4 killer Dropbox tricks

Check out these four creative and useful ways to use Dropbox as more than just a document cloud.

You're probably familiar with Dropbox. It's a tool like SkyDrive or SugarSync that allows you to store your files in the cloud for access from any computer or mobile device. 

While you might simply use Dropbox for project management, file sharing, or just syncing, there are several hacks that will quickly take you from being a standard user to a power user.

Check out these four killer Dropbox tricks you probably didn't know about:

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  1. A different way to upload files
    To upload files to your Dropbox, you'd normally drag 'n' drop on your desktop, or upload via the Web client. Instead, there might be times when uploading with e-mail is more appropriate. Go to sendtodropbox.com, where you'll get a custom e-mail address. Any e-mails with attachments sent to that address will be uploaded to your Dropbox in an "Attachments" folder. Alternatively, URLdroplet.com allows you to upload target links directly to your 'box. Just grab a link, such as a nutritional menu PDF, paste it into URL Droplet, and the InterWebs will take it from there.

  2. Start downloading (legal) torrents remotely
    You can use Dropbox to start downloading torrents remotely, so that they're ready upon your arrival home. Just make sure you have legal permission to transfer these files. Here's how to set it up in uTorrent (although the process is similar for other BitTorrent clients):

    Windows: Open uTorrent and go to Preferences > Directories. Check the box next to "Automatically load torrents from" and browse to select your Dropbox folder.

    Mac OS X: Open uTorrent and go to Preferences > Downloads. Check the box next to "Automatically open torrent files found in" and browse to select your Dropbox folder. Also check "Start transfer after opening each torrent file."

  3. Make Dropbox your default documents folder
    Lifehacker points out that since Dropbox isn't your default documents folder, it's easy to forget to save your important files there. So, why not make it your default docs folder?

    Windows 7 or Vista: Right-click My Documents > Properties > Location. Select "Move" and locate your Dropbox.

    Mac OS X: Open Terminal (search for it in Spotlight) and type cd Dropbox. Hit return, then type ln -s ~/Documents /Documents. Hit Enter and watch the magic happen.

    Also note that Dropbox saves all versions of each document for 30 days. Head to the Dropbox Web interface, hover over the file, and click the arrow to view previous versions.

  4. Create your own photo stream
    Why wait til Apple releases its photo stream product to sync all your photos? With the Android and iPhone apps, upload photos directly to your Dropbox or take snapshots within the app itself (Android only). Make a folder within the Photos folder in your Dropbox. Doing so will allow you to share it with others, too.

Bonus tip: Get free storage
Although most users are aware, here's a reminder that Dropbox gives you 250MB of free storage for every friend you refer. So leave your referral link in comments, your Facebook profile, and your Twitter feed because you can earn up to 8GB of free storage.

Happy Dropboxing!

 

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