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Using Dropbox or another cloud-based storage service is a great way to start a paperless office. A recurring problem, however, is when clients need to get you documents quickly.

A simple solution is to have them fax you documents. You can easily scan them, turn them into PDFs, and stick them in your online storage.

If you use Dropbox, there is a new service called AirDropper that will allow clients to email files directly into your Dropbox.

How it works

The bad news is that you need a Dropbox account, which costs money. The good news is that AirDropper is still free for both you and your clients.

First, connect AirDropper to your Dropbox account. AirDropper then creates a separate folder in your Dropbox just for files uploaded through AirDropper. If you are concerned about security, AirDropper says they only have access to their folder, not your entire Dropbox.

Next, you send a request to your recipient, asking for specific files. AirDropper will then send a secure link that allows them to upload files to the site. AirDropper will then put the files in the designated AirDropper folder in your Dropbox.

Is it secure?

If you are concerned about cloud computing security, I highly suggest reading the comments from last week’s post on secure cloud computing.

AirDropper says that they never keep any of the files, they are merely a pass-through and they do not store any files. Obviously, however, the files must be stored at least temporarily in order to move them into your Dropbox account.

In addition, some lawyers could be leery about allowing a third-party access my Dropbox account, even if they only have access to one folder. This is a legitimate concern. At the same, if you keep paper files, your janitors could just as easily access your files.