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.
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