Greetings from GrantLessons!
Dropbox is a valuable tool in our application writing process. The Dropbox administrator has an important responsibility to ensure the files remain intact. She must teach members how to access and delete a file without deleting the entire folder housing all the committee’s work. The administrator controls who has access to the files. As new members come onto the committee and others leave, she needs to ensure that access is given to some and removed for others. All members need to own the responsibility of not deleting the major folder where everything is kept. The program does not allow a no-fail solution to prevent erasing important files. It is important that at least two people know the Dropbox username and password.
It is possible to have Dropbox on an older computer and then decide to have it serviced and the staff not realize the significance of removing all the files from a hard drive. That action also erases all the files from all the members who have access to the folder. So if someone is going to buy a new computer and donate their old computer, be sure they are removed from the Dropbox folder prior to erasing the files. They can always be reinstated when they get their new computer.
When files are erased they can be retrieved by the administrator. She must go into the folder and restore the files that have been deleted. Files can be retrieved for a 30 day period, after that time they are permanently removed from Dropbox unless the files are protected with a feature called “Packrat”. Packrat is priced at $3.99 per month but also protects the files from deletion.
We should all be backing up our computers regularly. I backup nightly which includes my Dropbox files to a separate external hard drive. I hope that I never have to use it “but it is better to be safe than sorry”. Have you looked at your backup process recently? It make take a professional to recover the files lost but if there is no backup in process there is nothing to retrieve.
A good protocol is to save all documents into Dropbox with a “.doc” filename as a routine. You may get an excellent new application writer who only has an older computer. If you save Word or Excel documents in the latest version, she will not be able to access the files.
After the first year or two that you have Dropbox in place you have to clean out Dropbox and add new folders. You will have to orient the committee if you make major structural changes to the filing approach used. Be sure if you are changing Dropox administrators that a good orientation between them occurs.
It is a beautiful day here in Sparks. By the time you read this, I will be on my with my husband to see our son in Portland, which means it is a good week! 😉
Catch me when you can and I will catch up with you soon! Sandie