Two businesses, one family, all together

The professional and personal benefits of Dropbox for one entrepreneurial family.

A family of four

By Lindsay and Dave Wilder

Being an entrepreneur is exciting, but it’s also a lot of work. Not only are you the face of your business, but you have to keep everything organised behind the scenes. 

We know this because we live it every day.

We are Lindsay and Dave Wilder, each of us entrepreneurs in very different lines of business.

I need to share large files, manage permissions and stay organised

Lindsay stands in a kitchen she designed

I own Lindsay O. Creative, a boutique interior design firm. When I started my business in 2008, I wanted to operate more efficiently than my previous experience with a company server.

Dropbox is our way to achieve efficiency, flexibility and structure. As soon as we start a project, it’s assigned a project number, and we create a Dropbox folder. We also keep an archive of content that we may need for reference but is no longer current. That way, we know everything in the project folder – PDFs, CAD drawings or text documents – is the latest and greatest version.

Apart from the simplicity of organisation, my team also loves that sending large files is as simple as sharing a link. Even small design projects require files and documents that can be quite large. But we don’t have to worry if the file is too big to send; we simply share the link to the file in our Dropbox.

As I started to grow my team, it was crucial to operate more efficiently and hone our organisational approach.

An interior with door and built-in shelves
Mobile shows creative files in Dropbox

I’ve always needed to have our files accessible from different spaces and for different people. Recently, I began to hire summer students, which put new emphasis on managing permissions.

So we created a student temp folder: subfolders that serve as their inbox and outbox. My team puts files for the students to work on in the inbox, and once the work is complete, the student then moves the file to the outbox. We could change settings around permissions, but it’s so easy to create folders that stay the same as students float in and out of the business. This way, confidential files always stay confidential.

I need an intuitive, secure solution that enables a paperless office

Man and child smile

My work is the very opposite of Lindsay’s. I am a financial advisor who started in the industry in 2010. I loved the work but hated being ‘a bank guy’. The suits, the long hours, the work culture – none of it fit into my long-term view of my life. So I started my own company, Lantern Wealth, in 2016.

When Lindsay introduced me to Dropbox, I liked what I saw. I liked it more when I found out that Dropbox essentially mirrored how File Explorer works in Windows. That broke down a barrier for me because I could use it in the same way to create, access, copy, delete and move files. Every client gets the same folder structure, so everyone on my team knows where everything is.

A high level of encryption means I can rest easy knowing my clients’ information is always secure.

Lantern Wealth logo
Phone shows file structure

The sensitivity of the information that I handle means I have to meet strict compliance regulations. Dropbox encrypts at the highest level, so I can be sure my exposure to risks is limited. If I leave my laptop anywhere and am concerned about access, I can quickly and easily shut off access to files from my phone.

To share a sensitive document, I prefer to use a Dropbox link rather than a password-protected PDF. It requires no extra lift from anyone, with a high level of confidence in its security.

My paperless office goes next level with HelloSign

In my line of work, everything requires a ton of paperwork. If a client is buying a life insurance policy or opening a registered savings plan, those contracts require physical signatures. But in my office, there’s no physical paper anywhere. Anything requiring a signature gets signed, scanned and saved to Dropbox and shredded on the spot.

When I started using HelloSign, it was another game changer for me. I can get a legally binding signature electronically. I also have the security of the timestamp and the document audit trail. The process of paperwork is now even easier.

Cloud storage saves us both time and money

For both of us, Dropbox enables the entrepreneurial aspects of our work. Without Dropbox, we’d both have to outsource the management of a server, which would cut into our bottom line. Dropbox has been there as we’ve grown our businesses, and we know the platform can expand to meet our needs. And because no information is stored on a physical device, there’s never a need for any downtime for anyone. If a laptop or other device dies, that’s OK. We can find another one and pick up where we left off. 

Both of us are iPhone users, too, and we find that the Dropbox app integrates really well with iPhone. Being able to take notes or a picture or sign something and save it directly to Dropbox often consolidates our process, and makes it easier to do business – or run our household – on the go.  

Lindsay and Dave on their wedding day

Our family and life: as organised as possible

While planning our wedding, it made sense to have a central location to save and review information. So everything from budget to guest list was stored in Dropbox, including our eventual wedding photos. It was perfect for our needs at the time and would come to play an even bigger role in our lives over the years.

Our household has now grown to four people, which sometimes gets even more chaotic than a business. With Dropbox, we store everything from photos to tax returns to vehicle documents to receipts. It’s not quite as organised as our work folders, it’s fair to say, but it’s eliminated all that paper from our lives and our home. 

Beyond storage, it makes it easy to share with people outside our immediate family. We have a central place for information on childcare and our holiday cabin we share with friends. And it’s so easy to share our photos.

Lindsay and Dave walk and talk with their daughters

A low-maintenance digital filing cabinet

Whether you’re someone whose business embraces creativity or you have more traditional file storage, there’s no need to be intimidated by Dropbox. It’s a simple and easy way to organise and share with others. You can link Dropbox to anything – it’s beyond low maintenance.

We’ve said goodbye to the monster filing cabinets, and we know we can expand the size of our storage if we ever need to. And everything is safe without having to learn new software. We’ve organised our individual businesses and our home life with one simple solution. For whatever our needs are in the future, Dropbox is there.

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