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18 5 Ways to Make the Incredibly Useful Dropbox Even More Useful

dropbox addonsIn the past I’ve written about how I use the online file storage, backup and syncing tool called Dropbox.

Because I depend on this tool so much I use the Team Version and pay an annual fee that is pretty steep, but the no hassle factor is worth it.

Recently, I’ve started adding even more to my Dropbox use with the following addons that help extend its usefulness.

AirDropper – This tool allows you to create a custom file sharing page with your own branding. Then if you need to send a file to someone or they need to send a file to you, you can give them a unique URL to use and all files are transferred to and from your Dropbox account.

DropPages – This tool allows you to use Dropbox as a lightweight Content Management System. Using little more than text files saved to DropPages you can create, edit and manage an entire website and even use your own domain to do it.

HelloFax – I don’t actually use the fax part of this, but I use it almost daily to edit, sign and email documents like contracts without the need to print, sign and scan. By connecting it to Dropbox the documents I email all get a backed up in a HelloFax folder.

SideCloudLoad – This tool allows you to send any file on the web directly to a Dropbox folder without downloading it to your computer first. The thing I like about this is you can find an ebook you want to read while surfing on your phone and just have it sent to Dropbox rather than you phone.

MailDrop – MailDrop allows you to create a special folder in your email program (label in GMail) and then automatically save email attachments to Dropbox. This can be a great storage, backup and collaboration tool for documents that come to you from other people.

As our dependence on apps continues to grow you can expect app makers to look for ways to further enhance the productivity tools that we come to rely on in increasingly personal and mobile ways.

9 10 Apps I Use Every Single Day

Transmit app

More and more, we’re becoming an app happy world – Apps that run on our laptops, apps for the mobile and apps for the iPad or tablet. Even better are those apps that sync across all of our chosen devices, keeping us on task and on track in an increasingly online world.

Below are ten applications that I use on a daily basis to get more done, manage more information, communicate more ideas and generally keep the plates spinning.

TweetDeck – This is my primary social media dashboard. It’s a desktop application that runs on Adobe Air and while there are lots of alternative choices, I’ve just always stuck with TweetDeck. I do however use the Twitter app for the iPhone too.

I have groups, lists and searches set up at all times and use the scheduled Tweets feature to meter out content I want to share throughout the day.

Evernote – This is my brainstorming, idea clipping, bookmark storing powerhouse. Evernote syncs beautifully across all devices and allows me to outline my life in so many ways without having to commit anything to memory.

I’ve stored everything from ideas for my books to wines I want to remember. Here’s my Evernote routine in case your interested.

Dropbox – This is my online backup and file storage tool of choice. I probably overuse this tool, leaning on it as a file server for my team as well as a backup for important files, but it just works so well.

I also use it to share large files and grant conference attendees access to my PowerPoint presentations.

You can see my Dropbox routine here.

Reeder – This is an app that turns my chosen RSS reader, Google Reader, into something much more functional and much more attractive.

I do most of my blog reading on my iPhone or iPad and the Reeder app gives me a ton of functionality. I can easily share a post on Twitter, clip to Evernote and bookmark to delicious right from the post in Reeder. Great time saver.

Dragon Dictation – This iPhone app (at least that’s the only version I use) allows me to speak a memo and have it converted to text. I’ve not really tested this out, but I think I could compose a blog post using this tool.

The app then allows me to email the text or manage it in various other ways. I use this tool whenever I get a flash of brilliance while driving or think of something when trying go to sleep and want to capture the idea right away.

HelloFax – Actually this is billed as a fax machine replacement, but I don’t really use that function. What HelloFax allows me to do is receive a document, like a contract, agreement, vendor form or non disclosure (I get lots of these.) that need edits and my signature.

Instead of editing, printing, signing, scanning and emailing back I simply download the document, upload it to HelloFax, make my edits, drop in my stored signature and email it back.

And 4 just for the Mac

text expander

Text Expander – There are dozens of snippets of text that I need to use frequently. Text Expander allows me to write chunks of copy once and then paste those chunks whenever I need to with a couple keystrokes.

I have entire emails that I send in response to certain requests, email signatures, blog sponsorship messages, and even HTML code snippets that I use frequently committed to short, time saving keystrokes that are easy to recall.

Pixelmator – This is my replacement to Photoshop. Now, I’m not a graphic designer, so I don’t have major league design challenges, but I’ve used Photoshop for years and for $29 this tool does everything I need it to do and is much easier to use than Photoshop.

I’m sure Adobe would challenge this statement, but this tool is at least on par feature wise with the $99 Photoshop Elements.

Adium – I use Adium for all things related to IM – this Mac only client allows me to converse with folks via instant message regardless of the IM platform they use – Facebook, GTalk, or AIM. .

Transmit – This is my file transfer tool. It’s lightening fast and allows me to upload and manage files via FTP to my web sites. I also use it to access my Amazon S3 file storage as I use Amazon’s cheap hosting and streaming for my videos and other larger downloads that I make available on my sites.

I also use Transmit to move files around on my laptop. Instead of using two instances of the Finder on my Mac, I use a split window in Transmit that allows me to drag and drop files more easily.

Weekend Favs March Twenty Six

My weekend blog post routine includes posting links to a handful of tools or great content I ran across during the week.

I don’t go into depth about the finds, but encourage you check them out if they sound interesting. The photo in the post is a favorite for the week from Flickr.


Image credit: yellow bird woodstock

Good stuff I found this week:

Jetpack – Collection of WordPress plugins from WordPress packaged as a set of features that cover most of the basic plugin needs. This was a WordPress.com feature now available for self hosted WordPress.org sites.

Hellofax – there are plenty of online fax services, but I love this one because it allows me to insert my signature on documents and email them back to the sender.

letter.ly – Dead simple way to create a paid online newsletter