The Most Effective Solution for Blogging Crises: Dropbox

By: | July 28, 2015 | Tags: , , , |

#Dropbox helps #bloggers.“No problem,” explained the blogger who accidentally spilled coffee on her computer.

“Not a big deal,” offered the blogger whose needed laptop was not accessible.

“Not a concern,” expressed the blogger who had no access to a computer.

“Not an issue,” maintained the blogger whose flashdrive was missing.

“No sweat,” uttered the blogger whose photos were on a missing camera.

“No worries,” assured the blogger who had no Internet access.

“No need to panic,” whispered the blogger whose blogging partner was unavailable.

All of these bloggers had an editorial schedule to maintain.

Why weren’t they worried about not meeting their publication commitments?

They all had one thing in common–Dropbox.

What is Dropbox?

Dropbox is a free storage service.  You can use it both on and off line to store documents, photos, audio, and videos.

Whatisdropbox.com actually calls Dropbox a “magic tool” which makes CD’s, flashdrives, and other storage devices obsolete.  It even makes Emailing documents to yourself and others passé.

How Dropbox Helps Bloggers

The first three bloggers described in the introduction all had the same problem.  They had no access to their computers.

Blogger 1 spilled coffee all over her computer and fried it.  Blogger 2’s laptop was not accessible since she wanted to blog on vacation but left it behind.  Blogger 3’s family all fought over use of their one computer, and the blogger lost the fight.

If their notes, drafts, or outlines for future blog posts were in Dropbox, they would be able to access their notes on any computer anywhere.  They would log into the Internet, go to Dropbox.com, sign in, and access their documents.

It wouldn’t matter if they had saved their documents on a PC and tried to open them on a Mac.  They could even access Dropbox from their phone since it is an app as well as a website.

Blogger 4, in the scenarios above, was missing a flashdrive.  A blogger would keep needed blogging items on a flashdrive like photos, notes, and outlines.  Dropbox makes flash drives obsolete, so a lost flashdrive really is not a problem.

Blogger 5 was missing a camera.  If the photos had already been uploaded and stored at Dropbox.com, the fact that the camera was missing would be irrelevant.

Blogger 6 was on a cruise with no Internet access in the middle of the ocean and couldn’t access needed blogging outlines.  Because Dropbox works offline as well as online, that isn’t a concern.  It’s an app that comes on newer machines that stores whatever you have at Dropbox.com when you are on the Internet.

Blogger 7 shared the administration of her blog with a partner.  She was on the cruise with Blogger 6, without Internet, and without her partner.  Since both bloggers could open Dropbox from wherever they were, and Dropbox works offline, there was no need to Email documents to each other or be together.

In addition to being used for storage, Dropbox expedites your blogging tasks since you no longer have to send photos and documents through Email.

 

How to Use Dropbox

1. Go to Dropbox.com and make an account.

Dropbox helps blogging

The screenshot shows the inside of my Dropbox.

Dropbox is simple.  There are only three icons you need to be concerned with.

I have a red #1 over the icon to upload an individual file. I offer a free incentive to bloggers who sign up for my blog through MailChimp.  I uploaded my incentive to Dropbox, so even when I am on vacation and away from my computer or the Internet, I have access to my incentive to send to new subscribers.

I have a red #2 above the folder icon.  In the screen shot, there are five folders all containing various documents and photos.  To make a new folder to keep your individual items in, click this icon.

I have a red #3 above the “shared” folder icon.  If you want to share items in a folder with others, click that icon.

When you do, a section pops up for you to invite others to share your folders by putting in their Email.  When they accept the invitation to share, you get the extra storage!

Note: If you run out of storage, you could buy more for a nominal fee.  However, the more you invite people to share your Dropbox folders, the more storage Dropbox gives you.  I have many folders and files of all types, and I’ve never had to pay for use.  Due to my sharing personal photos I have in Dropbox with my family members, I have earned a great deal of free storage.

2. Get the Dropbox app.  Look at my graphic above and then your desktop.  Do you have the icon in the graphic?  If not, you need to download it.  I get my apps from the app store.

Dropbox is that simple.  Offline?  Open the app.  Online?  You have a choice.  Dropbox is interchangeable across devices as well as platforms.

In conclusion, an expression goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  Dropbox is that “ounce of prevention.”  Another expression is “err on the side of caution.”  You can’t be too cautious when depending on technology as bloggers do.  Use Dropbox for your storage needs, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your blogging needs are secure.  You’ll have Dropbox and not a crisis.

Blogging can be complicated.  However, using Dropbox to help you is easy, quick to use, and free.

If you think others can benefit from not having blogging stress or concerns, please share this post.

