A few months ago I began looking for an easy way to share my resources with others across multiple devices. I learned how to use Dropbox and I haven’t looked back. Dropbox allows me to lead my team virtually while keeping our ideas, files, media, and work centrally located.
I thought I’d share my workflow and best practices with you since I’ve become such a big fan of Dropbox. I used to think Dropbox was just for the trendy or for creatives. I’ve used the service many times when sharing files with my web team, video producers, ad agency, ect. Never before have I used Dropbox as a leadership tool until now.
Dropbox is simple to install on multiple devices and even simpler to set up. Additionally, it is easy for your colleagues to download and use. I have found Dropbox to be an invaluable tool that allows me to share work and resources. Dropbox allows me to:
- Sync with my EA – I send Wendy documents to work on, artwork for my blog and most recently images and clips that she used to help create an incredible video that will be showcased in the lobby of Allied Equipment.
- Sync with my Business Partners – We use Dropbox to store documents and work sent to us by our vendors. Additionally, everything we send out is stored in Dropbox. This gives each partner an instant look at the current status of our work, keeping us all on the same page. This is critical since none of us work within 500 miles of the others.
- Share my Devices – My work goes with me where I go. Dropbox has been the only real file management tool that has enabled me to leave the office and work where ever I want. I use my iPad to read over contracts at home and pull media from my home computer for a posts I’m working on. Then I can access them all on my workstation at the office.
I’ve learned to follow a few rules for using Dropbox as a leader;
- Divide Folders – Create your personal folders and shared folders separately. This way you know that the documents in your folders will only be changed by you. Additionally, you know anything in the shared folder is subject to being edited by others and thus is always the latest copy.
- Share Folders Individually – I like to create a folder for each project but give different people access to individual documents not the entire folder. This way you can have multiple employees working on the same project at one time while keeping responsibilities divided. This helps your team divide and conquer.
- Recycle Documents – To save space, have others remove files when they work on them, then upload the newest version when edited. Dropbox is a free service up to 2GB. To prevent your colleagues from having to purchase an upgrade, load a file to the system and have them remove it to work on it. This serves two purposes. It lowers the amount of space you are using and allows you to know when they commence and finish their work.
Dropbox has quickly become a household name because of the flexibility it affords individuals who want to access information on multiple devices. This multi-device access can also help teams become more productive and cohesive. The ability to adopt new technology that brings teams together virtually is key to achieving success as a modern day leader.
How does your team share information effectively?