Dropbox is one of our favorite pieces of software here at ProfHacker. Recently I described how to use Dropbox to back up essential files. A reader then wrote in to ask about potential legal problems that might stem from installing Dropbox on a computer owned by her university. Her primary concern was that, if her Dropbox contained personal files, then her University might not want them on her work machine.
I’m happy to report that Dropbox recently updated to version 1.0, and that the update may solve problems like this one. Among several performance improvements, Dropbox 1.0 also introduces selective sync. According to Dropbox:
If you have a netbook or a computer with a tiny hard drive, syncing your entire Dropbox isn’t always a great idea. You also might not want certain files on your home computer to pop up on your work computer. Selective Sync solves these problems! You now can choose which folders get downloaded to which computers. This saves you time so you don’t have to sync stuff you don’t need.
Selective sync would allow a user to have one Dropbox account for both personal and profesional use. The user could sync personal files only with personal computers, and sync work-related files only to the Dropbox on his or her work computer. All of those files, however, would be synced to Dropbox’s servers (and thus be backed up online).
Dropbox has become an invaluable piece of software for both my personal and professional life—and I know that many other Profs. Hacker would share that sentiment. If you haven’t tried it yet—perhaps because of concerns about what Dropbox would sync—now’s the time to try it out.