Readers, do you use Dropbox now?  What is your opinion?  Would you recommend Dropbox over Evernote, Evernote over Dropbox, or do you use both?  I look forward to your views.

Related post:

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  1. The Story Reading Ape

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    External Hard-drive or Cloud type storage? Which do YOU prefer?

      • The Story Reading Ape

        Welcome Janice – I always encourage people to save their work in more than one place outside their computer / devices 😀

    • Janice Wald

      I will start the discussion. I pick Cloud as I’m sure you could tell from my article!

      • The Story Reading Ape

        I haven’t used iCloud much (comes with the Mac) or Dropbox much (only if I need to send or receive large files) or Google Cloud at all.
        I DO use Amazon Cloud to store all my reading though and only keep a few books on my iPad & Kindle for offline reading.
        But I DO use an external Hard-drive to back-up my files REGULARLY, including my Blog 😀

        • Janice Wald

          Hi Chris,
          I haven’t heard of Amazon Cloud. I don’t use anything external other than the hard drive on the computer. Perhaps I have too much faith in the Internet! I loved how you engaged readers to engage in a veritable debate on this post– Internet vs. hard drive storage. I used that to promote this post on Google +. Thanks.

  2. Carl D'Agostino

    There is also google view. I’ve got 500 cartoons for 4 new books in the sky drop box. Can’t lose decades of work in hard drives. I also keep on those little thumb drive things.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Carl,
      I agree with your comment about not risking losing decades worth of work. I was at least one of the bloggers in my seven scenarios (LOL), but thanks to Dropbox, I seriously did not have a problem. Thanks for writing.
      Janice

    • Janice Wald

      Thanks; I use it for personal reasons, professional reasons, and blogging purposes.
      Janice

  3. D. Wallace Peach

    I love Dropbox and have been using it for a couple years now. My computer is old, so it’s such a relief to know my writing is safe. This is great advice!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Diana!
      Great to hear from you! I never thought of an old machine in one of my seven scenarios, so thank you for providing this. I just thought of fought over, fried, and missing =). Thank for writing and providing this example.
      Janice

      • D. Wallace Peach

        It kind of falls into the fried category. I think about the hundreds of hours of work that could be lost… Well, now I don’t have too.

  4. Anonymous

    Hi Janice! I have a dropbox account but haven’t used it nearly enough. Your post was exactly what I needed to get with the program. Thanks!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Kathy!
      Great to hear from you today! Thanks so much for reading what I wrote and writing. I’m glad my article could provide that impetus for you. For all the reasons I stated, it’s great. Peace of mind is not overrated! =)
      Janice

    • Janice Wald

      Hi!
      Thank you for writing. I’m glad you agreed with my opinion of it. I have used it for a while as well, but it wasn’t until I was on a cruise with a crashed version of MSWord and no Internet access that I truly came to appreciate it and thought of writing the article.
      Janice

      • blondieaka

        wow that was lucky I only chanced upon it through a friend and initially thought it was just another app as there are so many of them but it is defo one of the better ones . Have a nice day 🙂

  5. Jennifer

    I love Dropbox! I was first introduced to it about 3 years ago when I worked at a “virtual office” & everyone used it to share spreadsheets & jpegs. I personally like it better than Google Docs.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Jennifer. Thank you for writing me. I have never used GoogleDocs for anything but document sharing. I love Google Docs for that purpose. I use Dropbox for Documents and photos. You can save videos there too. Thanks for visiting here today!
      Janice

  6. purpleslobinrecovery

    Ah, you mentioned me, no access to the computer! Thanks for this. I just read about needing to back up your blog. This sounds like the easiest way. Thanks so much, as always, Janice. You continue to save my bacon!
    Melinda

    • Janice Wald

      Your bacon, too funny. I am strongly leaning toward self-hosting. I know a hosting service who, for a small fee, backs up everything on the Internet. I agree it’s important. Thanks for writing. When is your next post? As your new follower, I am eagerly awaiting.
      Janice

      • purpleslobinrecovery

        Hmmm, self hosting? Why is that better?
        I have scheduled one for tomorrow, Thur. and Fri. I really try to post 5 days a week. You showing me how to schedule posts was a life saver! Thanks again!
        Melinda

          • purpleslobinrecovery

            Ah, advert money!! Yeah, baby! Why is your book imaginary?? Get on it, girl!

          • Janice Wald

            You have no idea how much you inspire me. Thank you!

          • purpleslobinrecovery

            Really? That’s neat, cause you inspire me! And I learn SO much from you!!

      • purpleslobinrecovery

        I just looked at my site thru the reader. I DO NOT like it! Why does it look different from what I see? I don’t know where the follow button is! Do I have to install it myself?

