Dropbox: The most essential writer’s toolPosted: January 6, 2011
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 dropbox.com 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!