In the first of an occasional series of computer/tech tips for tv types, I sing the praises of Dropbox.
Dropbox has saved my life so many times – especially when working away from the office – perhaps at home or on a shoot.
So first up what is Dropbox? It’s an online storage system. Once installed on your computer(s), phone and tablet anything you put into Dropbox on one device is immediately available on all the others AND through any computer via the Dropbox website.
You can store any file on there but only the regular stuff is viewable in the mobile app version (images, PDFs, Word docs, some movie formats etc).
From a TV production point of view I tend to put my scripts on there so I can work on them wherever I am. Once I receive the schedule that also goes on there – I never print them out anymore. Then on my iPhone, before each shoot I ‘favourite’ the key documents I need access to. This downloads them to the device, rather than having to download them each time I want to see them. On the iPhone, phone numbers in schedules tend to be clickable – bonus!
You can also email documents – or a special link to the file – from your phone. On one show, I was always needing to send forms for people to sign, so I put the forms on my Dropbox and just sent people the link for them to print, fill in and return – rather than carrying a stack of paper everywhere.
Obviously the uses are not just limited to TV and TV Directors, you’re sure to find something in your work or home life where Dropbox can help.
You can sign up for a free forever account here. You get 2GB as standard but using any of the links on this post will give you 2.5GB.
Just a note on a limitations not mentioned above there is no edit function on the Dropbox mobile apps, but you can use other apps that connect to Dropbox to do this – such as GoodReader on iOS.