This month, I want you to think outside the box. I would like to introduce you to an online software that might be very helpful to you. It is called Dropbox.

Dropbox is a service that allows you to store files in the cloud, access them from anywhere and share with anyone you want. You can invite business associates, friends or family to share a specific folder, and any changes made by one will automatically be saved to the other’s computer. It’s almost like magic! Here are a couple of handy ways that Dropbox can be used.

Access your own files from multiple devices. Dropbox gives you easy access to your documents or photos from anywhere you happen to be. Any file that you copy to your Dropbox folder will automatically saved, so that you can use them on any of your computers, your tablet or your smart phone. Let’s say that you work from multiple locations, such as a corporate office, a local office and your home office. You need your files to be available to you from all three. Just copy them to Dropbox, and they will automatically be updated no matter where you edited your files. Here are some examples:

Track projects, to work from multiple locations (perfect for a business trip).

Store reference materials that you need to consult while you’re away from the office.

Create your grocery list at home, use your tablet to add milk to the list while you’re at the gym, and use your smart phone while you’re actually shopping.

Share with others. Let’s say that you want to share documents or photos with someone on a regular basis. Dropbox explains that you can “invite your friends, family and teammates to any folder in your Dropbox, and it’ll be as if you saved that folder straight to their computers. When someone joins a shared folder, the folder appears inside their Dropbox, and syncs to their computers automatically.” There are tons of ways this software can be used.

Here are a few:

    • An attorney sharing contracts with a client
    • An administrative assistant keeping applications or forms up-to-date
    • A team project, with project files synced for everyone on the team
    • A granddaughter wants to share photos with grandma, who lives in another state
    • Adult offspring of elder parents, who share medical information with siblings
    • A company with multiple locations, that needs to keep policy documents up-to-date

Store important information. You can scan important personal documents such as your passport, driver’s license, marriage certificate, and store the scans in Dropbox. If there were ever a disaster, they are stored away from your originals.

No more emailing files as an attachment and no more zipping large files to send. If you want to give it a try, you can start with a free account. You can “earn” more free space by introducing the service to your friends. Larger amounts of space are available for a fee. If you want to learn more, start with their short tour: https://www.dropbox.com/tour. Can you tell that I love Dropbox?

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