Dropbox Paper Review 2022: Is It Worth It?

In this Dropbox Paper review, we will take a closer look at Dropbox Paper and how it can help you become more organized and effective when it comes to collaborative note-taking and brainstorming.

Dropbox Paper is said to be a new way to collaborate with your team and organize visual projects easily. This document creation program was created by Dropbox. At first, it was viewed by many users to be an attempt to take some of the focus away from the word processing big-shot Google Docs.

The overall presentation is similar between the two programs; just like Google Docs, Dropbox Paper offers a seamless and infinitely long strip of digital paper for you to place all of your ideas, goals, brainstorming points, and comments on.

But, does Dropbox Paper live up to the expectations? Let’s take a closer look and see who can benefit from the features and tools it offers.

What Is Dropbox Paper?

D​ropbox Paper review

Dropbox Paper is a useful program when you want to be able to create projects and collaborate with multiple users for opinions, comments, and more. One of the benefits of Dropbox Paper is that it imitates a single sheet of paper. It has no maximum length, giving you the ability to type as much as you want, or to embed countless images and other files into the project.

However, this is also where Dropbox Paper can fall short for some users. This unlimited strip of paper does not allow freedom of design when it comes to your project layouts. Formatting options are extremely limited and what looks great on one screen resolution may end up being a jumbled mess on another.

Having said that, Dropbox Paper claims to offer a range of benefits to three unique user groups; creators, collaborators, and presenters.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these three categories and see where you might fall, and if Dropbox Paper is right for you.

Dropbox Paper Pricing

Dropbox dashboard
The free version will be using the storage capacity of your Dropbox itself

Even though you may have noticed some downsides mentioned with Dropbox Paper, one of the best parts is that it is a free program that only requires you to create a Dropbox account. While the free version will be using the storage capacity of your Dropbox itself, you are still able to get a huge range of use from the program depending on the size of the projects you have in mind.

If you need more space, your Dropbox Paper expands as your Dropbox itself does. You can adjust the size of your Dropbox storage capacity by investing in additional payment plans.

Dropbox Plus For Individuals

Dropbox paper
Wiith Dropbox plus, you can create some extremely large and very media-heavy projects on Paper

With this option, you will get up to 2TB of storage space which means you can create some extremely large and very media-heavy projects on Paper. This plan is for individuals, and while you can still collaborate in some ways, you won’t be able to invite multiple users to your projects on Paper. You’ll be charged $9.99 per month when you opt for the annual bill payment.

Dropbox Professional For Individuals

Another suitable option for individuals, with a total of 3TB storage space. That extra TB of storage can give you plenty of room for dozens of additional rich media embeds, or long format video integration. This plan will run $16.58 per month when you opt for the annual bill payment.

Dropbox Standard For Teams

This is a great option for businesses that want to set up multiple individual users on the same project with editing, commenting, and creating allowance. You’ll be getting 5TB of storage space with this option, as well as HIPAA compliance for business security. This option will run $12.50 per month when paid annually.

Dropbox Advanced For Teams

Last but not least, this is the best bang for your buck if you often find your team projects going over their allowed space. You will have unlimited storage space with this option, can have 5 or more users on the team, and will have a full range of tiered administrative roles. This option will run $20 per month when you opt for the annual payment option.

Who Can Dropbox Paper Benefit?

For creators looking for a brainstorming and note collection program that allows you to insert a wide range of media, and offers an interactive format when file-sharing or editing those media insertions, Dropbox Paper can be the answer for you.

It offers rich media embedding abilities and can integrate with dozens of websites including Trello, YouTube, Dropbox, Spotify, Vimeo, Github, Figma, and many more. For coders, being able to link your Dropbox Paper projects with your Github code blocks and programs may be exactly what you need in an online document. For artistic designers, integrations with InVision, LucidChart, and Framer may be highly valuable to you.

For educators and students, you might find the ability for homework assignments or custom lesson creation to be extremely useful. Add multiple educational videos from YouTube and share the lesson plan with your students. Additionally, Dropbox Paper fully supports LaTeX so you can get full representation with technical equations.

