Monday, December 10, 2012

Student Life: How to Use Dropbox to Organize School Files

I'm a virgo. That means that everything has to have a system, especially for digital files for school. I have spent too many hours of my life searching for where I saved that paper, digging through my purse for my flashdrive, or lamenting over Windows Automatic Updates causing me to lose my work. Argh!

I now have a special system just for digital school files, using one of my favorite technologies: Dropbox. Dropbox uses cloud technology, meaning you can access it from anywhere with an internet connection. I save files on Dropbox directly and then I don't have to worry if I have emailed it to myself or if the most updated copy is on my laptop, flashdrive, or elsewhere.

I could wax poetic about Dropbox, but instead, I'll just show you my system.

dropbox 1

This is what you see in the web client, but I mostly just use it directly in Windows Explorer on my laptop. No clutter it the main folder -- just files! I have four folders: Personal, Photos, Public, and UTD. 

dropbox 4

Clicking through  UTD, you will find a list of semesters -- I just started using Dropbox for school in Spring 2012, as you can see! 

dropbox 2

Under each semester, each course has its own folder, organized by course title. I use the course numbers rather than the full course name so it's quick to glance and click the correct one.

dropbox 3

Within each folder, I also try to keep my files organized. It only takes a few seconds to name each file in a way that makes it easy to find later on. If I update files, I don't ever have to save a new one with a new name because Dropbox allows you to revert to older versions later on if you need to, which saves a lot of hassle!

dropbox 5

If you are doing a group project or need to share a file, you can also share it easily through Facebook, Twitter, email, or sharing a link. This has been SO helpful in doing group presentations and projects. 

If you aren't using Dropbox yet, I hope I convinced you! It is such a useful tool, either for work, school, or personal life.

How do you keep your computer files organized?

I love hearing new ways to organize my life!

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