Sign up with Google

What is Dropbox Paper and How do You Get It?

As cloud computing becomes more prevalent, the ability to collaborate on documents becomes easier. People don’t need to meet at a particular time or place to collaborate on documents when they’re in the cloud.

Cloud software must offer strong collaboration features, or customers will look for other software options.

Dropbox Paper is one of those pieces of cloud software that enhances collaboration among team members. This is a tool that simplifies the ability for the team to work closely on a project.

If you are considering making use of Dropbox Paper, we have broken down the key aspects of this cloud software. We’ll also help you figure out how to gain access to Dropbox Paper, so you can begin using it in your organization.

What Is Dropbox Paper?

Here are some of the most important aspects you’ll find with Dropbox Paper.

Edit in Real Time

When you want other team members to make editing changes to the Dropbox Paper document, they can perform the edits at a time that is most convenient for them.

All edits link to the person who made them, so there’s no question about who added which types of information. As the administrator, should you dislike some edits that occurred, you can always go back to the original version with a couple of clicks.

Add Media

Dropbox Paper documents allow for all kinds of additions, including text, audio files, video files, and images. Add any kind of media to the document to deliver the information in the most efficient manner.

Collaborate on Projects

When putting together a project in Dropbox Paper, collaborating with a variety of people is a simple process. In fact, the ability to collaborate on documents and projects represents the strongest aspect of Paper.

Use the collaborative features in Paper to keep everyone on the team up to date on the project. Team members do not have to set a certain time to meet to work on the project. Instead, team members can leave notes and ideas for other team members to review at their convenience. Leave comments at any time to keep the discussion over the project moving forward.

Track who worked on the Dropbox Paper document at what time and date, so you know whether everyone has seen the document and had a chance to make edits or comments. As someone comments or makes an edit, you’ll receive an email, so you always know when changes to the document occur.

Keep Everyone on Track

Adding to-do lists and other deadlines to the calendar for the project is another way to keep everyone on the team on the same page. Everyone involved in the project can see his or her assigned tasks, and they can see tasks others need to complete.

When one person must complete a task before another team member can start his or her task, the collaborative calendar gives everyone an idea on when they can expect to receive the information they need.

Keep Information in One Place

When passing a document to other team members for collaboration through email, it’s easy to lose track of important information inside a long email thread. And if team members are saving copies of the document on their local hard drives each time before passing it to the next person, the number of different versions of a document floating around quickly may become a disaster.

With all of the items for the project in one place with Dropbox Paper, team members won’t have to search through multiple emails to find a certain piece of information. Everything related to the project remains in one place for everyone to see, which is convenient. There’s no worry about having multiple versions of the document stored in several different places.

Project Planning

Team members can manage all aspects of their projects through Paper. They can create a timeline that shows the way the project is advancing and what tasks remain to complete the project, allowing them to plan for the delivery of the final version.

They can brainstorm on a broad set of ideas in the early part of the project before narrowing the scope of the project. Everyone will be able to see which ideas end up as part of the final document and whether rejection of certain ideas occurred.

Dropbox Paper Pricing (Hint: You Can Use It for Free)

The actual Dropbox Paper feature itself is free, and it is available in the Basic version of Dropbox, which is also free.

Those who want some of the more advanced features of Dropbox may subscribe to the pay version of the software. If so, each of these levels of Dropbox also contain access to Paper for no extra cost.

Here are the monthly costs for various levels of Dropbox.

Individual: Basic

The Basic level of Dropbox is free for a single user on the account. Some of the Basic features include:

  • Dropbox Paper access
  • 2 GB of storage
  • Sharing of file folders and links
  • Send data up to 100 MB per Dropbox transfer
  • 30 days of file recovery

Individual: Plus

The Plus level of Dropbox costs $9.99 per month and allows a single user on the account. Some of the Plus features include:

  • Dropbox Paper access
  • 2 TB of storage
  • Sharing of file folders and links
  • Send data up to 2 GB per Dropbox transfer
  • Smart Sync
  • 30 days of file recovery
  • No free trial

Individual: Family

The Family level of Dropbox costs $16.99 per month and allows up to six users on the account. Some of the Family features include:

  • Dropbox Paper access
  • 2 TB of storage shared among all users
  • Sharing of file folders and links
  • Send data up to 2 GB per Dropbox transfer
  • Smart Sync
  • 30 days of file recovery
  • No free trial

