Dropbox as Lifestyle Tool
If a tool will cost you an hour of your billing rate and save you days of work, what are you waiting for?
I am a huge fan of the freemium model: product or service has a free option with a pro (paid) option. It lets you get to know the product and if you really use it and appreciate it, you’re usually happy to pay for the pro plan. Both you and the company are happy. Win win situation.
I’ve been using Dropbox for a few years. I love their incentive to (1) get you more space and at the same time (2) get them more new customers. By referring others to the service, you get 500 MB more space in your account. I think I’m up to 14 gigabytes through my get me more space on Dropbox link. Been a bit of a game and a challenge for me to see how much space I can accrue.
Is not spending money costing you money?
But a friend would share their two gigabytes of weekend photos with me (which I actually wanted to see) and I’d go over my limit. OK, fine, I’d clean out a client’s overkill of hi-res office staff photos and move them onto my hard drive. Was I done with those? Had I optimized the photos for their website yet? Had I shared that folder with my assistant yet? Hmm, let me check.
For simple addition and multiplication’s sake, let’s say I did that 4 times and each time took me 15 minutes (checking photos, limits, moving things around). If I charge $100/hour (which I do), then I just spent $100 mucking about with photo management, not terribly client related and more related to finally finding a shot of my black-haired dog with a good angle and lighting. Had I just spent $100, I wouldn’t have had to do any of that. Then I’d also have my dog photos and my client photos and I could get on with my life.
I used to think this kind of thing was fun in a techy/cheapskate/math-geek kind of way. Maybe in my now-oh-so-much wiser years, I’m changing my value of time. I don’t want to move around photos. I want to get off the computer sooner. Speaking of which, I need to do client work (probably move around some office staff photos … ) and then I need to go play catch with my son and my new (used) baseball mitt.
Living in the Cloud(s)
Dropbox has become a major player in my “Lifestyle Design” toolbox. I want to be (well, already am … ) location independent and I’ll even take that a step further and be device independent. I want to be able to do work (or play) on multiple devices and even devices that aren’t mine. I want to be able to log into a client’s computer and grab her photos or Excel spreadsheets. Or share a weekend full of photos with a checkbox and an invite.
Plain and simple, Dropbox saves time and makes life smoother.
When traveling, I don’t like the thought that I have something on my person that I would miss dearly if I lost. Not just monetarily, but emotionally. The usual culprit is photos. In previous years, I would guard my camera with my life before I got home, downloaded the photos and spread them to as many drives as I could. With Dropbox, I don’t need to do any of that. In fact, I can even set my iPhone to upload automatically … well, I didn’t do that with my freebie account, but now just turned it back on with the new Pro account.
In case it wasn’t clear, I just purchased the 100 GB upgrade to Dropbox and my life was magically–and instantly–richer. 😉 As if that weren’t enough, we’re starting a big travel adventure and I won’t be at my desktop with my multiple backups, external hard drives and Carbonite so Dropbox is going to act as not only my file syncing tool, but as a backup drive for my travel photos … and client office staff shots.