I've decided to create a new category today called Cool Tools. These tools will primarily be very useful and practical tools that can be used in a law practice, but I reserve the right to post about some tools just because they are cool. Even though I never do guest posts here, I'm going to kick off this new category with a guest post/reprint. (Note to PR Flacks: No, I don't want to hear from you or your CEO about another guest post.)
I have to note that Dropbox is one cool tool I have started using this year and now I keep asking myself why I took so long to try it out. The balance of this post is from Tom Mighell and is reprinted (with permission) from his publication, The Mighell Marker: A Legal Technology Weekly. It is from the August 1, 2010 edition and you can subscribe to The Mighell Marker at Tom's blog Inter-alia. I recommend it. Now on to Tom's comments on Dropbox:
"This week I want to talk about DropBox, which is quickly becoming my favorite currently-used application. DropBox is a file synchronization tool that allows you to access your most important files from any computer you use. Here's how it works.
"To get started, you'll need to install DropBox on all the computers you own/use. DropBox essentially places a new folder in your Documents or My Documents folder - you may also find the DropBox icon in your system tray. This folder is actually a portal to an online folder, which resides on DropBox's computers. Then take the files you want to use on other computers and drag them into this folder - DropBox will automatically sync all of your other folders with the newly added files. Just open your DropBox folder on another computer, and there are your files, ready to work on!
"I use DropBox to hold files that I work on regularly, whether I'm at home, at work, or on the road - I can always access these files and they are up to date. I also use DropBox instead of email - instead of mailing a file to my work email address, I'll just drag the file to DropBox, and pick it up on the other computer.
"You can also use DropBox to share files securely with other people. In fact, I just did this yesterday - I created a folder within DropBox and added the files I wanted to share. I then went to DropBox online and entered the email addresses of the people with whom I wanted to share the files. They got an email from DropBox with a link to a site with the files - they could only see those files and none of my other DropBox items, and they were able to download the files without me clogging up their email, or making extra copies of the files.
"I don't use the iPhone app very much, but when I have it's very useful - I can actually view the documents I've stored in DropBox from my iPhone - or Android phone, or iPad, if I had those. So DropBox is also great from mobile devices.
"And DropBox is secure, too - all transmission of file data occurs on an encrypted channel, and the files are also encrypted while they are stored on the DropBox servers. And when you've started using DropBox, check out these Cleverest Ways to Use DropBox that You're Not Using - interesting ways to use this great service!"
P.S. from Jim -- And Dropbox says they will give both you and me some extra free space if you sign up using this link. https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTk2NDQ2NTc5