A lot of people use Dropbox because it was one of the first big-name file-syncing services around. But even though you may be already using this service, do you keep your files organized, your photos sharable, and your music accessible to you anywhere? The following are some simple yet straightforward steps on how you can organize your Dropbox account better. So it’s time to get your hands dirty and start giving your Dropbox account a total makeover!

1. Organize Your Files By Year Folders

It’s hard to look for and even work with files that are cluttered all over your computer desktop. Imagine how productive you can become if your work (including your personal files) are properly sorted out by year. This will make it easier and a lot faster for you to find the document you are looking for in Dropbox — you can do the same method on your local files, too. Simply create a few folders and label them as 2014, 2013, 2012, and so on. Then place the documents or files inside the folder year that corresponds to the year the document is created. It’s that simple. Now if you’re still in the mood, you can even create another set of folders inside the year folder and label them by month, which will make your files more organized than it was before you started using Dropbox. You can also make folders like “OLDER” or “On-going Projects” where files or documents that does not belong to the year folder can be placed. For documents that you’re still working on, which means it does not belong to any specific date or year, put it in the On-going Projects folder.

Another concern that you may possibly think of is how to organize your music files, right? You don’t normally categorize a music file by the year it was released, but by the artist or album name. Sorting out your files by folders is definitely an effective way of cleaning up your Dropbox account.

2. When You Need a Backup, Choose Upload Instead of Sync

Beginners and some slightly experienced people are the ones who usually get confused about what happens when they sync their data. Syncing a batch of files does not mean you can delete them from your computer. Dropbox, and other similar file-syncing services, only follows the action you perform on your data. This means that if you delete files, Dropbox will also do the same thing. However, there’s now a workaround on this.

On the Dropbox website, uploading files instead of syncing them from your computer going to Dropbox will create a true second copy. This will give you the liberty to delete the first one, which is quite helpful especially if you really want to remove files from your computer for whatever reason. So here’s how this trick is done. On a browser, log into the Dropbox website and create a new folder there. It’s important that you create this folder within the website and not on your desktop in the Dropbox folder. Name it as “Online Only” or anything similar that will describe that the content of this folder is not locally kept on any of your devices. Then, upload to that folder (in Dropbox.com) all the documents you would like to save but will be deleted from your computer. A sample scenario of this is if you have a bunch of old files that you’re definitely sure you want to delete, but still having reservations about totally getting rid of them.

3. Sync Your iTunes Music

Many people rely on Dropbox to sync their iTunes libraries to different devices and/or make it sharable. However, when files are are removed from iTunes’ default location and into a Dropbox folder, the iTunes program starts to go haywire. Here’s a simple solution — begin on your main computer (whichever computer you use to listen to your iTunes collection). Make sure that computer already has Dropbox installed, and create a folder for Music. Next, locate your music files. For Mac users, the default location is /Users/username/Music/iTunes/. While for Windows Vista, 7, and 8 users, C:\Users\username\My Music\iTunes is the default location.

Drag your music collection into the Dropbox Music folder. This process may take a while to fully sync, so check the Dropbox icon once in a while if it’s still syncing (yellow) or it has completed (green). Next thing you need to do is to reroute iTunes to play music from this new location. To do this, go to Preferences, and then click the Advanced tab. Click the Change button, and then browse to the location of the new Dropbox Music folder.

Repeat this process on the rest of the computers that you use, provided that those PCs also have Dropbox installed on them.

4. Download and Save New Music Automatically

IFTTT is a free website and service (which means “if this, then that”) that helps you create little automations for your digital life. This recipe link lets you download new music from Soundcloud that you mark as a favorite to your Dropbox account. However, it will only work on songs that have a download option, and you can also change the Dropbox folder location and name that you prefer.

5. Save Facebook Photos and Share Photos

A lot of Dropbox users are already aware that the service has some simple sharing features that are great for sharing photos that you don’t want to post on more social media sites such as Facebook and Flickr. These features are considered handy if you save your photo collections initially to Dropbox. There’s a couple of ways on how you can make saving photos to Dropbox simpler, more automated, and more organized: by using an ifttt recipe that will automatically create a backup of 1) photos that you upload to Facebook; and 2) photos in which you are tagged on Facebook.

One more method is to turn on the Camera Upload feature in the Dropbox mobile app, which automatically uploads to your Dropbox account any photos that you capture on your smartphone. You have the option to select whether to upload images only when you’re on WiFi, or over both WiFi and cellular connection, which will send over your photos to Dropbox as soon as you take them. The saved images will be saved in the Camera Uploads folder inside Dropbox, which the service will create for you.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 9:50:06 PM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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