Dropbox has captured many hearts a long time ago. This little tool allows you to sync a so-called “Dropbox” folder to different computers – and on top of that provides online backup with web access.
That alone if worth respect. They also give you 2GB of free access – which you can expand to either 50GB or 100GB for some monthly/yearly $$$, but I personally find the 2GB perfect sufficient – at least for right now.
Many companies praise their products as “It Just Works!“. Even though Dropbox never even mentions anything like that – this tool is absolutely reliable, fast, and most of the action happens behind the scenes. You’ll be surprised how simple the interface is – after all, the Dropbox team does advance usability testing before releasing any new feature.
I’m talking here from a graphic designers point of view. Now even that would be great – sync your graphic files to another computer, without worrying about when and where, plus having a backup in case everything breaks. But that’s not all Dropbox can do.
Especially for us graphic designers, one feature comes in very handy – Revision Control.
Remember all these days where you grab a file, edit it and save – and later realize it now looks worse? Ever wanted to return to a previous version? Not only in case something goes wrong Dropbox jumps in. It can also be a nice way of monitoring your progress.
Now the most awesome thing about Dropbox is people always coming up with new ideas how to use it. The world has even been witness of somebody using it for farming (no kidding – he was sending commands to his tractors by simply dropping them into the Dropbox folder, which was being accessed by the tractors’ computers.)
Dropbox is great for syncing two computers – now imagine these two computers being right next to you! The other day, while working on some project, I was able to do the actual design job on my desktop (with the big screen), while I used my little netbook for the work “around” the design.
There were lots of little files involved, and all of them were saved into the Dropbox. Almost instantly (I mean, less than a second (!) later) the files were already synced to the other computer. The moment I hit the save button on one computer, a little notification popped up on the other one, saying “File XXX has been successfully updated”.
The best part about it was, I was able to gather all the files, archive and send on the little laptop to my left, while designing in full-screen on the desktop.
On top of that, one computer was running Linux, and one Windows.
Dropbox has truly the power to ease a lot of workflows. There is still work to do, like syncing any folder, or excluding files from syncing to a particular computer – but even with what we got right now, Dropbox is incredibly awesome.