File storage and backup is an important part of the life of a Virtual Assistant. It’s something we discuss regularly at the VA forums and a question that is frequently asked by those new to the industry. Enter Dropbox.
I first discovered Dropbox when looking at online facilities for photosharing and storage. I wanted to be able to showcase photos I’d taken at mountain bike (MTB) races so that the participants could view their images and choose which ones to buy. The photogallery system is great in Dropbox. But then I began exploring, and noting that other VAs were using it too, so moved the whole contents of My Documents to My Dropbox on my computer. My whole data is now backed up with Dropbox online. It’s not my only backup. I also have a 1TB external hard drive which is backed up regularly too, but unlike Dropbox it’s not as it happens. The external hard drive backs up incrementally regularly overnight – Dropbox backs up the instant a file is changed on my computer.
What’s more Dropbox has the facility to share folders so you can create a folder for a client inside your My Dropbox folder on your computer, then launch the Dropbox website and find that folder to send an email invite to your client to share the contents of that folder. Great way for sharing files without having to email them – no more problems with large files. And only your client has access to that folder, no-one else. A great secure way of sharing files that you’re working on.