We’ve covered collaboration tools in the past, andfor its ease of use and inexpensive offerings (including a personal favorite price: free for 2GB of storage space). We wanted to return to the program this Tech Friday because Dropbox continues to develop and people are finding new ways to use it.
For a reminder on the practicals of Dropbox: individuals get 2 gigabytes of storage for free, which allows you to sync files and folders among your computing and mobile devices − the premise of ‘rates go up by 50 GB increments up to the ‘Teams’ level that start at a Terabyte. But what’s really good news is that late last year Dropbox started !.’ From there,
Once you get signed up for the account, what can you do with it?
Plenty, though a few your organization might want to use with some caution. First and foremost, Dropbox was designed to make syncing and sharing of files and folders easy, including images and video (though video files will chew up a 2gb free account pretty quickly). Once a file or folder is set up within the Dropbox system, your other devices can be connected with your account’s name and password so they also have access to the most up-to-date versions. Here is a video that demonstrates the easy synchronization process:
One thing that the video shows is how to share galleries of images in a simple yet sleek presentation − a wonderful way to share snapshots of your latest fundraiser, right? Yes, but to give people access to those images, you must give them access to the materials on Dropbox. With a ‘Shareable Link’ you can certainly share only the images (or a specific folder) with a wider audience, but you give them full access to those files, which means they can download and use the materials. Though they cannot sync up new or modified files, you will have handed control of a full copy of those files to the larger world.
Such concerns should certainly be taken into account, but do not fret about them. The whole point of Dropbox is sharing, and with a Teams account you can even establish up to 5 users who can share with each other within the organization and via Shareable Links with your nonprofit’s larger audience. If you are ready to do a little bit of work in the Mac Terminal (bypassing the OSX visual interface to work on the command line), you can even run multiple Dropboxes at the same time.
There’s just one more thing: your organization can even post its website on its Dropbox account via a plugin called DropPages. It creates a folder within your account that allows you install a simple website and ‘share’ it with the world, all for only the cost of registering a domain name via a DNS registration site (usually less than $10). DropPages keeps everything in sync (of course) and saved and accessible by any device if you need to make any edits on the go.
Think about how handy it would be to have your most important databases and documents synced and saved, to have the ability to share files with colleagues in the field on their smartphones, to have a useful website established for almost free… And if you know of other ways to make Dropbox work for you, please share them with us!