard. I have an iMac at home, one at work, I carry a laptop, have an iPhone and iPad, and my TV is connected to a Mac Mini. However, every file I need is synced to all of these immediately and globally, with version backups available as well. This is the miracle of Dropbox.
Every digital artifact that I’m working on at any given time lives in Dropbox. Because I don’t try and sync all of my photo libraries, or all of my music, this is fine. I’m also not a designer with 1GB files, so I have no problems. However, this alone has made my life infinitely easier.
I no longer worry about backing up to an external hard drive, as all of my computers are synced and have all of my content. I no longer worry about carrying a thumb drive or a small USB drive because just saving a file to my hard drive within Dropbox automatically makes it available on my phone or any computer or even on the web when I’m at my parents and using their computer. I’m completely freed to just “own” data and not worry about managing it.
I also have hired a few students who help me with my Paleo Plan website. I use Dropbox’s folder sharing feature to share that folder with them, and they immediately have access to all the files for that project. When one is done working on a file, he just saves it, and the other can open it. There is no emailing files back and forth, just saving them to the hard drive of whatever computer they’re working on. It’s miracles.
My wife and I share a folder in Dropbox called Glaspey Sync. This allows us to transfer important files to each other by just saving them to our computers (in that folder). We also have copies of our driver’s licenses and passports in there, so no matter where we are in the world, or what machine we have with us, we have our critical documents.
I recently read this article on syncing your iTunes libraries with Dropbox. I haven’t had a chance to do this yet, but I can’t wait. One of the pitfalls of having so many computers is that I can only sync my phone to one of them. With this hack, no longer.
I use the wonderful 1Password application to store and manage my passwords and credit card info. This is also synced with Dropbox, which means all of my passwords are available on any computer, iOS device, and from the web. They do an amazing job discovering Dropbox and making the database sync process easy and simple.
Just today I needed to share a large 200mb file with a friend. Rather than FTP it, or use YouSendIt or some other service, I just put it in my Public folder in Dropbox, which gave me a sharable URL that I sent to my buddy. All I had to do was copy the file to that folder and he could download it immediately.
I really can’t say enough, the only other tool that has impacted my digital life this much is my smartphone. And this is close behind. Thank you Dropbox.
If you want to get in on the action, sign up for free here.