What Is Dropbox?
Dropbox is a free, online storage solution that’s available to the public. It allows you to save files to a special location on your computer, which are backed up to a central server. The most useful feature is that it syncs across all devices that have Dropbox installed.
This makes it very easy to keep files in sync, share files with other devices and even with other people. As it stores a copy of your file, it also provides a backup solution, which I’m sure you know is important as an IT professional. It also works with Windows, Mac, and mobile devices such as iOS and Android.
How To Set Up Dropbox
Setting it up is pretty easy:
- Head over to www.dropbox.com and click on Download.
- Save the file to your computer.
- Run the installation file and install Dropbox
- Select a folder to use as your Dropbox folder. This can change with each computer you install it on, but it’s the folder that Dropbox uses to sync files to.
- You’ll also need to create an account for Dropbox.
Once it is installed, you can put files and folders into this Dropbox folder. If the Dropbox application is running, the files will be uploaded to the Dropbox service, and downloaded on other devices that have it installed.
Some workplaces don’t let you download Dropbox onto the computer. This is OK, you can still use Dropbox. You can still access your Dropbox files by logging into your account at www.dropbox.com and downloading/uploading from there. It’s a bit more work but it’s still quite easy.
What You Can Use Dropbox For At Work As An IT Professional
There are many things that I’ve used Dropbox for as an IT professional, either at work or doing work-related tasks. I’ll list a few of them here:
- Sharing files between my home and work computers. If I need to transfer a file between my work and home computer, and it’s too big for email, then I put it on Dropbox. Actually, I do this anyway, as it’s just easier than emailing a file to yourself. Keep in mind that any files that are not safe for public viewing (such as system specifications or source code) probably shouldn’t be put on Dropbox. However, other material might be suitable.
- Backing up personal documents. Sometimes I work on personal documents and stuff during the work day, such as in my lunch break. I could be searching for a new place to rent, or comparing models of phones, or something else. I’d like to be able to save this information to access it at home or wherever I am. I can save this to Dropbox to access it later, and not worry about where my latest version is.
- Storing your resume. This is an important one. I think the best place for your resume to be stored is on Dropbox. It’s something you keep for a long time, something that you might need to access in many places, and should be backed up. Storing your resume (and associated cover letters and reference documents) on Dropbox is a great way to keep them backed up. I show you how to create a resume in my IT Resume Results course.
- Uploading photos from your phone automatically. Another thing I use Dropbox for is uploading photos from my phone automatically. Sure, you can select photos and upload them to Dropbox manually (which is a good idea in itself). However, I really like automating parts of my life where I can, so doing it automatically saves this step. There’s a setting in Dropbox that allows you to upload photos automatically, whether all the time or just when you’re on Wifi (mine’s on Wifi Only). This means that any photos I take, such as screenshots of my phone or photos of things at work, get uploaded automatically. I can then download them from Dropbox onto other areas of my PC, preventing me from connecting the phone to download photos.
Well, I hope these tips have been helpful for you. What other uses do you have for Dropbox at work? Share them in the comments section below!
Career Action Tip: Download Dropbox onto your devices and move some of your files there that you wish to back up and have synced.