I’ve been writing this blog for quite some time now, and today for some reason I started asking myself the question: “What is the most valuable technology that a church can implement?” The very first thing that came to mind was DropBox. At first I dismissed it, thinking, “surely there is a technology more valuable to my church than Dropbox!” But, after a lot more thinking, I’ve settled on the fact that Dropbox is indeed the most valuable technology that my church has integrated. I give five reasons why after the break.
For those of you who don’t know, Dropbox is a cloud service that allows you to sync files on your computer to a cloud storage server. If you use multiple computers/devices, the files will sync across them. So, if you make something at home, and want to use it at the church, you can set your home and church computer to sync to your Dropbox cloud.
Here are the five reasons that I think that Dropbox is the most valuable technology that your church can implement:
- Free. When you signup to Dropbox you get 2mb of free space to store your stuff. You get can even more free space by referring friends using a referral link and a few other tricks you can “google.” I’ve managed to rack up about 13gb of free space – you’d be surprised how far that can go. (Incidentally, they made their paid service even better today.)
- Ease of use. Using Dropbox is ridiculously easy. If you just use the website, you can simply drag things from your computer into your browser like you would with WindowsExplorer/Finder. If you install the desktop client, it is even easier. The desktop client makes a folder on your drive called “Dropbox” that you can copy files into. You can even make sub-folders inside of the “Dropbox” folder. Anything in that folder gets synced on the Dropbox site. Also, with the “history” feature, you don’t have to worry about losing something. Dropbox has literally made so many things we do so much easier.
- Sharing. You can share things with some people, and not share them with other people. You decide, on a per-folder basis, what you share, and with who.For instance, I have some folders I share with the leadership team of the church, others I share with the staff, others I share with certain ministry leaders, some I share with certain co-workers, some that I share with certain friends.And I can change who can see what at any time. Over the 6 years that the church has been in existence, we’ve integrated Dropbox into many of our processes. It has become second-nature to say things like, “it’s on the dropbox.”
- Selective Sync. My work computer doesn’t need to store things I need for church, and my church computer doesn’t need to store things I need for church. With Dropbox I can select what I sync to each device! This goes a long way to promote proper priorities management.
- Cross-Device / Cross Platform. This is the biggest reason I think Dropbox is so valuable. Currently, Dropbox works on every major platform: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and even Blackberry (hehe). On the PC platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux) you get full file syncing – which means the actual files you sync will reside on each PC. With the mobile platforms (iOS, Android, Blackberry), you get a file-list sync, but you have to download individual files each time you need them. There is some functionality to save these to your device “permanently” but I never use that. Sure, you could use iCloud – but only if you have an iOS device, and only with apps that support iCloud.
So, if your church isn’t using Dropbox, may I ask why not?