Dropbox : best practice

furuno
furuno used Ask the Experts™
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What is the optimal way to use Dropbox?

Only being a very occasional user of Dropbox, there are some users in an office here that seem to be struggling with it! (Yes, I'm baffled too as to how
such a simple app could cause confusion...)

All users on Windows 10 laptop clients.

Small MS Office files

For starters I'm guessing, it's best to have the APP installed on the PCs?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
For an individual, install it on all devices (computer, iPhone, Android), set up a Drop Box Account.  Log in on each device.  

Now on a computer, open Drop Box (which opens a folder), populate it with whatever files you wish. It will sync across all devices.

That is the basics.   I have Drop Box here.

You can set up folders and you can permit folders to other users with Drop Box.  You need to permit with their user name.

Author

Commented:
Thanks John. I'm just wondering how such a simple App could cause confusion...and if anyone has experience of supporting users
who "do Dropbox" wrong?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Start with just yourself and there is no confusion.

If you wish to share a Drop Box folder, right click on Properties and go to the Sharing Tab.  Share from there
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Pete LongTechnical Consultant

Commented:
I redirect 'my documents' etc on both my Window and MacBook to my dropbox folder also. I love Dropbox so much I pay for it!
I suppose people will struggle with it, if it takes 'some effort', if your machine automatically puts thing there they will get backed up, and replicated.

P

Author

Commented:
ok thanks guys.

Is best practice when Saving, [files they want to share], they should save direct to Dropbox i.e Save As > Filename> Dropbox

OR

just use a "redirect" as Pete has suggested?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
As suggested by Pete, or, whatever files you wish.
Pete LongTechnical Consultant

Commented:
In Windows it easy - find the document folder under you profile. > Properties > Set target > Select Yes Id like to move the current contents > Done.
osx doesn't really have the concept of my documents, being Linux based you have a home folder, but I don't even use that. I just have all my stuff in Dropbox so when I save, I've got 'My Documents' in Finder all the time.

P
Bill PrewIT / Software Engineering Consultant
Top Expert 2016

Commented:
Can we back up a bit, and talk about what problem you are trying to solve by having people there use Dropbox?  Is it just for personal use, to share a file with themselves on a different computer, like PC and phone?  Or are you trying to use it as a collaboration tool also where folders are shared between people and multiple people can edit the same file, etc?  If the latter that does get more complicated and I can understand there being confusion there.

Depending on the use case there the web is full of videos and text tutorials on using Dropbox, find one or more that match how you expect your users to use it and make share that with them.  Then you know they are all starting from the same point if they have further questions.

You should probably also put together a quick punch list of how they get started, and install and configure the software in your environment.  Things that seem easy to a technical person can be very intimidating to non technical folks.


»bp

Author

Commented:
John, Pete and Bill - thanks for all those comments.

The problem was down to residual Dropbox logins which were still present from previous staff (who had left 18 months ago) . Unbelievably, some of these were still (ex-employees) were still logged in to current shared folders. While Dropbox is great for convenience - it's exactly this sort of issue which I think makes it quite a dangerous tool if not used correctly.

This was totally cleaned up and made secure.

Thanks for the input again.

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