Category Archives: Office 2.0

Thing 23: Dropbox

We arrive at our final thing … Dropbox.

Dropbox is similar to Google Drive in that you can store and share files with it but it isn’t exactly the same.

It is a free desktop application which allows you to store your documents online so that you can access them from multiple computers, via the web and on mobile devices in a similar way to how Evernote allows you to access your notes anywhere.

As well as allowing easy access to files anywhere it also can sync with your photos from your phone so photos taken on your phone are available to you anywhere. This is especially useful, as I found out, when you lose your phone as all the photos are there!

Take the Dropbox tour here.

There is also a nice video here.

Like Google Docs, Dropbox can also be used when collaborating with others on a project as it enables easy file-sharing without the need for creating duplicates. For example, one person can drop documents and files into Dropbox and then invite other people to access and edit those files.

Sharing documents using Dropbox
Sharing with someone who already has a Dropbox account:
Create a new folder inside your Dropbox folder, select a file from your computer and paste it into this folder. Now go to the Dropbox website, log in if you aren’t already logged in, and click on the tab called ‘Sharing’.

Select the option to share an existing folder, click ‘next’ and then select your folder. Enter the email address of someone with whom you wish to share your folder and click ‘share folder’. This will send an email inviting the recipient to view your older via Dropbox. If the recipient is not yet a member of Dropbox, the email will direct them to page asking them to register.

Sharing with someone who does not have a Dropbox account
Dropbox will also allow you to share single files (but not folders) with people who do not have a Dropbox account. In order to do this, simply copy and paste a file into the folder called ‘Public’ which is already inside the Dropbox folder on your computer.

Next, navigate to your Public folder via your account on the Dropbox website, right-click on the file you want and select ‘Copy public link’. This will give you a URL which links to your file and you can then paste this, for example, into emails or blog posts in order to share it with others.

Thing 23

If you don’t already have a Dropbox account, go to the Dropbox website and create one. Once you have created an account, you will be directed to a page that explains how to download Dropbox. Only do this on your usual computer and / or at home – you can use the web version on shared PCs.

After you have downloaded and installed Dropbox, you will have a Dropbox folder on your computer where you can store any files that you want to share with others. You can access these files from any computer by logging into the Dropbox website with your username and password. From here, you can view, download and upload files securely using any web browser.


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Week 5: Office 2.0

What is Office 2.0?
Office 2.0 includes online web-based applications (think word processing and spreadsheets). These applications allow users to create and share documents over the internet without the need for installed desktop applications.

Some speculate that this emerging trend may mean the death of Microsoft Office and other software-based productivity tools, while others think web-based applications have their place, but not in the office.

One benefit of such web-based applications is the elimination of different software versions and file types when emailing documents or moving from PC to PC. They also allow for greater collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file, simultaneously in some cases. It is easy to save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and pdf).

We will look at Google Drive (formerly Google Docs) and Prezi this week.

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Thing 13: Prezi

Prezi brings even the dullest subject matter to life. It emphasises the connections between ideas and you certainly won’t experience death by powerpoint. Using Prezi can be a good way to ensure listeners remember your message!

It isn’t just for presentations but can be a very effective way of delivering information to be accessed without a speaker.  For example this guide I use on evaluating information.

Advantages of Prezi
Here is a video of Prezi’s Founder introducing Prezi:

This Prezi produced for 23 things City shows you why you should get prezi-ing.

Prezi is very flexible and  has two main advantages:

  • It presents ideas as continuous, not broken into slides. This ‘open canvas’ approach allows you to scale information and images according to importance. It is also useful to focus in on detail, then zoom out to show the bigger picture.
  • It does not require extra software. All you need to run Prezi is an online computer with Adobe Flash 10. This is particularly helpful in a conference situation, where laptops and flash drives can prove incompatible!

But there are others:

  • You can show online or download for offline use
  • Easily shared – you can work collaboratively on them too
  • Easily modified – and once embedded any changes will be automatically done
  • Good content can be killed by a bad PowerPoint but in prezi it’s probably harder to create something that doesn’t look visually exciting (even if the content is a bit iffy…) Remember we’re a shallow bunch.
  •  You can break free of the linear slide tyranny and tell a story in a dynamic stylish way.
  • Access anywhere!

