There's no easy way to say it. I hate Google. With a passion. So much passion that if I'm forced to use it, I've been known to get a little angry. And this is a constant source of humour for my team. For some reason they think it's funny when I start hurling cuss words at the Google beast, but I guess I can't blame them. So, what do I do for cloud storage then? Dropbox, baby. Dropbox all the way.
I've had a paid Dropbox plan basically forever. It's always been the place where I've backed up photos, saved all those free ebooks I download off Facebook ads and store literally everything I might want or need again. I mentioned in my post about ClickUp that I'm an email hoarder, but that was probably a bit of an understatement. I'm a digital hoarder. I keep EVERYTHING... ya know... just in case.
How is it that I've continued using Dropbox all these years later? You might be thinking it's by default because of my aforementioned hatred for Google. And you might be partially right. But honestly, Dropbox has a lot going for it, irrespective of the competition.
But first, let's talk about why I hate Google...
I feel it's important for context. Before I continue though, I just want to post a bit of a caveat. I'm a swear bear. And when I get wound up about something, f-bombs (and all other kinds of bombs) tend to fall from my mouth and from my fingertips. If you can't handle a little impassioned expression, you might wanna skip a few sentences.
So, where does my hatred for Google come from?
It's simple. It's a fucken irritating, janky, clunky, poorly designed and all-round infuriating suite of dog-shit.
I think I have gotten that off my chest.
Whenever I go looking in Google Drive, I can't find what I'm looking for. The whole "my folders" vs "shared with me" and things just disappearing and reappearing after I've furiously clicked around a million times; it could be user error. In fact, it probably is, because other people don't seem to get as angry about Google products as I do. But like, there's gotta be something to it, right? I'm pretty tech savvy. I'm pretty clever when it comes to computers and internet stuff. I just can't make it work!
What I'm getting at here, is that it's all personal preference. For me, none of the Google products make sense. I get similarly annoyed when using Docs and Sheets and even the Gmail email client. Nothing seems intuitive to me. I'm neurodivergent - perhaps that has got something to do with it. Or maybe we are all just think and work differently!
This post is not here to convince you to ditch Google
If anything, it is just encouragement. Encouragement to consider how you like working and to find a tool or suite of tools that suits you and your mind. In the circles I move in, everyone loves Google. But I don't need to use what everyone else is using. I pick my software based on what I like and what makes the most sense for my business. *mic drop*
So, what about Dropbox then?
I thought carefully (for about 3 seconds) about how to structure this post and decided that I'd love to just give you X things I really enjoy about Dropbox. I've given a brief explanation of each so that you have some context, but hopefully this will help you to understand whether Dropbox is a tool that you might like to consider for your business. Here goes.
1. It integrates really well with my devices
I'm an Apple user. You might even call me a devotee. I have a MacBook Air, Mac Mini, iPhone, AirPods, iWatch, iPad, HomePod and HomePod Minis in every single room of my house. It killed me to purchase a Samsung Smart Fridge - if Apple brings out their own fridge, I'll get that too. But this isn't a blog post about Apple.
What I do love though, is the way that Dropbox integrates with all my devices seamlessly. My chosen Dropbox folders appear in my Finder as though they are native. The photos on my phone automatically sync to Dropbox so that I never have to worry about losing anything. It just makes stuff easy, you know?
2. It integrates really well with my apps
Y'all know that if I can automate something, I will. And Dropbox fits really well into that equation. I integrate it with Repurpose.io, Zoom and basically every other app I use and it just does it's thing without me thinking about it.
This is really important to me because it saves me time and headspace. I don't have to think about uploading call recordings once they've processed. It happens automatically. Any videos streamed or uploaded into my Facebook groups are also automatically backed up.
3. Dropbox Paper is a whole vibe
I love Dropbox Paper. I will admit, I don't necessarily like it's folder structure. But as a word processor, it is pretty great. It doesn't have anywhere near the number of features and add-ons as Microsoft Word or perhaps even Google Docs, but I think that's the point.
Dropbox Paper provides a clean and clear, white screen with minimal distractions. It's available (through an app no less) on all my Apple devices and is simple to use. It even integrates with my calendar and pre-empts my need for meeting notes, which is super handy. And it's really easy to collaborate on documents with team members and clients.
4. Dropbox Passwords doesn't make me want to poke my eyes out...
That may not sound like a win. But it is. Every damn password management app I try gives me grief. Lastpass is soooo clunky and annoying. 1Password is better, but I still feel like I need a crow bar, a tub of port wine jelly, a hank of red rope and a tube of Araldite to get into it. This is even more frustrating when working with a remote team - port wine jelly doesn't travel well.
Dropbox Passwords is a new addition to our software stack and is going well so far. Sure, it was a little tricky to get everyone logged in for the first time, but now that we're in, we're A-OK. And I LOVE the fact the fact that I'm not paying for ANOTHER app. Especially one that pisses me off on the regular.
5. It's affordable
Now, I'm gonna level with you. I don't have a business plan and I don't pay for all my team members to have individual access to Dropbox. I know, that's the way you're meant to do it, but for me that works out to be too expensive. So we bootstrap.
I have two Dropbox Plus accounts. And yep - that's a personal account, not a business one. I have one for me, where I store all my stuff (personal and business) and then I have one account for my team, which has access to the business files. It costs me a few hundred a year for this setup but it's completely worth it to know that my team won't be slowed down by access limitations. (And that I can still keep some files to myself).
Google can probably do all these things too
This blog post is definitely not intended to be a true or technical comparison. It's just my opinion based on what works for me. But hopefully it's given you a little food for thought about what to consider when choosing your own data storage solution.