Monday, May 9, 2011

Writerly Tools: Dropbox

Writers like to complain about writing. We like to whine about how time consuming it is and how brain numbing it is. How cruel and efficient our critique partners are at ripping our hearts out. How we've re-written chapter eight four times and it's still not good. However, all of these things pale in comparison to one writerly woe: losing your work.

I'm sure we've all done it at least once.

You accidentally empty your trash before realizing something's wrong. Your harddrive undergoes nuclear meltdown and you never bothered to make a backup of your manuscript. Your flash drive gets run over in a parking lot long before you realize it's missing. Cue the panicking and the crying and the screaming and the uncontrollable self-directed rage.

Well, I'm about to show you a backup plan that doen't require a lot of effort on your part. Gone are the days were you need to remember to do a backup or you need to have an external drive plugged in so your backup can be underway. Because today is the day you learn about Dropbox.

Dropbox is an online file hosting service. In other words, it's a place where you can store stuff on the internet. What makes Dropbox so great in comparison to all the other online storage places? Simple synchronization. Backing a file up online is as easy as saving and keeping it in a certain folder. And that's why I'm going to share five reasons why you should give Dropbox a chance:
  1. Dropbox is super easy
    All Dropbox is, is a folder. You install the program and that sets up a folder to be automatically synced to a secure online server. That's it. If you want something backed up, you put it in the folder and Dropbox gets to work. No need to worry or fuss.
  2. Dropbox is a filesharing wonder
    Not only can you keep private online backups, but you can make public ones too. Dropbox lets you create Shared Folders, which are only accessible to the people you share them with. Keep your manuscript permanently in the Dropbox, and your critique partners can access it at any time!
  3. Dropbox works everywhere
    Like many programs, Dropbox is crazy compatible. This allows you to keep synced dropboxes on multiple platforms and access your files anywhere. Right now it's Mac, PC, Linux, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, and web platform friendly.
  4. Dropbox lets you look at old files
    Seriously. Have you ever edited something, waited a week, and then realized you need the unedited version? Dropbox keeps snapshots of every changed file for 30 days and it's just a few clicks to get the old version back. If you get the Pro Version of Dropbox, you can set it up so your file history is saved forever.
  5. Dropbox is free or paid
    The free packages is a sweet 2GB, which is fine if you use this for writing purposes. However, but getting people to sign up via referral link, you can up that to 10GB. Or you can pay upgrade to the Pro Version and get 50GB or 100 GB of space.


Brenna Braaten said...

1. Where do you find these wonderful tools.

2. I want this so bad it hurts.

3. Where is your file so I can peak at your lovely work?

Sarah Robertson said...

1) I'm a computer ninja, yo.


3) You don't want to peak at my lovely work. Trust me. :P

Brenna Braaten said...

1. No, really, I want to know.


3. Oh yes, I do.

Sarah Robertson said...

1) Well, when I first got my computer I did a bunch of searches on vague things like "best mac programs" and such. *shrug* Also, still a ninja.

2) Yay! XD

3) Hahahahaha. That's what you think.

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