Image Credit: This not really relevant image is from the Dropbox Blog.
I heart Dropbox. It is incredibly useful, but an automated Dropbox is even better. There’s no point me giving you my referral link because referrals are full. But other people might like to share theirs in the comments to get a little bit more space. Also. To get more space you should do Dropbox’s nine step introductory challenge thing.
I’ve been trying to make Dropbox the central point of getting my life organised and a bit more automated. I also signed up for Google Drive this week, which means I’ve got another 5GB of cloud storage to play with, it seems pretty integrated with the Google services I use anyway, but I don’t think it’s a Dropbox killer.
Here’s what I’ve been doing to make Dropbox awesome.
1. Send to Dropbox – ever get an email with an attachment that would be handy somewhere in your Dropbox managed life? I know I do. Especially PDF files of journal articles that I email myself from the online journal database we use at college. I’ve set up a rule so that any email from this service gets forwarded to the email address that Send to Dropbox provides, and then this file magically appears in my Dropbox folder, which is called “Attachments”…
2. If I start sending stuff other than such essays to this folder, things are going to start getting confused in that folder. So I use Wappwolf’s Dropbox Automator to move everything in that attachments folder into a folder called Sortbox. Wappwolf does heaps of stuff, Lifehacker has some cool tips.
3. Sortbox is a sorting tool that is pretty much made redundant by the incredible range of tools available on Wappwolf, but it allows you to make rules based on specific file types and names, it’s a bit simpler than Wappwolf, and might be a good starting point if you don’t want to spend time figuring out what you can get done with Wappwolf. Once a file is in Sortbox I have a rule that sends all my files from the journal provider, which start with ATLA into a folder called Essays. Wappwolf then takes over again, and uploads any file in essays to google docs. Also in a folder called Essays. I’m not sure that this step is necessary. But I also save the working versions of my essays, in word, into this folder, and this gives me a backup on Dropbox, and Google Docs.
4. If this then that is a fun automated tool that helps you make life awesomer and more automated. It lets you do all sorts of fun stuff with Dropbox and other web services. So, for example, if somebody tags me in a photo on Facebook, ifttt shoots it to a folder in my Dropbox. This is a pretty useless little recipe, but there are all sorts of ways to use this. Also, when I take a photo with Instagram, it goes to a folder in my Dropbox. Ifttt has 21 different channels that you can play with, some are more friendly with Dropbox than others.
5. I also sync my Dropbox, particularly my essay folder, with my favourite iPad annotation app, GoodReader. Which means I can read and take notes for my essays on the road.
6. Stuff I scan using my Doxie Go also goes into Dropbox, and one day, when I’m feeling really organised, this will lead to more awesome automated rules.