3 good things about Penn+Box


Last month, Adam Preset from ISC Networking & Telecommunications gave a quick tour of Penn+Box at the WIC’s Gadget Day. Three things I learned from Adam and have since come to love:

1: Real spreadsheets.

Yes it’s nerdy, but we all know the horror that is a Google spreadsheet. How many of you have had a perfectly nice Excel sheet ruined by conversion to Google Docs?

With Penn+Box, you edit spreadsheets using Excel – because really, why reinvent a perfectly good spreadsheet program we all know how to use?

The key is downloading & installing BoxEdit, which connects your Box and Excel on your desktop. Spreadsheets stored in your Box account (online and/or in desktop folders) are opened and saved using Excel, and synced by Box.


Simply save a spreadsheet to Box, and it takes care of the rest. If you open the document, it opens Excel for you. Once you save it, Box syncs the document to your Box in the cloud. Ditto for Word and PowerPoint documents.

Which brings me to number 2.

2: Rollback.

You might say: But I can just put Excel sheets in my Dropbox, what’s the difference?

What if someone, say a group project member, edits your beautiful spreadsheet and deletes an entire sheet of perfect data? Or edits a PowerPoint presentation and deletes half the slides? No need to panic.

If you open an error-laden file and see that the problems have been synced everywhere, just go to the version history. See the previous version? Click “Make current” – problem solved.

And you can roll back 100 times. Yes, 100 beautiful times. Dropbox, you’ve been pwned.


3: Do it online.

Less of a thing I love than a rule of thumb, but still, this was my biggest takeaway from Adam’s presentation. The most robust version of your Penn+Box is the cloud version – the one you interact with in your browser. If you don’t like a certain sync setting, or if you need to do some heavy editing, use the web app. You’ll find whatever you need to change or do (or undo) is available there.

Good luck with the spring semester! And let us know if Penn+Box is working for you.

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  1. Joe Zucca says:

    Kate, Thanks for this one! jz

    On Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 10:28 AM, Apps On Tap

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