Thing 19: Share a Document Using Dropbox
Collaboration requires a lot of on-the-go technology—phone, laptop, iPad, office computer—which in turn can create a great deal of confusion when it comes to tracking down the documents you save on each. Where did you save that file? Video? Photo attachment? If it is on your home computer and you are working at university, and that piece of information suddenly becomes crucial, it not only stalls the entire operation, but can also make you seem unorganised and unprofessional. Unless you are superhuman, and have an immense photographic memory (which I definitely don’t) you are going to need all the help you can get to keep track of the documents you pass between yourselves, keep them up to date, and be able to put your hands on them whenever required.
Why should you use Dropbox:
Dropbox is one such service that keeps track of your documents, files, photos and videos, using cloud storage to synchronize files across the internet so that they can be shared amongst users, between computers, and any mobile device that can access the internet. Importantly, Dropbox actively encourages users to share files with others by setting you up with a “Public Folder” when you register for an account. It is the only folder on Dropbox that automatically creates a public “link” to every file you put into it. Sharing the file is then straightforward. Simply click on the public folder, and right click on the file you want to share. Navigate to the Dropbox menu and click “Copy Public Link”. You can then save the link to your clipboard and paste it into any web browser you want (such as Twitter, for example). If you want to share a file with a limited number of individuals, you do not need to use the public folder. Simply create a subfolder of the files you want to share, right click it, navigate to “Options” and click “Share this folder”, you can then add the email addresses of your collaborators to the text field.
For Thing 19, we are asking you to share a document using Dropbox. Use these step-by-step instructions to get started.
- Making use of Dropbox (covers all the ins and outs of Dropbox)
- Dropbox instructions (NB: these will be useful if you are using a computer that is not on campus: you will probably be unable to install Dropbox software onto your computer if it is networked on campus.)