Cloud computing for designers, continued.
For effective group collaboration on projects, Drop.io is a popular file-sharing application that helps you to streamline your workflow.
You create “drops” filled with files, photos, audio, video and more that you can share with other people. There’s a 100 MB limit on a given drop, but you can purchase more space if you want. Typically, though, 100 MB is plenty—that’s an awful lot of PDFs and Word documents.
Every drop includes a dedicated conference call line and in-drop chat features. This makes real-time collaboration very easy. Another great feature is that any interaction with files is reflected on everyone’s screen so you know when changes are made or something as simple as a slideshow being viewed.
If you’ve ever found long chains of emails too hard to follow and worry about details falling in between the cracks, Drop.io is a great solution. If sending and downloading large files is too time-consuming, try the Outlook plug-in that lets you send up to a 100 MB file (for free) with ease.
Box.net is another Cloud file server that enables access, management and sharing of files and media on the web. Free membership offers 1 GB of free storage with a 25 MB max file size limit. Individual plans are $9.95/month while business plans start at $15/user/month.
Box.net recently added Box Sync, which lets you sync your desktop directly to your Box. As an added bonus, your team can also sync their desktops and get updates automatically. The Sync Box feature can be accessed anytime, even when you are not online. Once you are on the net, all your changes and additions will be uploaded to the Box automatically.
Another promising integrated application is JotNot, which turns your iPhone’s camera into a scanner. This looks like a great way to track receipts for business expenses.
Popular features on Box.net for Business and Enterprise subscribers include managed file transfer for sending large files to co-workers or clients. Deal Rooms is a feature that allows you to create an online workspace to negotiate, manage contracts, issue statements, etc.
If you are like me and don’t have an iPhone, there is a Blackberry app and a Mobile Browser option.
There are more programs (Sugarsync, Dropbox, Yousendit) out there and new ones being developed every day. Please share what you are doing to streamline your business or be more mobile.—Ann Porter
This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Business. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.