Dropbox, the file synching and sharing service, is indispensable to a lot of Lokionites. Once you install it on your desktop and other devices, any file you upload to Dropbox is available on any of your devices. They offer 2Gb of storage for free, with additional free storage if you refer new members.
Here are some awesome tips and tricks to get the most out of your Dropbox account:
- Keep your Dropbox free: You can just keep all your files within Dropbox if you don’t mind paying for extra storage. But with a few tricks and helper apps (tips 2 and 3 below) you can turn your Dropbox account into a fully automated pipeline that copies and moves files around, organizes them into the right folders, and keeps your Dropbox storage from bursting out of the 2Gb free-storage limit.
- Automate your phone’s Dropboxing: If you have an Android device, you can tell FolderSync (free or premium) to monitor certain folders on your phone and upload them to Dropbox automatically. FolderSync’s free version uploads files on a schedule that you set, while the premium version will upload them instantly.
Join the conversation in our comments: Who can tell us how to similarly automate Dropbox uploads on iOS devices?
- Automate your desktop’s Dropboxing: Dropbox sets up folders on your desktop or laptop that always mirror your online Dropbox folders. That’s where Belvedere (PC) or Hazel(Mac) come into play. Either of these apps will automatically move or copy files from one folder to another based on name, extension, size, date, and so on.
Set Belvedere or Hazel to monitor your Dropbox folders for new files, then have them move those files into non-Dropbox folders of your choice. That keeps your Dropbox folders nearly empty and keeps you happily in the free-storage zone. You can also tell Belvedere or Hazel to automatically move files of a certain type or location into Dropbox if you want to make them available on your other devices.
- Integrate Dropbox with your other cloud services: Otixo gives you a single interface for all your cloud storage services like Dropbox, SkyDrive, and Google Drive. Moving files between them is drag-and-drop easy. The awesome If This Then That (IFTTT) lets you build “recipes” to automatically copy, move, or change files between Dropbox and other online services like Facebook or Instagram. Take a look at the 2,700 recipes for Dropbox submitted by IFTTT users.
- Commit code to Dropbox: When he’s not writing amazing code for Lokion clients, developer Ben Summers uses Dropbox for his small personal projects. He places a git repository in his Dropbox folder and commits code to it. It’s a simple, free alternative to a hosted repository at github or bitbucket, and he can access it from anywhere. He shares two caveats: (1) Don’t do this for big professional projects, and (2) keep a copy somewhere else in case the Dropbox repository gets corrupted.