Modern technology enables a team to operate in different locations across your company and the world. If you’re a software developer, there’s no reason why you couldn’t pick the best programmers based in Germany, document writers from the UK, whilst your graphic artists could be based in the States.
The problem is bringing these people together. You need a system where your team or teams can share files and information, make sure that no-one overwrites someone else’s work and keep a collection of previously updated files, so you can quickly reverse back to a previous revision, if necessary. Doing this on your website requires you have the relevant versioning technology and that it will work across various operating systems. A versioning tool that works fine on Windows may not be suitable for OS X.
DropBox is an online sharing tool that enables you to select the files you want to share and synchronise with other users, then simply upload them to the remote site. That bit is done automatically, so you don’t need to worry about having to upload the files manually. You can share folders and collaborate with other users on the files within these folders. Versioning will stop work being overwritten.
You can just use DropBox on a personal level, too. If you own a desktop computer at home, use another at work and a laptop when you’re away from the office, simply use DropBox to synchronise your important files across each machine. You can also access your DropBox files from the web, if you need access from a temporary host PC.
Better still, setup your software so they write preferences to your DropBox folder, then sync these settings and preferences across your computers, enabling you to have the same setup across your desktop and laptop or PC and Mac. We use it to store our 1Password account and synchronise this data across our computers, meaning everyone has access to the same database.
DropBox will limit you to 2GB of free online storage (and you can purchase more, if required) and is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Note that this is the Experimental Edition which Dropbox release to forum members for testing. Other downloads sites make this available as the "release" edition. It isn't. Test with caution.
What's new in the forthcoming v3.1 series?
- Open from web: locally open a file on your computer from Dropbox.com
- OS X only. Support for auto-discovered and auto-configured network proxies
- Windows - New implementation of our File Explorer shell extension
- Norwegian language support
- Connection sharing for lower latency