Working in Teams: Dropbox to the Rescue!

The work I do is generally pretty solitary, but in the last couple of months, I’ve had to work with teams more than usual, and it’s been Dropbox to the rescue every time. Even if you think you have filesharing handled with networked computers, Google Docs (s goog), or something else, I strongly encourage you to check out Dropbox.

Dropbox is simple, yet rich. And it’s got more going for it than simple file transfer and cloud storage. In fact, what makes it really special is the file syncing. You can work with your Dropbox files and folders locally, right on your computer, and they’re automatically synced with the files on the website. And it will also work with the most popular mobile devices: iPhone (s aapl), iPad, BlackBerry (s rimm) and Android.

Here are some examples of how Dropbox has come in handy for me lately:

  1. I was part of a team of writers who were covering a major conference. The team leader had a lot of info to organize and share with the writers and her co-leader in advance (session plans, speaker bios, schedules, travel info, etc.). She wanted something that would be more efficient than email, save her some time, and keep her, the team, and the materials organized. I spent 10 minutes on the phone walking her through Dropbox explaining specifically how I thought it would work for her, and she was sold. One of her challenges was that some of the writers were not very tech- or web-savvy; Dropbox’s easy-to-use interface interface was essential to their adopting her system and the tool.
  2. My husband and I manage translation projects. He deals with the clients, I deal with the translators. In the last two months we’ve had to manage 10 projects involving 28 translators, and that can get a little hairy. Even though our computers are networked, we have all the files we use for job tracking in a Dropbox folder. We update the files when it’s convenient, and because the files are all kept in sync we know that we’re working with the most current info. Also, when I needed to get huge PDF (s adbe) user manuals to translators for reference, I just created a Dropbox folder for that purpose and sent them all invites.
  3. A client lost 90 Mb of files that I’d delivered months earlier and needed them urgently. He sent me a Dropbox invite and he had the files in minutes.
  4. I installed Dropbox on my iPhone and another app called PlainText, which automatically creates its own folder in my Dropbox. Twice in the last couple of weeks, I’ve jotted down notes in PlainText on my iPhone while at semi-social, semi-work lunches with people. When I got home, my notes were already stored on my computer and I could follow up effortlessly.

If you want to see what else Dropbox can do, check out Scott’s How I Use Dropbox For Maximum Productivity.

A 2Gb Dropbox is free. Pro accounts offer more storage; a Pro 50 account provides 50 Gb and costs $9.99 per month, while a Pro 100 account offers 100 Gb of storage for $19.99 per month.

How do you use Dropbox?

Photo by stock.xchng user tatlin.

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