Print from Your Dropbox

Posted by Tyler Hunt on

In January, I said Dropbox support was coming soon. Today, that day has come.

For many, Dropbox is the key to working productively and collaborating on teams, but it's also greatly loved as a way of keeping your most important documents always backed up and available whenever you need them.

By linking your Dropbox account with Snail Drop, you'll now have the ability to print and mail any PDF stored in your Dropbox.

Dropbox Documents

Here's how it works:

  1. Sign in to Snail Drop, and click the Dropbox link in the top right. We redirect you to Dropbox, so your password and files stay safe.
  2. See a list of all the PDFs in your Dropbox. We'll find the documents that are printable and filter out the rest.
  3. Choose one that you'd like to print. That's it!

We transfer the file you select right from Dropbox, so there's no uploading required, which also means it will work great on mobile devices.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think.

Birth of a Brand

Posted by Tyler Hunt on

Naming things can be hard, and that's especially true for web things since domain name availability comes into play. Fortunately for me, I've inherited the gift of punnery from my dad, which makes it somewhat easier to come up with unique names. It wasn't long after I decided to move forward with the concept for Snail Drop that I though of the name, which is a play on the phrases "snail mail" and "mail drop".

With the name chosen and the domain name acquired, it didn't take long before I began envisioning a snail wearing a letter carrier uniform. I think my web design skills hold up well enough to those of my programmer peers, but illustration is another matter entirely, and I knew I'd have to seek some assistance to bring this concept to reality. Thankfully, Dribbble is a haven for talented designers and illustrators, and it didn't take long to find one whose style matched my vision for the project.

Logo Design Progression

Liz Nugent took on the task, and did a great job realizing the concept I presented her with. We went through just a handful of revisions, and the end product is one I'm proud to have as the mascot for the service. He brings a spirit of fun to the app that I had hoped would be a core piece of the user experience.

I'm now working on a print piece to help spread the word about the service, which the snail branding plays heavily into, and Liz has helped out some with this project, as well, in creating a secondary graphical element to visually explain what Snail Drop is and how it works. I'll be sharing more about that as soon as it's wrapped up.

The Printerless Office

Posted by Tyler Hunt on

If you're like me and don't have a fax machine lying around your house, you've likely become intimately familiar with services like FaxZero. Sites like these are great, because they give you the ability to fax documents without needing a fax machine or a phone line. It's services like these that simplify our lives, and make our lives simpler and less cluttered.

Surely there are other things in our homes and offices that we could do away with. The first big one that has come to mind for me is the printer. Printers are large, often noisy, difficult to configure, and expensive to supply with ink and toner. And for as infrequently as we need them in these days of the "paperless office", virtualizing the printer is the next logical step.

I tried going cold turkey and moving the printer to a shelf in the garage. It worked great for a long time, but every now and then, there are times when you really do need a printer. What I've found, though, is that these are usually the times when you also need an envelope and a stamp. Believe it or not, there are still government agencies and companies stuck in ways of yore that require a dead tree delivery to their mailbox.

You'd think someone would have cracked this nut by now, but I looked and couldn't find it. After wishing against hope for someone to print and mail for me, I figured if I'm going to be doing it myself, I should do it for other people, too. Certainly there are others like me who'd rather not keep a printer around, not to mention paper, envelopes, and stamps. And that's why I decided to start Snail Drop.

Snail Drop lets you upload a digital document (just PDFs for right now), fill out a virtual envelope, pay a few bucks, and have you letter on its way in no time. I have some great ideas on ways to expand the service to make it even more useful, too, but those will have to wait for another day. In the mean time, try it out the next time you find yourself needing to print something. You'll love how much time you'll save when you're not running around trying to figure out where you left the stamps.

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