Remember what it was like this time last year? Icy hill starts. Freezing knuckles. Endless ‘working from home’ emails from those who couldn’t make it to the office. All very annoying, especially if you and your colleagues rely on a central server for saving and sharing work. But there are plenty of apps and services like Dropbox available now that let you easily collaborate remotely and ping projects back and forth without risking frostbitten little piggies.
In a previous life (or role, at least), I used an Apple AirPort Extreme in the office, and connected to a shared drive, allowing access to this drive via the internet. The drive I shared contained all the design files I needed, so I could either work from the drive or copy the work onto my local MacBook Pro. It worked well, and was ideal for a small office setup, but it relied on having a decent internet speed.
At Jigsaw24, our shared drive is huge, and I don’t have remote access to the server. So I’ve started using Dropbox for sending files home. I can simply copy a file to my Dropbox account while in the office, work on the file at home, then save it back to my Dropbox to access when I get back to the office. The free account comes with between 2GB and 18GB storage, so it’s ideal for a few projects, but you can upgrade for a few quid to get 100, 200 or 500GB cloud storage. There’s even an app for iPhone and iPad, which means I can alter files including Pages docs while on the move. Win! See more about how to set up Dropbox in Dave’s video below:
Of course there are other apps like iCloud or Google Drive which work in the same way, but I really like the ease of use of Dropbox. Another one I’ve been making use of a lot recently is Air Sharing, for viewing documents on the go. It lets me upload files directly to my iPhone and iPad while I’m in the office, then transfer them to my MacBook when I get home.
Just recently, Adobe have also released Creative Cloud – and announced Creative Cloud for teams too – a paid-for subscription service which is supposed to give you access to your Adobe apps and store projects, all in the cloud. Creative Cloud has its advantages because I could upload files to work on and I could also download the software I need to work on the files. There have been countless occasions when I’ve sent a file home to work on only to realise I don’t have the correct software on my personal Mac, so this could be an ideal long-term solution for the department.