Tag Archives: dropbox

Syncing folders with Dropbox

I use Dropbox all the time. It’s one of the finest services out there and it’s free! When I got it, I moved many documents into the Dropbox folder, changed shortcuts, and changed the default save path for some of the programs I use. Some files, though, need to stay right where they are for their programs to use them.

There are some other solutions out there, but this is the hands down winner as far as I’m concerned. Install it and start using it…that’s my kind of program! If you use Dropbox you want to install Dropbox Folder Sync. Then, you go to the folder that resides outside of Dropbox, right click on it, and select “Sync with Dropbox.” Done!

As always, let me add that if you don’t have a free DropBox account account and use this link to sign up, you’ll score some additional storage for me.

Picasa and Dropbox syncing/backup solutions

I take lots of photos and have found Picasa to be a great photo management solution. In one program I can edit the photos, give them captions, and upload them to Picasa Web Albums. However, this great program has one huge drawback as far as I’m concerned.

I use two computers, a desktop and my laptop. I basically want things to stay in sync between the two computers so I can work on a Document at home or on the run. I want my most important files to be backed up so I can recover from a crash if necessary.

One of the things I do on vacation is each evening as I wind down I off load all the photos I’ve taken during the day, cull them, edit them, and write captions for them while they’re fresh on my mind. When I’m back in internet range, I want my laptop Picasa to sync with my desktop. In other words, I want to use either computer anytime and have them stay in sync.

Picasa is the nifty photo solution, but the developers have totally ignored the basic fact of life that people use more than one computer. That’s where Dropbox comes in.

I won’t walk you through this, but instead, I’ll point you to where I got the information. Look at the post from Joel P. in this thread. I also got some good info here.

I will mention that I also moved My Photos into the Dropbox folder. Then, I told Picasa to “watch” that folder and I make sure I upload new photos to that directory.

The result of all this:
1. I can edit photos on either computer and the other will sync.
2. I have incremental backups of everything via Dropbox.

As always, let me add that if you don’t have a free DropBox account account and use this link to sign up, you’ll score some additional storage for me.

Free Dropbox Upgrades

The awesome free Dropbox service comes with 2 Gigs of storage right off.  Once you start using it, you’ll find all kinds of uses for this service that automatically backs up data, seamlessly syncs files between computers, let’s you publish selected files to a public folder, and allows you to share specific folders with select users.  In other words, you’re likely going to need more than 2 Gigs!  Of course, you can buy additional storage, but the service also offers some free upgrades.  For instance, if you don’t have a free DropBox account account and  use this link to sign up, you’ll score some additional storage for me.

There are also some easy upgrades you can get for simply linking your facebook account to Dropbox or writing a short “why I like Dropbox” line or two.  Check it out here.

More useful tricks with Dropbox

I’ve already written about using Dropbox to put sermon audio online. Here’s another nifty use for Dropbox.

The bulk of our church bulletin is prepared in my home pastor’s study. It is then subject to final editing prior to printing at our church office. I used to update the bulletin and then email my version to the individual who finalizes it and prints it. She would copy it to her thumb drive and then take it to the church to print it.

These days I have separate Dropbox accounts for the church and for myself. Using the “share a folder” feature, I have a church bulletin/newsletter folder which is owned by the church Dropbox account that is shared with my personal Dropbox account.

It’s as simple an arrangement as you can imagine. I open the bulletin, which is in the shared Dropbox folder, put my information in it, save it, and walk away. The church bulletin is automatically updated in both the church office and sanctuary computers. If the bulletin is updated at the church office, it’s the same way. They save it and walk away. It’s automatically updated on the other computers.

The sanctuary computer’s copy of the bulletin is used for setting up announcements, etc. Most of the time it’s just a copy/paste operation from the bulletin to the worship projection software.

