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Can you use Dropbox to share your maps and linked files?

Do you wish to share map(s) and linked documents with other people using the Cloud to manage a project, event, writing a  report, developing a web site, etc.? Mindjet offer this possibility via Mindjet Web which stores both maps and files which can be linked.  Is Dropbox a viable alternative?

Dropbox allows you to share files and folders via shared folders and your Public folder. You can share to non-Dropbox users and Dropbox account holders. Those with accounts will be able to edit shared files and add files to shared folders. How can you use this cloud store with Mindjet  MindManager files? I investigated what happens when a map which has linked files and folders, attachments and URLs linking to files in my SkyDrive account is accessed by other users and the iPad.

I created a new folder (Publishing) in the local My Dropbox folder on my Windows PC. I created a map and saved it in this parent folder. I created some sub-folders and saved some existing documents there. Then I linked these by dragging and dropping from File Explorer to the map. I also added links to the folders. I added some attachments and hyperlinks to other files and web pages.

Then I shared the Publishing folder with another Dropbox account running on another PC. Once the folders and files had been synced to this PC’s My Dropbox folder everything worked as expected. The relative links (don’t use absolute) to files and folders opened, as did the hyperlinks to web pages and the attachments.

Test Dropbox with Mindjet MIndManager

This will also work if you put the Publishing folder into your Public folder, share the link and the person you have shared the link with downloads all the folders and files in the structure to their PC. However this is a one off process. Their files will not be synced with any changes that are made by you to those files. They would have to repeat the download manually.

Both Dropbox (viewer only) and Skydrive (viewer and and editor) will open MS Office files via their browser pages (not via the local Dropbox application). This can accessed by a right click on the file in the local Dropbox folder.  The url links on the map to the PowerPoints stored on SkyDrive open the presentations in a browser window.

iPad

There is an iOS Dropbox app and this can be accessed many other apps on the iPhone and iPad.  What happened when I accessed this map from my iPad using Mindjet and iThoughtsHD?  Both applications support access to Dropbox folders and other cloud file stores.

Mindjet

  • The links to files and folders do not work
  • The attachments are not accessible

iThoughtsHD

  • The links to files and folders do not work
  • The last attached document in a topic is accessible. The second topic has two attachments but only one can be opened.

I cannot recommend sharing maps with document links and attachments via Dropbox on iOS.

About Andrew Wilcox

Andrew is an experienced user of MindManager who shares his knowledge and advice for free here. And provides commercial training and consulting on how to exploit MindManager and other mind mapping software applications in business, organisations and for individuals at Cabre For more information about Andrew please visit his Google + profile.

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