It’s devastating to lose your hard work, whether it is one chapter or several manuscripts. As writers, we are always reminded by others (who have experienced that loss) to backup your data. For a long time, I was emailing myself my work and putting it on a second computer. BUT, I wanted something that would synchronize both computers, to make sure that I had the latest file (I frequently got confused which computer had the most recent file).
Then one day on Twitter (I love that site) someone mentioned Dropbox. My cyber-ears pricked up. A way to have online backup storage and a way to synchronize my laptop and my desktop for FREE? That’s for me!
Some of the benefits of using Dropbox (besides getting 2 GB of storage for free) are:
- You can publicly share files and photos.
- You can access your files from any computer with Internet access
- You can synchronize multiple computers automatically
- You can drag and drop files to Dropbox
- You can recover deleted or previous versions of files
- You can upgrade (for a fee) up to 50 GB of storage
Once you have Dropbox installed on your computer(s) and you connect to their server, Dropbox is just like any other folder on your computer. You simply drag and drop to move files around. Any files or folders that are uploaded to Dropbox will immediately be synchronized within your account. Dropbox also keeps track of every change made to the contents of your storage and any changes are instantly updated to all computers linked to the account.
The Dropbox web interface also remembers all the changes you make to your files and allows you to restore to any previous versions of the file. You can even undelete files you may have accidentally (or not-so-accidentally) erased.
If desired, every individual folder can be shared with other people and the people you allow access to that shared folder can add, edit, and delete the contents inside but can’t access anything outside of that specific folder. In terms of writers, this file sharing system is perfect for critique partners to access each other’s works, or for writers who collaborate on manuscripts.
You are also able to share files with non-Dropbox users by using a public folder, which is made accessible by a hyperlink. This gives writers the option of making their excerpts, blurbs, and other information on their upcoming releases available to potential readers.
I keep all of my manuscripts and “works in progress” in separate folders like I would on my computer. It’s easy and organized. I love it. So get rid of the flash drives and stop emailing your files. Give Dropbox a try!
You can try Dropbox at http://www.getdropbox.com/
Jeanne St. James is an erotic romance author who loves to write about an Alpha male. Especially one in uniform: cops, Feds, or even football players! She resides in south central Pennsylvania near Hershey chocolate and the Amish. Her hot and steamy contemporary romances can include a male/female, a menage (male/male/female) or male/male relationship. It depends on what’s floating her boat at the moment. She has two releases in Fall of 2009: a m/f contemporary, Banged Up, with Liquid Silver Books (September 21st) and a m/m/f menage, Double Dare, with Loose Id (November).
You can find her on the web at http://www.jeannestjames.com. Also, come friend her on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Check out her blog for her upcoming events and great guest authors.