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11 Dropbox Tricks You Didn’t Know About

11 Dropbox Tricks You Didn’t Know About

Unfamiliar with Dropbox? It’s basically a free file hosting service, but it’s also much more. Did you know that you can even host your own websites on Dropbox, for example? Dropbox has numerous benefits: for productivity, peace of mind, and good old convenience. Since standard Dropbox is free, go ahead and sign up. You won’t regret it.

Dropbox is powerful, and most users don’t make full use of its services, so let’s look at some Dropbox tricks you didn’t know about.

1. Easily get more space on Dropbox, for free.

Dropbox tricks: get more space on Dropbox
    Dropbox tricks: get more space on Dropbox

     

    To know Dropbox is to love it, so let’s look at how you can get more space, completely for free. Dropbox has its own “get more space” page, and the easiest way to get more space is (duh!) to pay for it.

    Free ways to get more space include referring friends (one gigabyte per friend, up to 32 gigabytes),  following Dropbox on Twitter, and connecting your Facebook and Twitter accounts to the service.

    2. Share BIG files and folders with ease.

    If you’ve ever tried to send a huge file via email, you know that there are many challenges. End the frustration. Use Dropbox. You can share any file and folder you add to your public Dropbox folder using its link.

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    Right-click on a file in your public folder in Dropbox, and choose Copy Public Link. Send the link to anyone with whom you want to share the file, or post the link online.

    If you want to collaborate with others, it’s easy. Create a folder, and invite others to share it. When you work on a file in a shared folder, files are updated across every participants’ folder.

    3. Use Dropbox as a download delivery system for sales.

    If you’re starting a business selling downloads like MP3s, images, or ebooks, you can use Dropbox to deliver the files.

    Let’s say you’re a keen photographer. A family friend sees your portfolio, and wants to buy an image. You sell the image. It occurs to you that others might be interested in your images, so you decide to offer them for sale. You create a small website, and you make sales. Just send your buyers the links to their purchased images in your public Dropbox folder so that they can download them.

    Obviously this system isn’t ideal for the long term, but it’s a simple, hassle-free way to sell downloads.

    4. Use Dropbox to access needed files, wherever you are.

    Dropbox trick: use Dropbox on any device
      Mobile Dropbox

       

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      Think of Dropbox as your digital suitcase. You can take needed files with you, so that you can access them on any device. Check out Mobile Dropbox now. When you install Mobile Dropbox on your iOS, Android, Blackberry or Kindle Fire, you have access to everything in Dropbox, no matter where you are.

      You can use Mobile Dropbox to work on business documents at home; just copy the files to Dropbox. If you create files on your home computer, and save them to Dropbox, you can access them at work.

      Wish you could use Dropbox on third-part computers? You can. Send to Dropbox is a great free third-party service combining email and Dropbox. You receive a unique email address to send your files to Dropbox. Your files are placed in Dropbox/Apps/Attachments.

      5. Use Dropbox for security: back up your most important files to Dropbox.

      No matter how careful you are, and how often you back up your computer, things can go wrong. If you have files which you can’t afford to lose, copy them to Dropbox. Some apps will back up to Dropbox automatically, so check your favorite app to see whether there’s a Back Up to Dropbox option.

      6. Use Dropbox as a photo archive.

      You can use Dropbox to manage your photos. Any images you’ve saved to Dropbox now appear in an image archive, sorted by date. You can create photo albums, so that you can easily share important photos with friends.

      Want to use your images on the Web? Just drag the image into your public folder and grab the link.

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      Here’s a tip: create sub-folders to manage images in your public folder. Otherwise your public folder will become chaotic.

      7. Publish a website on Dropbox.

      Pancake.io: create a website on Dropbox
        Pancake.io

         

        Want to create a website in Dropbox? You can, with Pancake.io. Get as fancy as you like, or just publish plain text. You don’t need to worry about domain names and hosting to create a super-quick website. Pancake.io supports popular files types too, such as MS Office documents, PDFs, and images.

        Want to get fancy with Pancake.io? You can. Check out the Help files here.