        • Janice Wald

          Hi Melinda,
          I didn’t get back to you sooner. I was trying to find you in my reader so I can see what you are seeing, but I was unsuccessful. I responded on your Garden Fairy post.
          Janice

          • purpleslobinrecovery

            When I looked thru my reader, the following button was there. So, I don’t know???? Going to follow you now on mostlyblogging.com

          • Janice Wald

            WordPress has been glitchy on and off for me this week too.

          • purpleslobinrecovery

            Some others have posted about it too. Hope it settles down, soon!

          • Janice Wald

            Glad things are better now.

          • purpleslobinrecovery

            Thanks. I don’t like to be confused!!

          • purpleslobinrecovery

            Mostlyblogging still only has sample posts. I’ll keep checking back!

  7. ReelCarina

    I like Dropbox, but regarding your question, I have to say I’d choose Evernote over Dropbox. That’s because I think Evernote is more versatile and has many crucial features I think Dropbox lacks. I can quickly add notes to files or whatever else I might be storing there. Also, it allows me to store ready-made PDFs which, due to my premium subscription, are fully searchable. That saves me a whole lot of time I’d otherwise be spending browsing my folders… But still, Dropbox is very useful for larger amounts of data like pictures.

  8. Janice Wald

    Evernote question: On a computer, how do I get an Internet article to an Evernote? Do you have that “Clipper” Evernote discusses?

    • Janice Wald

      Thank you for the kind words Michelle, and again for the reblog. I am flattered.
      Janice

  9. Norah

    I have used DropBox but haven’t found it easy. I don’t understand how there can be access to files offline, without internet access. I’ll have to check that out. I do use OneDrive and find it works well, but I only use it when I am working away from home in order to not have to save work on flash drives etc. I would not only save to a cloud space, because who knows when the cloud is going to burst. I like to save in a few different places. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Norah,
      Thank you so much for commenting. I am glad you enjoyed my Dropbox article. As far as your question–online vs. offline: When I got on my European cruise last week (I was the blogger in my introduction without Internet access), I was concerned that I’d need Internet to keep up with my blogging commitments. When I opened the Dropbox app on my laptop, everything from the Internet was there. Perhaps it syncs like Evernote does. I am not familiar with One Drive, but thank you for letting me know about it.
      I received notice you are now following my blog. Thank you so much and welcome!
      Janice

      • Norah

        I will have to check Dropbox out again. It does sound interesting. I haven’t used Evernote either though have seen a number of blog posts about it. Perhaps I should check it out too.

  10. Fiona

    I use DropBox – a lot! Not just for blogging. I use it as a place to store documents when I travel and I can access them using the app on my tablet and it’s also a fantastic repository for documents that need to be accessible to colleagues working in offices in different places, geographically. When I work with a team, I’m usually the one out in the sticks, and I set up a project folder, shared with the team and then all our research docs are organised and available to everyone in a single place. There are some drawbacks to using the free version, but hey, they’re easy to work around. So yes, it’s a fabulous tool.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Fiona,
      Thank you so much for writing and sharing this. So, you use Dropbox for professional purposes and not just for blogging. May I ask what you do? My husband and I share photos using Dropbox, but that’s pretty much where my sharing ends! Thanks again for your comments.
      Janice

      • Fiona

        Ah, Janice, the “What do you do?” question that has confounded The Husband for the last decade and a half 😀 Perhaps the best way to answer that is to invite you to my website (a bit out of date) http://www.fionacameronconsulting.co.za and my LinkedIn profile za.linkedin.com/in/fionacameronbrown
        Thanks for checking in!

  11. masgautsen

    Thank you for the good advice. I’m not nearly as good as I should be with taking back-up of my blog!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Masgautsen,
      Thank you so much for writing me today. I will be soon moving to a self-hosted site, Mostlyblogging.com. For a small annual fee, I am paying to have my blog backed up. I don’t want to worry about it. Good point! You have been so supportive of my blog, I hope you’ll follow me over to the new site. Thanks again for commenting.
      Janice

  12. Anonymous

    I absolutely love dropbox for my photos. When I take a photo with my phone, it autumatically downloads into dropbox on my laptop for editing ease with picmonkey. I just bought the Surface Pro 3 which comes with One Note and One Drive, another cloud storage system. It came with 1.02 TB of space!! Free! Great, helpful post for all bloggers!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Anonymous,
      Thank you so much for reading what I wrote and commenting. I have yet to use picmonkey. I am so entrenched in using Canva, I haven’t explored it and get less and less interested since Canva works for me. Thank you for the kind words on my post. Nice meeting you.
      Janice

  13. Janelle

    I love DropBox and use it to back up my blog, but I am always running out of space! Great tips.