‘Power corrupts. Powerpoint corrupts absolutely!’

This striking statement comes from Edward Tufte, Yale Professor of Political Science, Statistics and Computer Science, quoted in the London Evening Standard. Tufte is one of the most vocal critics of Powerpoint as a presentation tool, arguing that it eradicates nuance and limits creativity.

See the links under further information for other reasons to use Prezi over Powerpoint.

Creating your presentation
For Thing 13  we want you to create a simple Prezi presentation and blog about how you get on with it.

Here are some instructions on how to get started with Prezi.

Or watch this video:

Further information

How to create a good Prezi (a useful guide by Prezi founder Adam Somlai-Fisher)
Tips on navigating the canvas
Tips on grouping, framing and zooming
Sharing your Prezi
‘Why Powerpoint makes us stupid’ (an article that explores the dangers of presentation software)
Top 5 reasons to use Prezi instead of Powerpoint
Learn Prezi:

Prezi For The Win? Ten Top Tips To Make a Good One

How to Create a Great Prezi by Adam Somlai-Fischer on Prezi

How To Make a Fantastic Prezi by Rochelle Mazar on Prezi


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Thing 12: Google Drive


This week’s theme is ‘Office 2.0’ and we’re kicking off with Google’s attempt to replicate traditional office programmes: Google Drive (formerly Google Docs).

Google Drive offers versions of typical Office programs: Word documents, Presentations (see the posts on Prezi and Slideshare for other ways to create a presentation), Form builders, Drawing tools and Spreadsheets. DriveoptionsThey can’t do quite as many things as the programs we’re all used to, but are an easy, web-based way of working on documents – and you can download them easily as .doc files (Microsoft Word) or PDF files, among others. You can organise your files into folders, and they’re easy to manage and delete (especially if you’re used to the Google interface).

Many of us have to work on documents with colleagues, and the Google Drive allows this very easily. It’s useful if you work from a number of machines, and can’t remote desktop, as it saves you having to carry a USB stick and hope that the computer you’re using has the correct software to access your file: Google Drive documents are standard, as they are web-based.

One of the main purposes of Google Drive s to allow multiple people to edit the same document, spreadsheet or presentation without creating duplicate copies. Documents can either be uploaded from your PC or created from scratch within Google Drive and the fact that everyone can access the file in one place means that it is much simpler to edit and update. This can be very useful for researchers who are collaborating on a project; for example, and for this 23 Things programme the team used Google Docs to store and share post content and schedule.

This is quite useful for researchers who are working with colleagues in different countries, or librarians in different offices. The University of Sheffield have rolled out a number of Google services instead of their own internal email and other (expensive) collaborative tools, and have referred to themselves as “The University of Google”.

Accessing Google Drive is quite straightforward:

  • simply login with the same username and password that you would use to access your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, you can quickly set one up by clicking here and completing the online form.
  • Once you have logged in to Google Drive, click ‘Create’ and choose what kind of document you would like to create – such as a spreadsheet, word-processing document or a presentation.
  • Create your document and it will save automatically, or you can force a save by pressing Ctrl+s.
  • Now you are ready to share your document, either with a colleague or even with another 23 Things participant if you wish! Click on the ‘Share’ button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.


  • Change the ‘Who has access’ section from ‘Private’ to ‘Anyone with the link’ or ‘Anyone on the web’ IF you want to make the document completely public. If you’d like people to be able to edit, click ‘Can view’ and change to ‘Can edit’. This allows anyone with the link to edit the document. Click ‘Save’.


  • In the ‘Add People’ box, enter the email address of the person with whom you would like to share the document and decide whether you will allow them to edit the document or just to view it. Click ‘Share’ and this person will now receive an email with a direct link to your document.


Compare this with last week’s Evernote and other file-sharing tools. Do you think it would be useful in your work at all?

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