Dropbox features and getting more space

Dropbox just posted an official guide to getting more free Dropbox space:


The “Take a Tour” option is an easy one and on completion it earns you 250 MB on top of the initial, free 2 GB. If you’re a student, be sure to activate the student option. All you need is a student email address. Then every friend you get to sign up earns you 500 MB rather than the mere 250 MB we non-students get. Have lots of friends? Then you can get tons of space.

For those who’ve never tried Dropbox’s free service, it’s a bit like have a 2 GB hard drive sitting off-site on the Internet. Every file you place into that Dropbox folder on your computer is also stored on distant machines. The advantages are these:

  1. If you just have one computer, it offers free, off-site backup. If something happens to that computer, say theft or fire, the files are there waiting for you. And while 2 GB isn’t much by today’s standards, it’s more than enough to back up the projects that most people are working on. You can burn older projects to DVDs and leave them at a friend’s house for safekeeping.

  2. If you have more than one computer (even it they are Macs and PCs), you can share that Dropbox folder between them. New files you save on one, appear on the other like magic. Changes you make to a file on one are changed on the others. There is a potential for trouble, but the scheme is so handy and reliable, I and a lot of others consider it worth the risk. The key thing to remember is to always close out a file on one computer before using that file on another computer.

  3. Scrivener is very Dropbox savvy, so savvy, I keep all my Scrivener documents inside my Dropbox folder. It allows me to edit at the library on my MacBook and at home on my iMac without the hassle of file transfers or klutzing with flash drives. And while it’s not risk-free, I find there’s less risk with Dropbox than there is that I’ll forget to do the USB shuffle and end up editing an older version or, even worse, lose that tiny flash drive.

  4. Synching with smartphones including iPhones is also possible. There’s no smartphone version of Scrivener, but you can have Scrivener save parts of your draft as text files that you can edit on a smartphone or an iPad via Dropbox. I don’t do that myself, but I do use notetaking apps like TaskPaper that synch via Dropbox. Any notes I take about a writing project on my iPhone automatically appear in that same (or similar) app on my Macs.[/list]

And if you do decide to give the free version of Dropbox a try, this odd-looking link will take you there and earn a bit of extra storage space for me at no cost to you:


There’s a clever video there that explains what Dropbox does.

Before going with Dropbox, however, you may want to read the discussion that AmberV started here:


It’ll give you the pros and cons of using Dropbox with Scrivener.

If you are part of a writing team. Dropbox also has additional, paid features for group collaboration. A friend who has an electrical contracting business uses Dropbox to keep all their papers in synch. It saves a lot of trouble and hassle.

–Michael W. Perry, Seattle