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Janelle,
      Find people who don’t have Dropbox (family, friends, other bloggers…) and exchange Emails. If you invite them to join Dropbox, you get free storage. Thanks for your comments. I am glad you are also a fan of Dropbox. I never thought to write about it until recently. Thanks for the compliment.
      Janice

  14. Rob Alberts

    Some people dropped important stuff in my box.
    Still I love to do thigs the old fashioned way.
    Though I am walking around with an usb-stick.
    Do not be afraid.
    I am harmless because I do not hit anybody with this usb-stick.

    Think I am going to prepare myself a nice cup of coffee ….

    Kind regards,

    • Janice Wald

      You sound hysterically funny! Are you a humor blogger? I will come over after hitting “reply” and check.
      As far as your comment… I also have flash drives. However, now that Google Docs has been developed, and other online sites like Dropbox, I use the flash drives less and less. I never thought of hitting anyone with them though, LOL.
      Janice
      PS. I am having “a nice cup of coffee” right now as I write to you.

  15. xiaohuamaobiji

    No matter what storage service you use, don’t forget to do a backup of your blog!

      • Janice Wald

        I don’t know; I haven’t tried. I would guess not. However, if you have hard copies of your articles, for example, if you copied them to or from MS Word, those documents could go into your Dropbox.
        Janice

      • Janice Wald

        Hi Cat,
        I’m sure we can’t. It’s for documents and photos and videos, things you could drag to the Dropbox folders. I have heard about people paying money to back up their blogs. I am one of them. I am moving to a self-hosted site soon. The hosting company offered to back up my blog for a small fee, and I agreed. Companies couldn’t offer this service if we could drag our blog to a Dropbox. I wish we could, but I don’t think so.
        Janice

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Yen,
      People are asking if we can back up our blogs in Dropbox. I don’t think so…
      Janice

      • xiaohuamaobiji

        Hi Cat & Janice, actually I only learned how to backup our posts & comments few days ago when WP was having a technical glitch.
        You could export your blog into an XML formatted file (stripped down version which doesn’t include images) and store it in your hard drive or in the cloud.

        WP Admin > Tools > Export > Start Export > Save into your drive

        However the images have to be backed up separately though. Hope this helps 🙂

    • Janice Wald

      Hi Yen,
      I read what you wrote in response to our questions about backing up the blog and storage. You sound very knowledgeable. Thank you for sharing these tips!
      Janice

  16. Cat

    Hi Janice, you always have such amazing tips, this sounds ideal. Shared on Twitter and FB

    • Janice Wald

      How kind you are. As a blogger, I’m sure you know how validating it is to have others want to share your work with their followers. Thank you for letting me know. That means a lot.
      Janice

  17. jjspina

    Hi Janice! Good article. I have used Drop Box until I ran out of room so I use flash drives for all my work and backup drives on my computer. I may try Drop Box again. Thanks for the tips. Nice to drop by and visit!

    • Janice Wald

      Hi!
      Thank you so much for the compliment on my article and for the site visits today. My Dropbox article has certainly been well received. I don’t think a lot of us think about it until we need it. Nice to see you.
      Janice

  18. dgkaye

    Janice, great description here of what dropbox can do! Gratefully, I was introduced two years ago to dropbox by a fellow author and friend. I will tell you how timely it was; a week after I downloaded it and sent my files and MANUSCRIPT to dropbox, my hard drive crashed! I thanked my lucky stars it was safe and sound in dropbox! I also use Evernote a lot. Whenever I come across articles I want to refer to later, I clip them and send them there. Also, I was aware that dropbox gives us more storage space when inviting friends, but I didn’t know I could get more space by sharing files? I’ve been reluctant to share files before because it wasn’t clear to me how the process worked and I was worried I’d be sending things I didn’t wish to send. Can you just elaborate a bit more on the sharing of files please? Thanks for your helpful posts! 🙂

      • Janice Wald

        Hi Debby,
        1. Talk about great timing. How fortunate the timing worked out that way, so you didn’t lose your work. There was an actress who lost her information in the days before Internet storage. She lost her book when her hard drive crashed, and it affected her emotionally so badly it made the news.
        2. Tell me more about Evernote’s clipper. How do you get it and is it free?
        3. I share items with Wayne only, family pictures.
        4. According to Dropbox’s help center, inviting people to Dropbox will get you more space. Sharing folders with them will not. I guess I got more storage when I invited him.
        Thanks for your detailed comments.
        Self-hosting questions for you: How are your followers notified of your posts? When you self-hosted, did your followers transfer?

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