Dropbox for Writers


Having spent some time bouncing round the different haunts on the web that writers frequent, one thing has become very clear.

Writers are writers.

And though they depend on technology to store their work, organize it, format it and submit it,  they are often not really friends with it.

I’m not even really friends with it, though my food on the table job is to teach doctors how to work with and code medical software.

But in real life, I have a love/hate relationship with my technology.

Zipped files and I do not get along. I still can’t figure out why sometimes on my laptop I can access my other home network computers, but sometimes I can’t.

And storage solutions never work for me. It locks me to a single workstation. Or that itty bitty damn flash drive keeps disappearing. Or what happened to my back up???

Finally though, it seems I stumbled onto a solution that solves all of my problems – access from multiple stations, storage capacity and backup.

Dropbox.

I never push products, it’s not what I do here. But I thought this could help many of my writer friends solve some of their problems.

Dropbox can be downloaded onto any computers that you access. When you have a file stored there, it is accessible from any of those computers, but also by logging into the Dropbox website from any computer, so this solves access to WIP issues.

The web based aspect of it also solves another issue – if your computer dies (as mine are wont to do), no problem. Everything is stored on the cloud. No lost files. Yay!

Storage is flexible too. 2Gs free, more at a small fee, but for every referral you make, Dropbox grants you n additional .5 Gs so big WIPs stored there can release memory usage on your PC or laptop.

Dropbox has another element that makes it particularly helpful for writers – the ability to share access to selected folders, while keeping others private.

Here is an example:

In the above picture, the “Checklists” folder is a shared folder that I and the 8 other members of my work team access from various parts of the country for my day job. We can all see and work with what’s in there.

The “Photos” one is shared only with my Mother-in-law in Florida so she can see pics of her grandson.

The files you see out in the open are partially written items for work I’m not sharing yet, and I just deleted a folder that had Short Stories in it that was visible only to me.

What you want to be private can be, but if you want a beta-reader to have access to a novel length work, Dropbox saves you from having a gigantic email attachment, or breaking it up. Just put it in a separate folder and issue a share invite to that one folder. Done.

Piece of cake. If you’re a writer (or a student) you should check it out. And if you found this post helpful, check it out from here –

Always have your stuff when you need it with Dropbox. Sign up for free! http://db.tt/OPAcploK

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “Dropbox for Writers

  1. I’ve been using Dropbox for about 6 months now and LOVE it! I was soooo tired of carrying that USB all over the place so I could work on stuff at home, out, or at work. And then what if it CORRUPTED?!?!
    I made the switch and have been loving it. It’s easy. It’s intuitive. It’s straight forward. And it all syncs automatically. FAB. BOU. LOUS!

    Like

    • I was using it now and then to store WIP stuff, because I have been bitten 3 times with bad files – a failed mother board, lost usb and unreadable discs. So many words gone, I was about to go back to pen and paper. This seemed to solve all of my problems, and so far so good. Then my work peeps ran into a problem due to the fact that we are scattered across the country with no home base. Dropbox to the rescue! Now if one of us has an emergency, the rest of us can seamlessly pick up their work and roll through it. Made me think how easy would it be to share a WIP with beta readers via dropbox instead of giant email attachment? Now I’m all antsy to get to that point. You know – cart before the horse and all!

      Like

  2. I have used Dropbox for several months now. I love it for photography too! I can move photos back and forth from my phone to the computer for editing or whatever my needs are. Very nice program!

    Like

    • The photo aspect is great! I used to attach Christmas photos to emails for my mother in law, 5 months after the holiday, one slow attachment at a time. It was painful. This is SO much better, and they give you such a fair amount of space for free that it’s nuts not to take advantage of it.

      Like

  3. Pingback: Backing Up « creativityorcrazy

  4. Pingback: Talking toilet encourages people to call a cab! – Natalie Hartford

  5. As an iPad user i backup all my things i type on my iPad to iCloud from Pages (IOS) then every so often ill go into the iCloud website and then go to each folder, select everything then download it all to a thumb drive and copy, paste that to multiple drives so i always have a backup, eg. One to a school USB, one to my workplace USB and one to my actual computer. Takes a while but it works. As a techie i have to sometimes remind people about the importance of backups… (Backup, backup, backup!) so when i come into the room i can immediately go “ok, i need to Reimage your computer and you will lose everything saved locally”.

    Like

I'd love to hear what you think - comments make my day!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s