DOVC – #019 – How to Unleash Productivity with this Dropbox Automation Hack

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How to Unleash Productivity with this Dropbox Automation Hack

We all know the pain of manual busywork that eats up precious time. 

As virtual CEOs, our most limited resource is time. 

So, it's crucial we find ways to automate repetitive tasks.

In this article, I'll share an ingenious hack one of my early mentors used back in the day to bypass firewall restrictions at our office. 

With a bit of creativity, you can apply similar outside-the-box thinking using this Dropbox automation hack to save hours in your business today.


The Backstory: Finding Fun Around Firewalls

Picture this: It's 2008 and I'm working in a fairly lax office environment. 

During work hours, my team and I are playing video games more than doing actual work. 

Hey, we're only human!

The company had no system administrator, so we'd freely use office computers for gaming, torrenting shows and movies, really anything. 

It was like the Wild West online.

Then, one day, HQ decided enough was enough. 

They hired an admin who slapped firewall restrictions on everything. 

No more gaming. 

No more torrents. 

Our online freedom erased overnight! 

You can imagine how bummed we were.

But one ingenious team member named Matthew wasn't deterred. 

He was determined to find workarounds. 

His creativity completely transformed how we utilized the office resources.

Matthew's Multi-Device Dropbox Automation Hack

We frequently used the meeting room and projector for watching shows during lunch. 

But with the new firewalls, torrenting shows became impossible on office computers.

So here was Matthew's slick solution:

He set up two synced folders using Dropbox on his office and home computer. 

Let's call them the “In” and “Out” folders.

At the office, Matthew would find a torrent link for the show we wanted to watch. 

Just a small magnet file, barely any data.

He'd download the magnet to the In folder on his work computer. 

Thanks to Dropbox syncing, the file instantly copied to his home computer's In folder.

His home PC had torrent software watching this folder. 

When it saw a new magnet file, it would download the full video file to his home Out folder.

Once downloaded, the file would sync back to his work computer's Out folder. 

Just like that, the torrented video file was accessible in minutes without ever touching the office network!

Such a simple automation loophole completely defeated the tight firewall restrictions. 

We happily resumed watching shows over lunch, thanks to Matthew's hack. 


Adapt This Dropbox Automation Hack to Automate Your Business

While I don't recommend using this to access illegal torrents specifically, the cross-device automation concept is powerful.

You can apply similar outside-the-box thinking to shortcut tedious tasks:

  • Transfer large files between machines faster
  • Automate cross-device workflows
  • Speed up processing by offloading tasks

For instance, you could:

  • Sync raw video clips to a home PC for rendering, freeing your work device
  • Send files to process overnight while you sleep
  • Move downloads off your main computer to keep it free

The core principles are:

  • Sync key folders across devices
  • Trigger automatic actions when files appear
  • Distribute processing across multiple machines

Just be creative. 

Think what workflows you can hand off, then let the devices sync and handle it in the background.

Key Takeaways:

  • Automation is about letting technology shoulder repetitive work
  • Sync files effortlessly across devices with Dropbox
  • Trigger actions when synced files appear in folders
  • Distribute processing by offloading tasks to other devices
  • Find creative ways to leverage multi-device workflows

This one simple Dropbox automation hack saved us hours of wasted time and frustration. 

With some imagination, you can adapt it to boost your productivity too. 

What tedious tasks could you automate or offload? 

Get those creative juices flowing!

If you want to learn more, Let's Chat!

Whenever you're ready, there are 3 ways I can help you:

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