Organizing and Saving Hard Drive Space with Dropbox

August 16th, 2018 Reading Time: 3 minutesTools,Productivity

I love my Dropbox. Ever since the early college days when their promotion for free storage space got everyone to share it around, I was competitive in getting my base free storage up to sufficient levels where I wouldn't have to buy premium. Eventually, my storage needs grew far past my free storage amount and I subscribed to Dropbox Plus. I own a 250 GB MacBook Pro 2017 model and went with the limited storage to save on costs, and I figured I would upgrade sooner than expected due to the keyboard issues. Using Dropbox I sync all my files across multiple computers and mobile devices. However, with my limited hard drive storage space, I have to rely more on cloud storage for files I don't access often. If you are receiving "I'm running out of disk space errors" error from Dropbox here are some simple tips to free up some space.

Disk Usage Statistics Viewer

Mac Built-in Storage Analyzer. On Mac when you go to "About This Mac" > Storage > Manage... You can see recommendations to Optimize your Storage and Save Space. Screenshot 2018 08 15 22 06 52   Screenshot 2018 08 15 22 10 57 750x496

Disk Inventory X

(Mac) Disk Inventory X is a disk usage utility for Mac that shows what's taking up space on your computer. It's a bit outdated, but if you have an older mac this can be a good tool if you don't have access to the built-in analyzer from apple. hunt down space hogging files your mac with disk inventory x w1456 300x191 You may need to allow the application to run from Security & Privacy from System Preferences

Screenshot 2018 08 15 22 04 12 300x256 WinDirStat

(Windows) WinDirStat is a disk usage statistics viewer and cleanup tool for various versions of Microsoft Windows. windirstat 56aa24cc5f9b58b7d000fbf2 300x201

Move Large Files to the Cloud

Once you know what's taking up space, move those files to Dropbox.

Organize & Sync to Dropbox

It helps to have a folder structure in dropbox similar to the file structure of your computer. documents I also like to add some other folders to help with organization.

  • Inbox: Placeholder for files you want to quickly store to organize later or delete when no longer needed. Be careful not to horde files in your inbox as that defeats the purpose of organizing.
  • Receipts: Folder to store receipts, invoices etc.
  • Events or Travel: I host a number of events and I like to have a special folder where I create folders for the events I go to and organize them within my events folder.
  • Learning or Research: Documents and resources related to things I'm learning.
  • Social: Pictures, Videos, Meme and or gifs I want to share on social media.

There are many ways to organize your folders, keep it simple, consolidate and delete.

Organizer Folders by Year

On mobile, you can enable Camera Uploads to Sync

Camera uploads can automatically add photos and videos from your camera, phone, or tablet to Dropbox. Your photos and videos are then available and viewable from anywhere in your Dropbox account.

Screenshot 2018 08 15 22 57 08 On your computer, you can share and save screenshots with Dropbox. This helps me immensely with research and a number of the screenshots you see in those post utilized this feature. Now, these are both really good features. However after a while, if you are syncing your camera uploads and screenshots to your computer, which I do, they can take up a lot of space on your computer and you will eventually get a Hard drive full error and Dropbox will no longer sync.   030 hard drive full   If you have space on your Dropbox to fix this, organize your screenshots and camera uploads by year. You can sort or arrange by date created and copy year by year into the individual folders.

Screenshot 2018 08 15 10 21 00 750x98

Selective Sync Next, you can enable this useful feature called selective sync through your Dropbox preferences to choose which folders you want to sync. Screenshot 2018 08 15 21 57 35 267x300   Screenshot 2018 08 15 10 29 59 Remove the years you don't need on your computer from syncing and you'll save a bunch of space. If you are running out of space on your Dropbox account.

Free Cloud Storage Options

If your Dropbox space is limited or full you can also distribute some files across these services to save on storage costs.

#cloud storage #dropbox

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