More Dropbox tips

Friday, October 21, 2011

Every couple of days I get an email from a customer about Curio and Dropbox. The ability to share Curio projects between machines or between other users is a very cool feature. And I recently discussed some tips here on this blog to make the process easier and more robust.

Last night, David Pogue of the NY Times posted a new article describing how he used Dropbox to send Word documents for the chapters of his new book between himself, his copy editor, his technical editor, his graphic designer, and the various proofreaders. He includes this wonderful tip:
After editing, she’d add her initials to the file’s name; its name changed in my First Drafts folder, too, so I knew she was finished with it.
Renaming the document title is a very clever idea that gets around the "is anyone editing this document?" problem. It doesn't allow for simultaneous editing of course but it's an easy solution for one-editor-at-a-time workflows.

I can imagine a similar renaming technique with a shared Curio project.

For example, if I want to work on a shared project I can rename it to "Group Project-gb.curio". I make sure that sync goes up to Dropbox by watching the Dropbox icon in the menu bar. As the sync goes out to the team they all see a Dropbox notification that the project has been renamed. Then I can edit the project, even offline on a plane.

When I finish with my edits I can rename it back to "Group Project.curio". Everyone on the team gets another Dropbox notification letting them know I'm done and they can view the project to see my changes. Then someone else can edit the project if they'd like.

It's not a perfect solution — it'd be cool if Curio could do this automatically — but it is a pretty slick technique that might work for lots of Curio users out there. Feel free to share more tips here in the blog or via email.