The Techie Scheky series offers tips and tactics for being more productive and creative through technology (especially with a Mac).
Before you decide if you want to follow along with this series, let me introduce you to one application that will change your game (especially for those of you who use multiple computers). Dropbox is the app that you’ve had no idea that you’ve always needed. While it serves many purposes, the app is essentially a cloud-based hard drive that gets shared across all of your computers, tablets and smartphones.
What on earth does that mean?
Simply put, once you sign up and install their software, Dropbox creates the same folders on all of your devices and as long as you have internet service, it automatically synchronizes all of the files within that folder across all your devices whenever you make changes.
And how can I use that?
Do you find yourself working on the same files on multiple computers? Do you actually want to use your iPhone or iPad for work, but be able access the same files on your computer? Dropbox is the ultimate solution for having on-the-go access to your most important files1. It can also serve as the ideal, easy-to-access backup for your most essential files. My rule of thumb: if it is critical, throw it in Dropbox.
Oh and did I mention that it’s free?
Well, it is free to sign up for a 2GB account, and for most of you, that will be more than enough. I encourage you to support the developers, so be sure to sign up for more as you find more uses for the service.
Go all “Office Space” on your Jump Drives
You know what I mean by jump drives, right? Those keychain-size hard drives that plug into your USB that “help” you to share files between computers. I hate them with a passion. I either lose them, break them, or best of all, forget them when I really need them. Thankfully, I have not had a single need for one since I’ve signed up for Dropbox.
Dropbox is not only for your files, but your apps
This is where things start to get a little nerdy, but as we progress in this series, we will use Dropbox to store essential files for certain applications. So if you are planning on following along, be sure to sign up for an account.
For those of you who are already using Dropbox, rest assured that things are going to start getting geekier from here. It is an essential application for anyone. More than any other application on my Mac, my iPhone and my iPad, Dropbox has saved my bacon more times than I care to count.
- In fact it has really become the de facto hard drive that has been missing from both the iPhone and the iPad [↩]