Okay, here are the steps:

  1. If you don’t have one yet, get a free DropBox account. Install it on all your personal computers. If you use this link to sign up, you’ll score some additional storage for me.
  2. Now, repeat the process to get a Dropbox account for your church. Install it on the church computers.
  3. Once you’ve installed that, I suggest you update to the latest forum build from this page – This isn’t required but the forum build offers some features you might want to use later on. This is no longer necessary as Dropbox has been updated.
  4. Once you’ve installed Dropbox on the church computers, create a church bulletin folder and share a it with your personal Dropbox account: inside the Dropbox folder, create the new folder, right click on the new folder, pick Dropbox, then share.
  5. Your personal Dropbox will inform you that you’ve been invited to a shared folder. Accept the invitation, put the bulletin file in that folder, along with any other documents, photos, audio files you want to keep in sync between the church and home study computers.

That’s it. Create shortcuts to the bulletin, newsletter, etc. on each computer desktop and they are now automatically synced between the computers.

Note: this is take two on this project. I think this is a more elegant way to accomplish this.

An easy way to post sermon audio online

(Updated, October 8, 2010)

I’ve done this using other methods, but I think this is about as easy a way to put sermon audio online as I’ve found.

  1. Get a free DropBox account.  Install it on the computer you use for recording the sermon mp3’s.  If you use this link to sign up, you’ll score some additional storage for me.  Once you’ve installed that, then update to the latest forum build from this page – this build will let you do more cool stuff. This is no longer necessary as Dropbox has been updated.
  2. Now, after you record, save the sermon to your new My Dropbox/Public folder
  3. Now, on your computer, right click on the Drop Box folder named “Public” – pick Drop Box>Get Sharable Link.
  4. Put that link on your church website – linking to recent sermons.  People who click on that link will now see a directory of the sermons and be able to listen right there.

An easy way to post sermon audio online

(Updated, October 8, 2010)

I’ve done this using other methods, but I think this is about as easy a way to put sermon audio online as I’ve found.

  1. Get a free DropBox account.  Install it on the computer you use for recording the sermon mp3’s.  If you use this link to sign up, you’ll score some additional storage for me.  Once you’ve installed that, then update to the latest forum build from this page – this build will let you do more cool stuff. This is no longer necessary as Dropbox has been updated.
  2. Now, after you record, save the sermon to your new My Dropbox/Public folder
  3. Now, on your computer, right click on the Drop Box folder named “Public” – pick Drop Box>Get Sharable Link.
  4. Put that link on your church website – linking to recent sermons.  People who click on that link will now see a directory of the sermons and be able to listen right there.

I put the Drop Box Public page in an iframe, so you see it as part of the church website.  You can see it in operation on our church website.

Automatically backing up files

I had a minor disaster this morning.  I was disappointed to find that I’d accidentally dumped 28 devotionals I’ve written from the Book of Matthew.  I haven’t published any of my NT work, so I lost a month’s work.  Needless to say, it was a real downer to me.

That caused me to look into some kind of automatic back up solution.  I needed some kind of backup approach to these files that would happen automatically, I wanted it to be easy to set up, I wanted it to keep incremental backups, and I wanted it to (ah-hem) be FREE.  The answer was Dropbox.

First, I downloaded, installed, and created an account with Dropbox.  It creates a new folder in My Documents.  Anything put in that folder is automatically backed up to their secure server.  Up to 2 Gigs is free – that’s more than enough for my text only back up needs.

Second, I moved the folders I wanted to keep automatically backed up into the new “My Dropbox” folder. A visit to the Droplink website confirmed that the folders now existed in my Dropbox account.

Third, I installed the Dropbox program on my second computer. Once I did that, the files I had already put in the Dropbox folder on the first computer appeared on the second computer. From now on, if I change one of those files on one computer, they are automatically synced on the other computer. Not only that, but Dropbox is keeping incremental backups of those files. If I mess up like I did this morning, I can go to the Drobox website and recover those files!

Hopefully, this is the last time I’ll ruin my morning by discovering that I’ve overwritten my work!

PS: If you use this link to sign up for DropBox they’ll give me even more free storage.