Dropbox is the glue that holds my digital life together.  As such it’s configuration took me a while to get right.  I have two of my critical applications installed to my Dropbox so they follow me wherever I go, KeePass and Zotero.  Further I set my Windows desktops and “My Documents” to sync with Dropbox so they follow me everywhere.

 

Quick Step-By-Step Guide

  1. Place dropbox in the same location on all your computers, it makes things simpler.  I chose “C:\Dropbox”
  2. Inside your Dropbox make three folders – “Programs”, “My Documents”, and “Desktop”
  3. On each of your computers point your Desktop and My Documents folders to the new dropbox folders.  Here is a quick guide on how to do this.
  4. In “Programs” make three folders: “Zotero”, “KeePass”, and “Scripts”
  5. Download and unzip KeePass to its respective folder.
  6. Install Zotero.  Go to Tools > Options > Advanced > Data Directory Location; Set this to your “Zotero” Dropbox folder. (Now all your articles and passwords will be with you wherever you go!)
  7. In “Scripts” place the following two files (make sure the paths are applicable to you.)

zotero.bat

@echo off
ping -n 120 localhost > nul
start "Zotero" "C:\Program Files (x86)\Zotero Standalone\zotero.exe"

keepass.bat

@echo off
ping -n 100 localhost > nul
start "KeePass" "C:\Dropbox\Programs\KeePass\Application Files\KeePass.exe"
  1. In your startup folder place the following two files

zotero.vbs

Set oShell = CreateObject ("Wscript.Shell") 
Dim strArgs
strArgs = "cmd /c C:\Dropbox\Programs\Startup\zotero.bat"
oShell.Run strArgs, 0, false

keepass.vbs

Set oShell = CreateObject ("Wscript.Shell") 
Dim strArgs
strArgs = "cmd /c C:\Dropbox\Programs\Startup\keepass.bat"
oShell.Run strArgs, 0, false
  1. This will delay Keepass’ and Zotero’s starting until dropbox has a chance to finish syncing. You may have to increase the ping time depending on the speed of your internet connection.

Thats it! You now have a literature repository and password manager which follow you everywhere, without you even thinking about them.  Further everything you save to your desktop will automatically appear on all your computer’s desktops.  A very simple way to transition from work in lab to work at home.