Why I Use and Recommend Dropbox: How Dropbox Can Make You More Efficient So You Can Work Less

cloud computing, web software, cloud software, dog computerTell me if this sounds familiar: you have multiple computers in your life, and every computer has different files on it.

You may also have a iPhone or an Android phone, and/or an iPad or other tablet computer, each of which has its own files, photos, or documents.

No matter what computer you are on, it seems like the file you need is on your other computer, right?

For years, this was a major frustration for me. I would be on one computer and I would need a file that was always on my other computer.

Either I would be at home and need a file off my work computer, or I’d be at work and need a file off my home computer.

Usually that meant I would be constantly emailing a document back and forth between my home and work computers, leading to there being multiple versions of a document and I was never quite sure which one was the “newest” version.

It was just a little frustrating. Actually, it was really frustrating. I constantly thought there should be a better way – a way of always keeping documents shared among my work computer, two home laptops, iPad, and smart phone.

Kind of like having a home network but without all the hassle and expense of setting it up.

It turns out someone created a solution. It’s called Dropbox.

If you aren’t using Dropbox or haven’t heard of it, I really encourage you to check it out.

(Note: I’m signed up as an affiliate for Dropbox, meaning if you click on my Dropbox link and sign up for a free trial, I will get a little more space on my Dropbox account. However, I would recommend Dropbox highly even if they didn’t dangle that carrot out for affiliates.)

With Dropbox, you install a little piece of software on each of your computers that allows you to create a separate folder on each of your computers where you can synchronize your files.

Any changes you make to your documents in this folder changes the document on all of the computers.

How Dropbox Can Make You More Efficient

Dropbox allows you to have all your photos, videos, and documents easily accessible on multiple devices (i.e. your PC or Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android device, etc.).

You can also use it to easily share large files. For example, when I had a technical problem with a large video file recording of a webinar I had hosted, I was able to share the file easily using Dropbox with a virtual assistant I found on Odesk, who then fixed the problem quickly.

If you’re still confused about how Dropbox works, here’s the Dropbox introductory video explaining in very simple terms how they work:

Just a few years ago, if you wanted to set up a secure server to store your electronic files for a new business, you could have spent thousands on a dedicated box that sat in a closet in your expensive office.

The box would be obsolete the day you purchased it. You probably also needed to pay an IT guy to set it up for you and to come out every time it went down. Which could be frequently.

I worked at offices like this. Every time the server went down, it cost money, because no one could get work done.

For a long time, this was a major barrier for new companies which were just starting out. How do you start your own small business if you have to spend thousands of dollars on equipment just to get up and running?

Fortunately, Dropbox has become a workaround. It’s a great “hack” that will seriously increase your productivity and reduce your stress level.

I started trying out Dropbox when I was still working for a law firm.  When I quit my job and went to work for myself a few months later, I made the decision to put all of my files on Dropbox.

The choice to use Dropbox as my server has been a great decision for me. All my files are available no matter what computer I am working from – as well as from my phone or iPad.

At the same time, I can rest assured knowing that my files are 100% secure with bank-grade security and fully backed up in the event that something happens to my computer.

I haven’t had any problems with downtime and I haven’t once had to call out an IT guy. I haven’t had to sit around twiddling my thumbs (and watching money fly out the door) while waiting for a IT guy to to fix a $5,000 box in the closet.

I also love how easy it is to share large files with contractors and virtual assistants. Because I scan everything using my Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M (affiliate link), I’ve been able to share entire files with contractors in minutes, rather than having to wait for them to come in to my office to pick up a physical file.

Although Dropbox won’t do all your work for you – you can’t just stay home in your pajamas all day once you start using it – it is one small way to make yourself more efficient so you can work less.

The Bottom Line: Don’t take my word for it. Try it out yourself.

Dropbox gives you a free 2GB to get started, which is like giving someone a small taste of crack. Soon you will be hooked like me. You can also get another 500MB per person you refer – which is pretty easy to do.

The next level up is just $10/month for 50GB – which is still a great deal.

I know this probably sounds like a commercial, but really, I am a huge fan of this company.

They saw a pain that consumers were experiencing and created a solution that works effortlessly and elegantly – which is a great way of creating a profitable business that will spread like wildfire.

There are a lot of competitors that have gotten in on the action, including major players like Amazon and Google. I hope all this competition doesn’t kill off little ol’ Dropbox. It feels kind of like David is becoming surrounded by a lot of Goliaths.

Check it out and me know your thoughts in the comments below.