I’ve been a Dropbox user for as long as I can remember. The thing is, I feel as if I’ve used it in the same way that I initially used Evernote – by throwing a lot at it and not necessarily organizing it while doing so.
So what happened? Well, the same thing that happened with Evernote. I now have a resource that isn’t very effective because it’s in disarray. To be clear, my Dropbox isn’t out of control. It just isn’t as neatly organized as I’d like – and I’m certainly not using Dropbox’s features to their fullest.
Here are five of the things I’m currently using Dropbox for:
- Shared files with my wife. My wife and I share all of our pertinent files in Dropbox. This includes our You Need a Budget budgets, receipts she wants to track for Productivityist, and other documentation that we both need access to from time to time.
- Everything I write (almost). I use Byword to blog, so blog posts are synced to Dropbox so I can work on them anywhere. I don’t use Dropbox to store Scrivener stuff right now, but I hear it can do the trick now better than it has in the past, so that may change if I can make it work.
- Shared files with my team and clients. I have a Dropbox folder for my assistant, Amy. I have a folder I share with my speaking agent. I have a folder that I use to share worksheets and the like with my clients.
- Everything I read. Whenever someone sends me a book to read or a PDF to view, I save it in a folder in Dropbox called “To Read” so that I can view it easily on my iPad. I could save them in Evernote (and I might start at some point) but for now this flows really well. When I’m done reading something, I’ll move it to Evernote for future reference.
- Shared files with everyone else. Anyone who needs a file from me will usually get a Dropbox link. People who interview me and want my side of the audio. If someone wants me to send them a text file for use on their blog (unless they want it in Google Drive, which will happen occasionally). People who want a photo of me to use after interviewing me. If I’m sharing something with someone, it’ll be sent to them via a Dropbox link 90% of the time.
As you can see, I use Dropbox almost exclusively for sharing. While that’s fine, I know it’s not enough. I want to take better advantage of it and I’ve found a resource that will help me do just that.
It’s called The Ultimate Unofficial Dropbox Guide.
I’m going to use the guide to help me up my Dropbox game over the next few months (and likely beyond). After giving it a read I know there’s a lot more I could do with Dropbox – adding more Hazel rules to it and using it for screenshots, for example – and I intend on spending some time every week improving my Dropbox prowess. I’ll chronicle my progress every month and share it with you here (it’s been a while since I’ve had any sort of series here, after all) and hopefully you’ll be able to glean some goodness that you can use to improve your own productivity path with Dropbox. (Not using Dropbox yet? Click here to get a free account.)
I know there’s a lot more Dropbox can do for me and my productivity. It’s about time I start to make it happen. I’m looking forward to this journey and I can’t wait to show you where I wind up at the end of it.
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