        8. Digital nomad? Use Dropbox for all your documents.

        What if you want access to all your files, everywhere? You can do that if you wish. Create a documents folder in Dropbox, and make that your default documents folder across all your computers. Of course, if you have a huge documents folder, you’ll want to get extra storage from Dropbox to make sure that you have sufficient space for all your files.

        Check out our tip #10, Selective Sync. This is useful when you’re using computers with small hard drives.

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        9. Rock on: sync your iTunes library between your home and work computers.

        If you want to play your music and videos everywhere, you can sync your iTunes library to Dropbox.

        Just move your iTunes library to a folder in Dropbox. Then hold down the Shift key on a PC, or the Option key on a Mac, when you start iTunes. iTunes will ask for the new location of your library: browse to your Dropbox folder.

        10. Save space on small computers with Selective Sync.

        If you’re using a computer with a small hard drive, turn on Selective Sync. This option lets you choose which folders you want to be synced to a computer. Access this option via Preferences/Advanced/ Change Settings, and you can choose which folders will be synced to the computer you’re using.

        11. Back up apps to Dropbox.

        Many apps, especially those which work across multiple devices, will back themselves up to Dropbox if you choose Dropbox as your backup location. Check out the backup locations in the preferences and settings of your favorite apps to see whether they offer this option.

        Two of my own favorite apps, Scrivener and 1Password, back up seamlessly to Dropbox.

        So there you have it: 11 Dropbox tricks to make your life easier.

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        Last Updated on November 3, 2020

        20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

        20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

        Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

        There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

        This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day.

        What Makes For the Best Productivity Apps?

        Beyond productivity tips, there are dozens of productivity apps to choose from too. With that in mind, here are some of the core aspects of ideal productivity apps that have formed this list.

        • Non-intrusive – you want a productivity app to weave seamlessly into your workflow and not cause disruptions. From using the app to the overall display, it shouldn’t cause any interruptions.
        • Good interface – Again, you want to be able to use these apps easily and have them benefit you. The easier you can navigate around these apps, the better.
        • Fair pricing – Many of these have free trials that allow you a good chance to test before you buy. If you do decide to pay for it, the monthly pricing plans should be reasonable for what you are getting.

        1. Todoist

          Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

          Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

          If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

          Download: Todoist

          2. 1Password

            You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

            1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

            You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

            Download: 1Password

            3. Bear

              Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

              It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

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              Download: Bear

              4. Hazel

                Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                Download: noodlesoft

                5. Alfred

                  Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                  For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                  It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                  Download: Alfred

                  6. TextExpander

                    TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                    For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                    An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                    Download: TextExpander

                    7. Backblaze

                      If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                      Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                      Download: Backblaze

                      8. Keyboard Maestro

                        Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                        Download: Keyboard Maestro

                        9. Snagit

                          There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                          Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                          10. Bartender

                            Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                            If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                            Download: Bartender

                            11. Otter

                            Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                            Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                            Download: Otter

                            12. Flux

                              Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                              Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

                              Download: Flux

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                              13. PDFpen

                              If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                              PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                              Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                              14. OmniFocus

                                OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                Download: OmniFocus

                                15. Franz

                                  It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                  Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                  Download: Franz

                                  16. MindNode

                                    If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                    The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                    Download: MindNode

                                    17. Focus

                                      The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

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                                      This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                      Download: Focus

                                      18. CleanMyMac

                                        Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                        Download: CleanMyMac

                                        19. Grammarly

                                          A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                          This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                          A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                          Download: Grammarly

                                          Focus To Do

                                            Focus to-do is one of the top productivity apps for your iPhone around. It even has a desktop client that you can connect to effortlessly. The app is built around two things: the Pomodoro technique and task management. It achieves these things with amazing balance. All that you have to do is create a task and then set the timer right within the app itself.

                                            There is also great flexibility with the Pomodoro technique as well. You can choose whether to take a 5 minute break, take a longer one, or even skip it. On the task management side, you can also create reoccurring tasks, reminders, and place a priority on tasks too.

                                            Download: Focus To Do

                                            The Bottom Line

                                            These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                            Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                            More to Boost Productivity

                                            Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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