Dropbox is a software programme that you install on your Apple Mac or PC computer in order to share and send files to over an Internet connection. You can even install it on your smart phone or iPad.
Have you ever needed to send someone an important file, but it was too large to include as an e-mail attachment? Burning to CD or DVD is very time consuming and even posting a USB stick can take a lot of time from your day. This is where Dropbox excels; it will allow you to share large files such as video, large databases or Excel spreadsheets, PDF catalogues and multiple high resolution photographs or MP3s.
Dropbox has already become a popular leading leading tool for file sharing files and it is likely to become as common place in the office as using Microsoft Office or e-mailing.
Here’s how to get started
Navigate to the Dropbox website and create yourself a free account and download the software when prompted: www.dropbox.com
Dropbox is an icon that sits on your desktop, within this special folder you can organise your files just like any other directory or folder on your computer.
Lets say I wanted to share a collection of photographs with someone else.
- I would double click on the blue Dropbox icon in order to open the folder
- I would right click somewhere within the active window and select “New > New Folder” from the menu to create a new blank folder.
- Give your new folder an appropriate name. For example the name of the project, person or company with whom you want to share files with.
- Copy and paste the files you want to share into your newly created folder. (make sure you share copies of a file and not the original)
- Come back out a level and then right click on your new folder and select Dropbox > Sharing
- On the new browser window that open enter the e-mail addresses of the person or people who you would like to share these files with. You can even provide a short message to explain what you’re sharing and why.
- The other person will receive an e-mail informing them that someone would like to share the contents of a folder with them.
- Whenever somebody updates a file or adds something new to the folder you will receive a tooltip style notification in the bottom corner of the screen telling you.
Reasons for businesses to learn and start using Dropbox
- It lets you share with multiple people at once
- You save time—you can share your files quickly without the need to explain everything through the formalities that come with written e-mails.
- You can send large files
- You can access these same files from a smart phone or tablet whenever you need.
- Collaboration—Dropbox allows both people to make changes to a file or document and synchronise the changes automatically between both people, eliminating the need for back and forth e-mails.
- Your documents and important files are stored securely in ‘the cloud’, the days of having clunky backup servers and external hard drives may be coming to an end.
- Dropbox provide a free account of 3GB storage space as standard, and this can easily be upgraded through paid plans if desired.
- Dropbox can be accessed and used through a website, which means you can even continue to use the service even if you do not have the option of installing software on the computer or machine that you’re using.