Time to Startup!

The BizFilings blog covering business tips and trends.

Fantastic Free Cloud Apps, Part 1: DropBox

Published on Jul 11, 2011

Summary

Read our article, 'Fantastic Free Cloud Apps, Part 1: DropBox' at 'Time to Start Up,' the small business blog by BizFilings.
http://www.bizfilings.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Cloud-iStock_000016439767Small.jpg No matter what size your business, there are some extremely helpful apps for both Mac and PC platforms that are designed to serve you from high above in their own respective “cloud.” They can save you time and energy — not to mention lighten your virtual load — giving you access to notes, docs, pics, pdfs and web links from any computer, as well as many mobile devices. At Your Fingertips There’s no longer a need to carry around a flash drive or e-mail yourself a note or Web link. Since they live in the cloud, each of these apps can be accessed anywhere, at any time. They’re incredibly easy to use, and they’re free. What is the “Cloud?” According to CloudComputingDefined.com, cloud computing is, “internet-based computing whereby information, IT resources, and software applications are provided to computers and mobile devices on-demand.” In other words, you’re using a virtual hard drive that can be accessed from anywhere, instead of a local hard drive that’s physically connected to your computer or company’s network. But enough of the technical, let’s learn more about the first app we’re highlighting in this series: DropBox. Dropbox describes itself as, “a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. Dropbox also makes it super easy to share with others, whether you're a student or professional, parent or grandparent. Even if you accidentally spill a latte on your laptop, have no fear! You can relax knowing that Dropbox always has you covered, and none of your stuff will ever be lost.” You can place your entire documents folder in DropBox. If it’s really large, you can buy more space to store more. One of the great aspects of this app is that you can set up a Public Folder, making it easy for multiple people to have access to the same file. This helps streamline the workflow whether you’re working on an annual report, or your next big marketing campaign. Writers, art directors, your accountant — even your customers can have easy access to what you want them to see or work on. What Else Can DropBox Do?
  • Use it as your hard drive if you’ve run out of space on your computer. It’s portable, and always there when you need it
  • Store your iTunes media
  • Store company help files and policy documents
  • Use it as an additional way to back up your hard drive
  • Sync with your iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry device
Interested in learning more about DropBox? Macworld just ran a huge article about it in their August 2011 issue. There’s also an in-depth review of DropBox on the Macworld Web site. Business Blogs blog