Your Favorite Dropbox Tips

62 things you can do with Dropbox

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Your Favorite Dropbox Tips

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52 Go to the Send to Dropbox Website (, click on Connect To Dropbox, and provide your Dropbox credentials. You can now email files to Dropbox. That makes all sorts of scenarios possible. For example, create a document in Google Docs and then opt to share it. In the Share drop-down menu, select Email As Attachment and provide your Send to Dropbox email address; the Google Doc will appear in Dropbox’s Attachments folder.

53 Open email attachments on the iPad in GoodReader. Review the document and then save it from GoodReader to Dropbox. When you get back to your Mac, a copy will be waiting for you in your Dropbox folder.

54 Use Dropbox as a backup for your backup. Assuming that your Time Machine backup sets aren’t too huge, periodically save one of them to Dropbox. If both your computer’s hard drive and your backup drive should fail, you could still recover some data. Or, if you notice that your Mac is acting funny, quickly copy important files to Dropbox, in case your Mac really falls apart.

55 Save incrementally between Time Machine’s hourly backups: Save a copy of whatever you’re working on at the moment to Dropbox, adding some sort of time-stamp to its filename.

56 Create an Automator service that copies or moves selected files in the Finder to Dropbox (with permission to overwrite existing files), and then launches the Dropbox app for immediate synchronization.

Hazel + Dropbox
Create a rule in Hazel to automatically process files that are saved to a specific Dropbox folder (see #59)

57 Normally, Dropbox saves versions of your files for 30 days. If you have one of the for-pay Pro accounts, you can install the Pack-Rat add-on. Dropbox will then save those files indefinitely.

58 If you have a file on a remote Mac that you need to access from your iOS device, use SSH or a VNC app like LogMeIn to connect to the Mac and then copy the file to your Dropbox folder; when you next sync, the file will be available on your iPhone or iPad.

59 Automate Dropbox folders by using OS X’s Folder Actions or Noodlesoft’s Hazel ( ). For example: Save iPhone photos to a Dropbox folder that Hazel monitors. When it sees that a new photo has been added to the folder, it can then apply some image processing and copy the processed version to another folder on your Mac or in Dropbox.

60 Forget about complicated file-sharing settings: Just install the Dropbox app on all of your devices.

61 Configure your BitTorrent client to monitor a Dropbox folder and immediately initiate downloads when a new .torrent file is added to it. You can then copy a file to that Dropbox folder to initiate the download. (Just make sure your client is configured to save those downloads to somewhere other than Dropbox.)

62 If you need to give the same message to a bunch of different people, don’t call them one by one and read from a script. Instead, record the message and post the recording to a public Dropbox folder. Then email the link to everyone.

What You Shouldn’t Sync

Users have reported problems when they’ve tried to synchronize some files via Dropbox. One common thread among those problems is that if a program checks for conflicted copies of its data files, Dropbox could confuse it.

The three biggest apps for which we’ve seen reports about problems are:

  • iTunes (the iTunes Music Library.xml file);
  • iPhoto (its libraries);
  • and Quicken (its data files).

No matter which apps you’re synchronizing via Dropbox, you should be careful to close those files as soon as you’re done with your immediate editing session. That way you won’t inadvertently leave a file open in one place and create file conflicts when you try to open it from another.

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