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Dropbox: The most essential writer’s tool

You might have the most elegant word processor in the world, but it won’t do you any good if you accidentally erase half your story. Or if your computer crashes, or if you’re miles away from the laptop you’ve stored it all on.

That’s why I’m introducing Dropbox (available for Linux, of course!) first. It’s the most important tool I’ll ever give you on this blog. (Yes, jumped the shark in two posts.)

Dropbox is a file synchronization service, but it’s so much more than that. When you install Dropbox, a special folder appears under your user folder called, naturally, your Dropbox. This folder keeps itself backed up whenever you’re connected to the Internet. You can install Dropbox on multiple computers and keep the same files synchronized across each one, or login to and view your whole Dropbox online if you’re away.

Accidentally deleted a story? Not a problem – deleted files are kept in your Dropbox for 30 days, so all you have to do is restore it. Or if you’ve saved over your work, Dropbox has a solution for that too: it stores every revision of every file in your Dropbox, so you can revert your changes.

The only limit to Dropbox is its size. You can store 2GB of files for free; any more and you’ve got to pay up. Still, if 2GB means anything to you at all, you know that can hold thousands upon thousands of stories, no sweat.

As a writer, I think Dropbox makes one feel a bit more daring. Before, I’d keep an extra document going alongside any story I was writing, so I could store the bits I cut out there. But with Dropbox, of course, the whole file-revision thing means I don’t have to. I can hack and slash without worrying about losing a thing.

So don’t wait ’till it’s too late, back up your writing! It’s free!

Update: For another user’s perspective on Dropbox, and the chance to get an extra 250MB of storage space when you sign up, check out karenclassic’s comments about the service.


4 Comments on “Dropbox: The most essential writer’s tool”

  1. karenclassic says:

    Nice writeup on Dropbox! It really is a handy service, and I use it alot.

    By the way, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment to let me know about the errors in my post. I’ve updated the post accordingly. I also added a link to your dropbox article.

    Thanks again!!

    • awkisopen says:

      I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying Dropbox! Thanks for the link & I updated the post to link back to you as well, since an extra 250MB is nothing to sneeze at and I’m too lazy to make my own referral link 🙂

  2. Trinae Ross says:

    I love Dropbox. I used Syncplcity (Windows) and SpiderOak (Linux) and had issues with “conflict version” files. I haven’t run into that problem with Dropbox, whether I use my laptop, desktop or iPhone (and soon Droid).

  3. charlengels says:

    Dropbox is amazing, it has changed my life at varsity in that I no longer need to worry about versions of documents and flashdisks and what-not! Cool blog too by the way!

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