Beyond Online Storage: 10 Cool Ways to Use Dropbox - Page 2

By Helen Bradley
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Even More Cool Ways to Use Dropbox

5. Share images

A new Dropbox feature lets it automatically detect camera cards, so you can upload your photos directly to a Dropbox folder. Even if you don't do this automatically, you can still select images in a folder and create a link to share them with others. You can also create an album of images on Dropbox and share that album with others. This is a great way, for example, to provide product images to your customers and retailers.

Wordpress plug-ins for Dropbox

Figure 3: Handy Wordpress plug-ins let you backup a Wordpress blog or website to your Dropbox.

6. Protect your passwords

A number of password applications, such as KeePass, use a database to store your passwords. If you move this database to a Dropbox folder, and then configure the application to look for its database in the Dropbox folder you can synchronize your passwords easily across a number of devices.

7. Remote printing

While you're on the road, you can use your mobile device and DropBox to print documents from your office printer, so they'll be ready and waiting for you when you get back to the office.

Start by creating a Dropbox folder to use for this "print queue," and then install a small script on the computer connected to the printer. The script tracks the folder you have nominated to be the print queue and whenever it sees a new file in the folder, it automatically sends it to the printer. The process is simple to setup; just use these detailed instructions and the free script.

8. Travel documents

Whenever you travel overseas, it's prudent to bring copies of your passport, birth certificate, credit cards and any other documents that you will need if your passport or wallet is lost or stolen. Instead of carrying paper copies of these documents, scan or photograph the documents and store them in a Dropbox folder so they'll be accessible anywhere.

9. Email important files to Dropbox

The service Send to Dropbox gives you way to email your files to Dropbox. Simply use the free service to log into Dropbox, and it will set up a folder in your account for your attachments and provide you with an email address to use to send files to Dropbox. Uploading to Dropbox is as easy as sending an email.

Send to Dropbox email feature

Figure 4: Use the Send to Dropbox service to email files direct to a special Dropbox folder.

10. Version control

Dropbox is an easy way to record the history of work done on a document. When you upload a newer version of a file, Dropbox keeps the older versions. Dropbox stores 30 days of document history for free accounts, and for paid accounts it stores unlimited versions. Since Microsoft dropped versioning from Word 2010 and since few other programs provide this as a feature, simply by saving files to a Dropbox folder you get access to versioning without any extra effort on your part.

There's Always a Caveat

When working with files on Dropbox, always remember to close the file and the application you are working with before you try to open that file on another computer. This is particularly important when saving passwords in a database stored in a Dropbox folder.

If you don’t close the file and the application, and then try to open that file on another computer, it creates a conflict that the application can’t resolve. Save your work, close your files and applications, and all will be well.

Helen Bradley is a respected international journalist writing regularly for small business and computer publications in the USA, Canada, South Africa, UK and Australia. You can learn more about her at her Web site, HelenBradley.com

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This article was originally published on November 15, 2013
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