Skip to main content

Collaboration with Dropbox

In an earlier post, I talked about how Dropbox ( all Dropbox posts here) had all but eliminated USB drives from our home.

That is only one of the huge benefits of Dropbox. I've been using it to collaborate with a few people.

I coordinate the Audio-Visual team at our church. We need three sets of slides each week, one each for the two services and a set of Announcement slides. The musical directors create the slides with the song lyrics, the church secretary does the announcement slides and the minister decides the Order of Service. I'll go in and add non-musical slides to the service slides (title, scripture lesson, offertory music etc.).

At first, this was a bear of an effort as everyone tried to email slides around. For a while, we tried the Documentation collaboration software OpenDocMan setup on my website, but that was over-engineered for our needs with document security and permission levels. It was hard for casual users to remember all the settings they needed to make to make slides visible to the rest of the team.

With Dropbox, I have created a folder called "This Week's Slides" in the church's Dropbox account. I then invited myself, and all the others to that shared folder.

Now, on my PC (and each of theirs) there is a folder in My Dropbox the current slides reside in. If I need to make changes, I open the file from there, make the changes and save them. A revision list lets me see who has made changes and when.






If necessary, we can roll back to a previous version.

There is no file check in/check out ability so the possibility exists that two people could have a file open and be making changes to it at the same time. The first one who saves it is fine, but the second persons changes are saved to a conflicted file I would then (as coordinator) have to reconcile the changes. It hasn't happened yet--our group is too small and we do not make a lot of changes to our files. For that reason, Dropbox is perfect for us. It may not work as well for larger groups with my dynamic files.

Even if you don't have a group of people collaborating, sharing folders has other uses.

My wife and the two young scholars in the house each have Dropbox accounts. I have a folder I share with each of them. It makes it easy to share files. Also, we have two printers in the house, a black and white only laser everyone is connected to, and a color printer. The color printer does not hold as much blank paper, so to be sure printing is done right, anyone needing a color printout saves the file as a PDF to my shared folder with them. Then I print it locally keeping an eye on the printer.

Dropbox is one of my five most useful tools. If you haven't try it out.

Shameless plea: I get can get a small bump in my free 2 gig of storage space by referring users. If you want to try Dropbox, could you sign-up using this link? Thanks!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Using Automagic to get around a bug in Android Auto

I recently purchased a Google Pixel XL 32g phone. It is by far the best phone I've owned.

It is great company on my daily commute. The Android Auto app warns me of traffic, plays my podcasts for me, and lets me dictate text messages.  I've combined it with ReadItToMe so that my incoming text messages are read aloud.

I noticed on my first afternoon commute though the Do Not Disturb icon was turned on on my Android watch. At the next traffic light I discovered that Do Not Disturb was on on the phone as well.

A Google search at home found I was not alone in noticing/suffering this.  The Android Product Forum had mention of it.

People first reported this back in November 2016, so hopefully a fix will be coming.

Meanwhile, I worked out a workaround using AutoMagic.

The flow below detects the launch of Android Auto and then turns off Do Not Disturb by setting the Ringer on, and turning the audio volume up. I have tested it briefly here at home, but not yet on a commute.



Update: 3/10/…

Recording your own notes with Google Voice

Note :   April 2016:  Frankly I don't know if this works anymore.  It is 7 years old.

I stopped using this when Google Now became useful on my phone, and I could dictate reminders using it.



I found a way a while ago to use Google Voice to record a personal note, transcribe it, and email it to me. A recent Lifehacker post "Five Things We'd Like to See in Google Voice" lists that need as their #5 request, so I realized what I'd figured out is not common knowledge.

In GV's Contacts, create a Group "Special Transcription"

To avoid listening to my standard voice mail when I call, I recorded a short voice mail greeting for this group simply saying "Record note now"

I added a contact with my own cell phone number as the only number, and made it the sole member of this group.

In GV's phone settings, I edited the settings for my cell phone. In the section "Direct access to voicemail when calling your Google number from this phone?" I se…

Your First Day with Evernote

I've written many times before about Evernote.  I love this program.  It is my brain's memory on steroids.  I have over 6000 notes in it now.  And I keep finding ever more uses for it.

While originally written in 2009, this post has been frequently updated.


New January 2012:  If you like what I write about Evernote, check out my 136 page e-book,
 "Get Productive Fast with Evernote".  Just $10.

Sunday October 11, 2009 I wrote about Evernote in my print column, Family Tech. If you are wondering what is Evernote, and why would I want to use it, start with the column.

I promised in that column this post to help new users get efficient fast with Evernote.

I thought I'd write a quick plan for someone's first day with Evernote. This is really meant for after you've installed the client to your computer, so this picks up after you've gone to  Evernote's Get Started Page and created an account and downloaded and installed a client for your primary computer.