How To Use Dropbox’s Enhanced RSS URLs To Get Notifications When Your Files Are Changed
With Dropbox introducing enhanced RSS URLs for your ‘Recent Events‘ page, there are quite a few ways you can put this new feature to good use. Dropbox is already a must-have productivity tool, but with this new feature, combined together with a handy IFTTT recipe, you can easily power-charge how you and your friends or colleagues use the backup service.
With the RSS URL, you can use IFTTT trigger magic to receive a notification when changes are made to your Dropbox files. IFTTT’s flexible recipe creation also makes it possible to customize this feature to your heart’s content.
First thing you’ll want to do is find that RSS feed – which is located at the bottom of your Recent Events page.
Just click on the ‘Subscribe to this feed’ link and copy the link that pops up to your clipboard. If you’ve shared the RSS feed with someone and you no longer want them to have access to your Events page, you can reset the feed.
Now that you know where to find the RSS feed is – you can put it to good use over at IFTTT. One of the first ways you can take advantage of the RSS feed is to receive notifications when an event takes place. So let’s say you’re waiting for someone to share some important files with you. You can create a recipe using the RSS feature and your notification tool of choice – receive an email, an SMS or even a phone call – whatever you prefer.
The downside to using this simple recipe is that it can’t differentiate between your own actions and those of others – meaning you’ll receive notifications even when you make changes to Dropbox. You can, however, always deactivate the recipe when you’re at you’re computer and know you’ll be making some changes to your Dropbox files.
Alternatively, if you’d rather just switch the recipe on and forget about it, you could always opt for a slightly more complex method, and create triggers using keywords. Want to know when an item is deleted from Dropbox? Instead of selecting ‘New Feed Item’ when creating your recipe, choose ‘New feed item matches’ and then place the keyword in your recipe – deleted, added, shared etc. You can even use people’s names if you want to keep tabs on one particular user’s actions in your Dropbox folders.
If you’re not a fan of IFTTT, there are other ways you can put the RSS feed to good use. You could simply subscribe to the feed in your RSS reader to receive the updates in your reader of choice.
Don’t use an RSS reader anymore? You could always go the Boxcar route. If you’re not familiar with Boxcar, it’s a handy iOS app which makes managing pushing notifications on your phone a breeze. (Check out our review here .)
To use Boxcar with the Dropbox RSS feed, simply add the feed through your Boxcar settings using the convenient web-based interface, select the alert you want to receive on your device and let Boxcar do the rest. Unfortunately, like the simplified recipe listed above for IFTTT, Boxcar won’t give you the option to differentiate between your actions and those of others.
Can you think of any cool IFTTT recipes, or other tools, that you’d use with the Dropbox events RSS URL? Let us know in the comments.