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.
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:
- 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.
- Now, repeat the process to get a Dropbox account for your church. Install it on the church computers.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.