How a Creative Director at Dropbox manages her virtual-first life
Working as a creative director at Dropbox means collaborating with cross-functional leadership, pushing the brand forward and supporting an amazing team of creatives to do their best work. In an office setting, Liz would have been in creative collaboration meetings or inspiring her team with interactive swipe boards. However, after becoming fully remote, the entire design process moved online, and Liz had to make sure this new way of working didn’t stifle the creative process.
If adapting to a new working style wasn’t demanding enough, Liz also had new home-life challenges to balance. When she wasn’t busy working at Dropbox, Liz struggled to keep track of the seemingly endless paperwork and photos that come with being a new(ish) mum to her two-and-a-half-year-old son. During the pandemic, Liz isolated her immediate family from her parents to stay safe, making it difficult to share new photos. Then, she moved her family across the country during the pandemic. On top of it all, she had to apply to enrol her son at a nursery from across the country.
Before she moved everything to the cloud, she had a physical three-ring binder she now calls her ‘analog Dropbox’. But, it was challenging to keep everything organised and share documents. It was clear that she needed a solution.
I was really juggling a lot between work responsibilities in building out a new team, the newness of being a first-time mum and the gargantuan task of moving the family across the country in the middle of a pandemic.
Upload, organise and share
Liz moved all of her family paperwork to the cloud by either uploading a digital copy or using the Dropbox doc scanner for physical documents. Having everything in the cloud makes it easy to subdivide everything into different shareable folders, such as ‘Nursery Applications’, ‘Medical Records’, ‘Important Docs’. Instead of sending physical documents, she could easily share the appropriate folder with schools when she was applying to nurseries.
Secure old and new memories
Liz uses camera uploads and syncing to back up her entire camera roll, saving everything in full resolution. She’s even scanned hard copies of old photos. As a result, organising, labelling and sorting everything online is like having a digital scrapbook of each year. Now, all she has to do is share links via Dropbox with her parents, who love to print the photos to hang on their walls. While nothing will replace sitting together and looking at pictures or witnessing fun moments in person, her family found a way to stay connected by commenting directly on photos.
Now that Liz’s work and home life are blended and on the go, flexibility to work from anywhere is crucial. Accessing everything on her phone gives her the flexibility she needs to balance both a busy work and parent schedule. She can upload the photo of her son on his first ‘big boy swing’, leave feedback on her designers’ work and edit a Dropbox Paper doc or update a project timeline, all through the Dropbox and Paper mobile apps.
Nothing will replace the actual work of being a professional and a parent, but Dropbox has helped Liz reduce the clutter and noise so that she can focus on what’s important. Unlike her three-ring binder, her information and communications aren’t at risk of being spilled on or lost. Dropbox’s collaboration tools have allowed her to be more creative and a better director to her team. Also, storing and sharing family photos in the cloud has helped her stay connected with her parents when they can’t be together in person.
For Liz, Dropbox has become much more than just a place to store large files. It’s where she simplifies life’s little tasks and manages all the work involved with balancing a career and family.
Since my work and personal life definitely blend, using Dropbox for both was just a natural extension of what I do every day on my computer.