Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Three Alternatives to DropItToMe for File Collection

Yesterday I shared the unfortunate news that DropItToMe is shutting down on July 15th. DropItToMe provided users with an easy way to collect all manner of files in their Dropbox and or Google Drive accounts. The best part of DropItToMe is that people sharing files with you did not need to have a Google Drive or Dropbox account.

In the 24 hours since I posted the news of DropItToMe's impending demise I have had a nice email exchange with Eli Shaheen about alternatives to DropItToMe. My first suggestion was to just use a shared Google Drive folder with notification emails turned off so that you don't get overwhelmed with emails when you're collecting files. Eli responded with the suggestion of using this script to collect files via Google Drive regardless of whether or not users have a Google Account.

Eli's suggestion reminded me of the Google Forms upload option which is available to most G Suite for Education users. The shortcoming of this method is that all users must be logged into a G Suite for Education account. So this method won't work if you're trying to collect files like permission slips from your students' parents.

Finally, Dropbox users can use the "request file" option to collect files from people who don't have Dropbox accounts.

Applications for Education
The Google Drive script that Eli Shaheen shared with me and the Dropbox file request feature provide a good way to collect files like permission slips from parents without the need for them to send you email attachments. Both methods also provide a good way to collect large files. Finally, both methods will let you collect files that were not made on cloud-based services.