Work With Collaborators

When it comes to document collaboration, Dropbox Paper is almost identical to Google Drive in that you can simply invite people to your file and set their viewing, commenting, and editing permissions. As with Google Drive, you’ll see the initials of the editor or comment maker on the side of the screen so you know who added their opinions or changes to the project.

Unfortunately, Dropbox Paper does not bring anything new to the table in this regard. If you are currently using Google Drive for collaboration, there is nothing shiny and new on Dropbox Paper that you would need to switch over for.

The biggest difference that sets Dropbox Paper apart from Google Drive is the ability to insert Trello cards into your Paper projects. Cards that are linked to your Trello platform will automatically update in real-time on your Paper projects allowing multiple collaboration teams to stay in touch and updated as often as possible.

Do A Presentation

Dropbox presentation mode
Where the Presentation mode shines is in the rich media integrations

When using the desktop app of Dropbox Paper, you can easily transition from editing mode to presentation mode. Once here, you can adjust some minimal features such as how images display when you scroll past them. However, this is where screen resolution issues come in because if you try to view the project on a different screen resolution or aspect ratio, any changes you made will look jumbled or stretched.

Another downside to the Presentation mode is that it cannot be used on the mobile app version. While this is normally not a concern for most users, the occasional times when it could have been used are definitely felt when you come across this limitation.

Where the Presentation mode shines is in the rich media integrations. You’re not limited to just embedding images, in fact, you can integrate your Dropbox Paper with other programs and data storage sites to get a full range of sharing features.

User Friendliness

Where it falls short in other areas, Dropbox Paper tries to make up for it with its simple and easy-to-use user interface. This simplicity is due in part to the fact that Dropbox Paper lacks a lot of the basic formatting features one might expect from similar programs.

Most of the editing tools are removed from the top bar and are instead placed to the right in a pop-up box as some older word processor programs may have done. This pop-up box includes more than two dozen options to embed images, tables, code blocks, checklists, Dropbox folders, and more.

For users that enjoy maximizing their time, Dropbox Paper includes a range of keyboard shortcuts so you can quickly access the exact embed or other option you were searching for. If you have any experience with Google Docs, this will be a familiar feature that adds to the overall ease of use.

More familiar features between the two programs are the ability to bold, strikethrough, highlight or link to specific text when you have highlighted it. Additionally, you can easily use keybinds to comment on certain aspects of the project which are updated in real-time to other users that have access.

Review Criteria

When putting together this review for Dropbox Paper, I took a close look at the app itself and the many features it offered. I put them through their paces by seeing how they all worked together, and if the synergy between integrations and importing images was streamlined.

Additionally, I took a close look at the pricing profile and how it lined up with other similar apps and software.

Why You Can Trust Me

I have had quite a bit of experience testing a wide range of word processing software and apps to see which one lives up to its promises. I take a no holds barred approach to testing and will put the apps through some rigorous tasks before I write my final review on the program.

If it leaves some areas to be desired, I will be sure to let you know about those areas in this review. If the app promises certain features but doesn’t deliver as well as it could, I will be sure to point this out so you can make an informed decision when selecting the software for your projects.

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Dropbox Paper Review
  • Functionality
  • Ease of Use
  • Pricing
3.33

Dropbox Paper Review: The Bottom Line

Overall, Dropbox Paper seemed like it had a lot of potential but fell short on much of it. It’s a very usable program and may be perfect for some users. For the majority of users that need a wider range of functionality and text based formatting options, there are other programs which pull ahead of Dropbox Paper.

If you’re simply looking for a real-time collaboration tool and do most of your work with embedded images or videos instead of text, Dropbox Paper can meet your needs. However, if you build most of your projects with formatted text, the biggest downfall with Dropbox Paper is that it lacks the most basic text formatting and editing options.

Pros

  • Can be used from Apple iOS and Android
  • Easy to invite other users to collaborate on your project
  • Due dates can be viewed on a visual calendar
  • Documents can be created with various media integrations
  • Edits show up in real-time for team members to view
  • Clean and simple program for note-taking and to-do lists

Cons

  • Does not provide any font selection options
  • Offers extremely limited text formatting options
  • Does not offer a spell checker option
  • Offers very limited templates for inspiration
  • Cannot enter Presentation Mode from the mobile app
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