Michael Peacock, Revel Designer
Our agency recently decided to integrate Dropbox into our daily workflow processes. Though not perfect, we have already begun to see the benefits of this system at our agency, not the least of which is a much more reliable system for storing our work. Here are some of the benefits we’ve discovered with using Dropbox, exclusively relating to designers in an agency or business setting.
Let’s talk about a few different scenarios of pre-Dropbox workflow that you might be familiar with as a designer. You go about your business creating world-class designs, saving all your work to different folders across your computer’s desktop, and you may even have a “Work In Progress” folder for some projects and another one for “Completed Projects.” Then, at the end of every day, week or month, you take those projects and back them up to your office’s server. (Helpful Tip: If you don’t back up your work anywhere, then get on it. You have hard times in your future.) Then one day, your computer dies.You had only been archiving “Completed Projects” on the server, so you lose all your “Work In Progress” files, or you haven’t backed up for almost a month and you lose everything.
Now imagine you use Dropbox and all those Photoshop files you used to download or open off the server are now on your desktop, seamlessly backed up to the cloud, and on your design team’s desktops AND at your home computer just in case. You stay home sick and your team already has your latest files on their computer. You need to work from home and you’re not stuck because you have all the assets you need.
5 Steps to Optimize Your Workflow
1. Have a creative assets folder in Dropbox to share with your team. Include all relevant photography, graphics, fonts and reference files. When you have all of these in an easy-to-navigate folder structure, you are never left wondering if someone else on your team has a more up-to-date file or asset.
2. Working straight from your local Dropbox folders. When you are constantly working with photography and design files in the hundreds of Megabytes or even Gigabytes, it becomes time consuming to download and upload files, either for storage or client delivery. Saving all your files directly to a Dropbox folder gives you the best of both—quick files and instant backups.
3. On-the-go inspiration. When you are out and about and you see something that inspires you, whether out in the world or just browsing the internet, you have a direct and immediate way to add that image or file to the right project folder to reference when you get back to the office.
4. Saving Storage Space. A terabyte may seem like a lot, but when you have all the photos from a photoshoot taking up 325 Gigs, that space really starts to disappear fast. One of the beautiful things about Dropbox is Selective Sync. You don’t have to sync any archived work to your desktop storage if it’s no longer relevant to your daily workflow. I’ve saved hundreds of Gigs of storage space by keeping old projects on the cloud.
5. Working Remotely. From being out on a photoshoot, at a meeting with a client or even being sick at home, having access to your work files is crucial. ‘Nuff said.
While there are tons of great apps to help your team in their daily workflow, Dropbox is the latest addition to our team, and we are really excited to see how our productivity increases, our backup systems become more sound and our collaboration improves.
Check out our previous Design Dialogue starring Taylor Morris, Revel Designer