Using Dropbox to Collaborate & Share Information

by Dick Jones

September 04, 2012

Do you find yourself sending Emails with attached files all the time? Have you ever had an Email not go through because your attached files were too big? Do you have difficulty maintaining version control on important documents like presentations or proposals? If you’re suffering from these symptoms, there is a solution. It’s called Dropbox.

Dropbox is a free service that allows you to upload and download files of all kind. It essentially allows you access to all your documents, photos, videos, or any other file types you use, from any device you are using. Once you have a Dropbox account you can invite others to have access to one or many folders that contain files. Once they have access they can view or update any files in the folder they were invited to. You never have to send another Email with attached files!

Dropbox is also a great place to back up your files. Because it is a secure site with password access, backing up your important files to your Dropbox is a great way to insure you have a copy in case something happens to your computer.

But the real value of Dropbox beyond what I have mentioned is the ability to collaborate and share information. Most projects or sales opportunities go through many stages where documents must continually be updated and edited with new information. Maintaining version control is critical. Those who Email files have to revert to changing the file name all the time to make sure they aren’t working on an older version of a document. With the Dropbox, there is only one version. Those who can access it are updating in real time, and version control is basically automatic. This makes collaboration amongst teams very efficient and effective.

Sharing information is also very easy with Dropbox. In the old days you would have to use “ZIP” software to reduce the file sizes so you could send them via Email. With Dropbox there is no need to do this. Files of all sizes can be shared including pictures and videos, which typically won’t make it from one Email account to another because they are too big.

Because Dropbox is a “cloud” application, you can access it from any device that has access to the Internet. You can install software on your PC or MAC that makes the file sharing process easier, or just use the Internet version of Dropbox to access and modify files. You no longer have to Email files to yourself, like from your computer to your smartphone, to have access to them. They’ll always be available on the Dropbox.

To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your collaboration with others, and reduce the hassle in sharing files, Dropbox is an outstanding application to use.