Dropbox tips & tricks
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My compnay is a custom, made to order, high-end ornamental architectural metals company. Two years ago, we needed a solution to allow our email interactions with potential clients, suppliers, architects, etc. to be available for everyone on our team. We needed the solution to be available both at our desktops in the office, and mobile-through iOS.
We developed a format using Dropbox paper that we called "narratives". Each potential project got its own narrative, and an associated folder structure within the standard Dropbox structure which we linked together in Paper through the use of hyperlinks. We set up a few additional Dropbox Paper documents which were basically a series of lists to identify where in our workflow each narrative was (think Prospect, Bid, Job, Archived, etc.). These narratives were shared with our team members using the integrated permissions rules within Paper.
Each team member was then trained to update their narratives as they had any type of interaction with the outside contacts. Updates were also made relative to internal discussions and progress. In this way, anyone within our team that was interested, and had the appropriate permissions could come up-to-speed on any narrative with relative ease.
As time went on, we learned include images, video, comments, contact information, etc, all linked to specific documents in our standard Dropbox folder structure. AND Paper itself was made better and better, allowing addtional formatting, linking, etc.
We also learned to make "Client Facing" versions of our narratives to share with our clients. Within our organization, we update these client-facing documents inline with progress on their particular job. We include links to documents, invoices, pictures, videos, progress statements, etc. as we complete the work. The client can, whenever they want to follow the progress of their work, ask questions, make comments, etc. They absolutely love it.
Recently, we expanded our use of Paper to include taking the meeting minutes for the partners of our company. Each week's minutes are contained in their own Paper documents, and other paper documenent that detail certain sections of our business are maintained by those that have the rights to do so. In this way, any partner can check in on whichever part of the business that they want to whenever they want, be it in the office or in the field.
We also use Paper to plan our social media presence. The timeline feature of Paper is particularly helpful for this as it is easy to see that all aspects of our business that we want to cover are represented frequently. Each social media post has its own development page within Paper, and the Social Media manager can review each post's stub and offer comments and guidance as the Social media developer gets each post ready to publish.
There are seamingly countless ways that we use Paper, and I'm sure to have missed some of the highlights here...but at least this is a start for others to see how truely powerful the tool is.
Feel free to ask me if you have any questions on how we use Paper.
@Teagueman thank you for telling us how you use Dropbox Paper! I'm inspired by your "narratives" process. It sounds like a new productivity methodology! Also, you have an impressive compbination of folder structure and hyperlinks.
There are so many ways that we can pair structure, linking, and more together in order to create sophisticated workflows for our teams in Paper. This reminds me that one of the things I love about Paper is the way the tool manages to pair simplicity with potential. The sky's the limit.
Once again, thanks for sharing your story!
@AlexisL Thanks for the kind words. For sure the narrative model has worked well for us. There was a little bit of "push-back" from some folks at first--but I sense that is always the case when asking folks to change the way they've done things -- but -- and without exception now that we've all been doing this method for a while, people see the merits of the workflow and are all in.
I'm happy to share more if anyone has some additional insights or questions.
Thanks Jmeneses for the comment. Rather than typing an extensive reply. I'm just going to include a link to a blank narrative that I just made. After you have had a look at it and its structure, if you have questions or comments, I'll try to answer them as well.
Hope this helps: Sample Narrative
Sorry, I just realized that the permissions for the sample narrartive that I posted earlier were not correct. They should be set now so that anyone with the link can access the narrative and comment.
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