My very organized niece, Emily, is getting married.
Emily is a successful business person with an MBA. Her role as "bride" is synonymous with "project manager." She and her mother (assistant project manager and financier of the project) gather information for the wedding, Emily types up her notes, and emails them to her mother. Emily has a spread sheet of the final arrangements, from the exact colors of the flowers (citrus), to the flavors of the cupcakes (carrot, lemon with lemon curd, strawberry, chocolate). As information is added, Emily updates her spread sheet and sends revised copies to Mom.
I had the honor of joining Emily and her mother at the bridal shop to select a dress. Emily arrived with a dog eared manila folder containing her copious, neatly typed notes. Every imaginable detail about the wedding was in that folder. The originals were safely saved on her laptop.
I have a nugget that can help Emily be even more organized, if that's possible! It can also help anyone who wants to easily access and share updated files on any computer and/or smartphone.
Gone are the days of the little thumb drive. Passe. So yesterday.
You create or download documents on your computer. You are able to automatically access those documents from any computer, your smartphone, and your iPad.
Never email yourself a file again!
Whenever the documents are updated, the new, revised versions are instantly accessible on any computer, and on all of your devices.
You also want to be able to easily share your documents folder with someone else, let's say, your boss, your assistant, your co-worker, your spouse, your parent, your travel partner, your wedding planner. Any time a document in the folder is updated, the newly revised copy is automatically shared with whomever you designate. They can also pull up the up-to-the-minute revised documents on any computer, and on their smartphone.
You have documents that you want to share with many different people. For example, you are giving a seminar and the attendees want copies of your handouts. Instead of hard copies, you are able to give them a link directly to the file. They can immediately pull up your handouts on their laptops or smartphones.
Or, instead of attaching several documents to emails, you just email everyone a link to the file.
In addition to documents, you can do all of this with photos, music files, and videos!
Do I have your attention? Can you think of ways this can simplify your life?
Dropbox. To go to the Dropbox website, click here.
Dropbox is a free program that allows you to save, sync, and share files on line. It is very easy to use. You don't ever again have to confine your documents, photos, or files to one computer.
And you can throw those dog eared file folders away for good.
You just download Dropbox to all of your computers, and your iPhone, Blackberry, Android smartphones. I also have Dropbox on my iPad.
Then, when you "save" a document or file to your computer, you "drop" it or copy it into Dropbox.
If you are working on a project with someone (or a team) and they have Dropbox on their gadgets, you can work out the same folders. Dropbox will automatically sync updated information to everyone's Dropbox.
Or, if you want to give anyone (non-Dropbox users included) access to a file, you put the file into the "Public" folder in your Dropbox account, right click, and it will give you an option to copy a link to the file that you can use in emails, blogs, websites, seminars, etc.
For example, you can send the link to your favorite Aunt and she can see some of your wedding details and pictures of your dress.
Or, instead of trying to email Grandmother thirty photos of yourself trying on dresses, or sending them through your Kodak, Picasa, or Flickr account (where the recipients can't save the photos to their own computer), you can send Grandmother the Dropbox link. Then she can save the ones she wants without subscribing.
There are so many ways to use Dropbox and it is really easy. You don't have to be a successful business person with an MBA to figure it out.
Now, if I help Emily get more organized do you think she'll let me be her cupcake taster?