Dropbox tip: Store documents there!

Posted on Apr 12, 2009 in Featured, Hints, Mac

dropboxdocssyncWe’ve talked about Dropbox here before on the site, but did you know that you can use Dropbox for more than just storing files? If you use multiple Macs, you may also want to store some of your application data on Dropbox, allowing you to keep your todo lists, passwords, clippings and other data in sync across all your machines. Of course you could also do the same with a USB drive or MobileMe iDisk, but the instantaneous syncing Dropbox does makes this very practical for users who use multiple Macs a lot.

So far I’ve tested Dropbox syncing with the following apps:

  • 1Password: Involves a few steps, but Agile has also written a great setup guide.
  • VoodooPad: Just drag your .vpdoc files to your Dropbox and you’re all set.
  • The Hit List: Just move the library file from “~/Library/Application Support/The Hit List/The Hit List Library.thllibrary” to your Dropbox, hold down the Option key while launching The Hit List and select the file on your Dropbox.
  • Things: Setup is similar to The Hit List, a user-contributed how-to is also available.

Most other applications can probably also be synced using one of the methods above, provided they support a custom library location or use documents to store your data. I have yet to run into any issues, however there are a few things you’ll want to look out for, to preserve your data integrity:

  • Try to avoid running your synced applications on both Macs at the same time – otherwise you might run into “lost updates” and other syncing conflicts
  • Occasionally check your Dropbox folder for aforementioned conflicts: Dropbox doesn’t give you a lot of warning if there are conflicts, so take a look every now and then to see if there is a “sync conflict” folder in your Dropbox.
  • Make sure you have the same version of the application on both Macs.
  • Your preferences are usually stored in a different location than your data, so don’t be surprised if those aren’t synced

Tip: if you sign up for free using this referral link, you’ll get an extra 250MB storage.

6 Comments

  1. If you need to clean up conflicts, wrote a little workaround.
    http://github.com/rizumu/dropbox-fix-conflicts/tree/master

  2. Too bad I saw your link a few days too late. The extra 250MB would have been nice!

    Dropbox has been great to use! Really convenient to share files with other people collaborating on a single document instead of bouncing them back & forth over email. And thanks for the tip on syncing Mac apps. I’ll give one of my non-essential apps a try, one of my photo editors perhaps.

    Great tip!

    Jim
    Phoenix Property Management

  3. Dropbox is a great online USB. My brother has been telling me to signup for an account but I was ignoring him until recently. I was trying to access my files from my iPhone. I wonder if there is a Dropbox app because I couldn’t find it.

  4. A friend of mine just turned me on to dropbox. It has been a godsend. It makes things so convienient. Its amazing how fast things are changing these days with technology.

  5. Thanks for the tip! Dropbox sounds like a great tool for maximizing memory on my Mac.

  6. So it’s like you have remote access to the files from the other Mac PC?

    Javier Velez

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