Use DropBox For Estimating
DropBox is a great new program/service that allows you to have a folder on your computer that is automatically synchronized with a secure server on the internet.
There are many uses for this service but I will focus on the main ones that are useful in construction estimating.
Get 2 Gigabytes of secure online storage free!
Sign up for your free account today at: https://www.dropbox.com
Follow the links from this site and get an additional 250 MB.
Get tons of storage.
2 GB is a lot of storage for plans, files, pictures, or whatever. But if you need more storage space you can get up to 8 GB Extra Free for a total of 10 GB! by referring others to DropBox. Each person you refer that creates a free account will get you an additional 250 MB. If that is still not enough space for all your stuff, then you can sign up for a 50 GB subscription or a 100 GB subscription.
Keep important files close at hand and in sync.
DropBox allows you to keep the files that you need often available on each of the computers that you use; your work computer, Home Computer, your phone, or any computer that has an internet connection via the DropBox Website. Here is an example: When you place a file or folder in your DropBox on your work computer it is automatically uploaded to the DropBox server. When you get to your home computer it will download the files from the server keeping everything in sync.
Keep important files backed up.
DropBox is an easy backup solution. Everyone knows it’s important to backup our files. DropBox provides a very easy way to do this. Just place all the files you want to backup into the DropBox folder. Everything in your DropBox folder is automatically backed up. Done!
Share folders with other team members.
DropBox allows you to create shared folders that keep files in sync between team members. Just drop the files you need to share in a folder inside your DropBox. Then choose: "DropBox -> Share This Folder". Now add the emails of the team members and they will be invited to share the folder. As soon as they accept the files are available to the whole team. Each person can work on the files and save revisions immediately.
Past Versions of files are saved.
Have you ever changed a file and wished you could go back to the original version. With DropBox you can. You can right click on any file in your DropBox and choose: “DropBox -> View Previous Versions” it will show a list of all the revisions for that file.
–Note revisions are kept for a limited amount of time on free accounts.
Recover Deleted Files.
DropBox has files that were deleted available for recovery. So you deleted a file that you really needed. No problem if you have been using DropBox. Right click on the DropBox icon and choose “Launch DropBox Website”. When the website loads go to the location where the file was and click on the button that says “Show Deleted Files”. All files that have been deleted recently will be shown with grey text. You can check the box by the file you need and choose “More Actions -> Undelete”.
–Note deleted files are kept for a limited amount of time on free accounts.
Sending Plans or other files is easy!
DropBox has a public folder where you can place files that you want to share with others. Once the file has been placed in the public folder you can right-click on the file and choose the “DropBox -> Copy Public Link” option. Now go to your favorite email program and paste the link in. (CTRL+V) write the email address you are sending to and any additional information about the file that you wanted to say, send it, and you are done! No more Fighting with FTP, or other website software.
Create Picture Galleries Easily.
DropBox creates a Photos folder for you that you can place pictures in. If you have a project that you want to create a gallery for just create a folder inside of “Photos”, place all the pictures you want to include in the folder, then choose the “Gallery” link. You will then be given a link you can use to share the gallery. Copy the link and send it to anyone you choose.
Limit Access to files.
The only files that are available to others are the ones that you put in the public folder. In order for anyone to access files in your public folder they need a link that you send them. You can delete the file(s) at any time and it will be deleted from the web and no longer accessible.