Moving work forward: How to keep teams flowing

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When your team is flowing, you can feel it. You’ve got an endless stream of ideas, collaboration comes naturally, and the distractions fade away. Your team seems perfectly suited to the project at hand, and together—almost magically—work keeps moving forward.

If only that could happen more often. At Dropbox, we know how the little things have a habit of getting in the way. All the notifications, meetings, and emails interrupt your team’s flow, turning that promising project into a series of checkboxes and repetitive tasks. That’s why, over the past year, we’ve been reimagining a better approach to work—one that’s fed up with all the repetition and distraction. And we’ve been inspired to see many of our customers using Dropbox in new ways to reclaim their flow.

Teams in sync

Dropbox customers have been keeping their files in sync for years. But increasingly, our customers have been using Dropbox in new ways—collaborating in Dropbox Paper, freeing hard drive space with Smart Sync, or using Dropbox Showcase to rethink how they interact with clients. In cases both big and small, we’ve seen teams find ways to move past the distractions and get back to the work that matters.

A screenshot of people collaborating in Paper

Take InVision. The digital product design platform is made up of 700 employees who work all around the world—a team that’s entirely remote by default. Before using Paper, the team’s work would stall out due to long turnaround times with communication. Instead of iterating on a design, they’d be sitting around waiting for feedback. But with Paper, everything changed. The team now collaborates on concepts in real-time, with comments that feel like conversations, media links that automatically generate full mock-ups, and to-do lists right next to the work itself.

Then there’s Lonely Planet. The travel publication juggles thousands of images, videos, and drafts at any given time—enough files to clog up even the biggest hard drives. But by using Dropbox Smart Sync, Lonely Planet has been able to access all these files in the usual way—without filling up their devices. And with Paper, the company’s writers and editors are collaborating across the globe—from any device. These features let them stay in their familiar flow, while taking care of the mindless tasks they shouldn’t have to worry about.

What’s next

While we’ve been inspired by customers like InVision and Lonely Planet, we’ve still got more to do. The grind of modern work—complete with the growing pile of tools, distractions, and demands on our attention—isn’t something that can be fully solved in a few months, or knocked out with just a few features. We’re obsessed with keeping teams in flow, and we’re busy building even more ways to help teams get back to their most meaningful work—whether it’s our new Gmail add-on to add files without leaving your email, or the longer-term investments we’re making in machine intelligence.

Starting today, we’re kicking off a new series of stories—a vision of what’s possible when great teams are truly in sync. Now, more than ever, the world needs the creative energy of teams like these, and we know they’re just getting started. Let’s give people more room to think, to work together in new ways, to stand up to the daily frictions that disrupt our best efforts. Let’s keep work flowing.

Dropbox astronauts