I presently use four different computer ‘systems’ for my work. I use a Mac,  Windows Xp and Windows 7 Virtual Machines, an iPhone and now an iPad. Often, I need to have access to documents no matter which of the tools I have with me or where I am and I don’t want to fidget with setting up my FTP server.

If you have ever had a moment where you are running out the door, wondering if the PDF, DOC, presentation or other files were available you might want to consider Dropbox, an incredibly easy to use and valuable tool.

I use the service for different benefits. One is the obvious, storage for my basic files I use on the road. Another way I use the service is for one of my classes. I store my reading assignments in the Dropbox, and no matter if I have the phone, iPad or computer I can read when  I have the time.  If I make notes in the document, it is immediately available no matter which computer I use to open the file.

I have a couple of training videos I show clients. I don’t often ‘have’ to have these video’s with me and therefore do not want to use up valuable storage space on my phone and tablet computer.  With Dropbox, I don’t need to worry if I have it available.

Well, provided I have Internet connectivity!  No Internet, no files.

Speaking of anywhere, there is a way to share the folder and make a cloud enabled shared storage location for your sales and marketing teams.  Here they have access from Detroit for the corporate sales and marketing documents just pulled together in Los Angeles.  How many times have you been bitten by the “File too large for Email” issue?  This can be a lifesaver at times.  I have been inside of corporate buildings where the firewall would (for some unexplained reason) block access to the outside.  I was stuck.  Usually, I would keep a USB on me for such moments, however; I seem to have a habit of leaving them … somewhere.  I believe the same place socks go after you wash them.

For technical people, the ability to keep all of your core software tools (anti-virus, txt edit programs etc)  always ‘with’ you can save you a large amount of frustration.  It will not matter if Uncle George promised you “no computer support” this Thanksgiving and when you are greeted at the door, it isn’t ‘Happy Thanksgiving’, it is ‘Thank God you are here!’.

The cost is inexpensive, you can setup an account and have 2gb of storage for free. The applications for your Windows machine, smart phone, Linux box or Apple products are all free. The next step up is 50 gb of storage for only $9.99 a month, and you can double the storage by doubling the price.  The value is totally in the ease of use and worry free implementations.

Lets say I start a document on my computer at home and save it to my drop box folder and leave. When I get to the train I open my iPad, and review my work. When I get into the office, I open Word and open the file to edit without any thought of ‘how’ the file is uploaded and available or whether any of my computers or smart phones have access… No worries!  By the way, it includes versioning… for those of you who are now shaking your head in agreement, I have felt your pain.

Say what you want about cloud computing, the ability to access any files anywhere simplistically for yourself and your team is a huge benefit. Maybe the exact tool available today to help you tomorrow.  Look into using it for automated backups, and click here to see the Dropbox.com features page.

For those who have used Dropbox, drop me a line to let me know how YOU use it.

Oh, one other reason?  I use it to store songs I always want access to.  Now, I can listen to my selections from anywhere.