By Sarah Wright
And the Winner Is… Dropbox!
Congratulations to Dropbox, the winner in the Best Collaboration Tool category! If you've never used Dropbox before, you should give it a look. Using this tool, you can keep all your files in one place. This is a great service for anyone who's ever had trouble accessing digital materials, either because of a forgotten laptop or flash drive, or due to equipment failure. And, of course, it's a great tool for collaborating with others. Whether you need to share a document with a group or want to send photographs or other media files to a friend or family member, Dropbox helps users share files with ease.
This winning tool can also help you collaborate with yourself, in a sense. If you use multiple computers and devices - say, a laptop for work/campus, a desktop at home and a smartphone or tablet for mobility - you can use Dropbox as a sort of magic bag that will allow you to access the same file from any of the devices on which you have installed the app. It also syncs automatically, meaning that you won't have to manually add the file to each device. You'll never again have to worry about leaving your laptop at home on the day a paper is due!
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Don't Forget About the Runners Up!
Dropbox is a fantastic service, but each of the nominees in this category functions in a different way. The winner might provide services you're looking for, but the other two nominees definitely have important stuff to offer. Though the runners up didn't win, they are definitely worthy of your time and consideration.
An online question-and-answer bank, Quora is a great resource to consult when you've got a question. The collaborative strength of this site is in its constantly improving structure. If you've got an answer to a question, or can add details to a pre-existing question, go ahead and add it. Using the site, you can benefit from others' knowledge while sharing your own expertise with those who want to fill in intellectual gaps. And if you're a bit spooked by online databases that let anyone add information, answers on Quora are annotated with information about the person who gave the answer.
If you've got a tough midterm coming up, but you don't want to study alone, Quizlet can help you collaborate with study buddies without having to work out your schedules to meet in person. You can also work together with classmates to develop a set of online flashcards to be used throughout the semester. If you're too busy with other things to make your own flashcards, you can also search the site's extensive database of pre-made flashcard sets to see if someone else has already made what you need. Quizlet helps you study smarter by bringing together the collective power of many users.
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