Business: Standard

The Standard level of Dropbox for business users costs $12.50 per user per month with a minimum of three users on the account. Some of the Standard features include:

  • Dropbox Paper access with administrative tools
  • 5 TB of storage
  • Sharing of file folders and links
  • Send data up to 2 GB per Dropbox transfer
  • Smart Sync
  • 180 days of file recovery
  • 14 day free trial

Business: Advanced

The Advanced level of Dropbox for business users costs $20 per user per month with a minimum of three users on the account. Some of the Advanced features include:

  • Dropbox Paper access with administrative tools
  • Unlimited storage
  • Sharing of file folders and links
  • Send data up to 100 GB per Dropbox transfer
  • Smart Sync
  • 180 days of file recovery
  • 14 day free trial

Business: Enterprise

The Enterprise level of Dropbox for business users has a custom cost for each user. (Contact Dropbox to receive a price quote.) Some of the Enterprise features include:

  • Dropbox Paper access with administrative tools
  • Unlimited storage
  • Sharing of file folders and links
  • Send data up to 100 GB per Dropbox transfer
  • Smart Sync
  • 180 days of file recovery
  • 14 day free trial

How to Get Dropbox Paper

To start using Dropbox Paper, you will need to set up a Dropbox account. Open the Dropbox home page and either click on the Get Started button in the upper right corner to sign up for a pay version of Dropbox or click on the Get Dropbox Basic link on the lower left side of the page.

You’ll be able to download the Dropbox app after creating your account. Click on the executable file after download, and it will install in a minute or two (with a fast internet connection).

After installation, click on the Dropbox icon in the computer’s system tray, opening a popup window. (You may need to sign into your account first.) In the upper portion of the popup window, you’ll see the Paper icon in the center, which looks like a black diamond stacked on top of a white diamond.

Making Sure You Have the Latest Version

If you already have a Dropbox account, just sign into it to begin using Dropbox Paper. If you don’t see an icon for Dropbox Paper in the popup window when you click on the Dropbox icon in the system tray, you may be using an older version of Dropbox. The system administrators updated Dropbox in early 2020, requiring users to download the new version to gain access to all of the software’s features.

You can download the latest version of Dropbox through the installation web page. As described earlier, once the .exe file downloads, click on it to begin the installation process. With a fast internet connection, it should only take a couple of minutes to finish the update.

If you cannot download the Dropbox desktop version currently, you can sign in to the cloud version of your Dropbox account in a web browser at Dropbox.com and open Dropbox Paper from there.

How Dropbox Paper Works with the Dropbox Desktop App

Once you have Dropbox Paper open, you can begin using it. Here are four of the most common ways you can use Dropbox Paper.

How to Create a Dropbox Paper Document

From the Dropbox Paper window, click on the Create Paper Doc button. In the blank Dropbox Paper window, you can begin typing items anywhere in the window to start.

How to Use Templates in Dropbox Paper

Dropbox has a number of templates you can use to create common Dropbox Paper layouts. Go to the Dropbox Paper template page to see all of the templates that are available. When you find a template you’d like to use, click on it. In the popup window, click on Use Template, and Dropbox Paper will open the template in a new document, where you can begin working on it.

How to Add a Comment in a Dropbox Paper Document

To add a comment to any section of the Dropbox Paper document, highlight the portion of the text on which you want to comment. In the popup menu, click on the comment icon on the far right. Type your comment in the popup bubble.

You also can create a comment that you’re not attaching to any particular text string by moving the cursor into the right margin of the Paper document. The popup menu should appear, allowing you to select the comment icon

You can direct your comment at a certain collaborator on the document by typing the at symbol – @ – in the comment, followed by the username or email address for the person at whom you’re directing the comment.

How to Create To-Dos for Collaborators in a Dropbox Paper Document

You can assign to-do tasks for people who are collaborating on the Dropbox Paper document with you. This is a great way to give people deadlines for completing tasks important to the project, while also tracking which people are responsible for which items.

Type a left square bracket, followed by a right square bracket, to create a to-do item. Within the box that appears, type a description of the item you want to use as the to-do.

At the far end of the box, you can click on the calendar icon to set a due date for the to-do item. Click on the icon of a person to assign the to-do to a certain person.

Find any document in 3 clicks or less.
Add My Documents