Rather than cluttering your computer with files and folders, or playing email tag with colleagues to edit documents, consider a free resource you have right at your disposal as a Johns Hopkins employee: JHBox.
It's a kind of online filing cabinet for creating, sharing, and storing all sorts of data, from documents and photo collections to complex spreadsheets and PowerPoints. You can use it as your word processor, for example, or collaborate on documents in real time with co-workers. Departments or teams also can stash their collective data into shared, easily accessible folders.
Across Johns Hopkins, groups and individuals are finding use for JHBox as a digital workspace, according to Brian Schisler, the senior programming analyst at Hopkins IT who's in charge of the tool.
"Our users really enjoy the flexibility of JHBox and its ease of use," Schisler says. "Being able to access content from anywhere at any time on any device is one of its most desirable features. No matter how large or small a project, users can be assured that their content is safe and secure."
The tool operates through the broader Box.com platform, also used by entities such as General Electric and the Department of Justice. It works in ways similar to, say, DropBox or GoogleDrive, but JHBox users get two important (and free) extras:
More storage space—a full 50 GB that can accommodate virtually any data need.
Enhanced security features that protect privacy. (That's especially important for many Johns Hopkins Medicine employees who are using JHBox for databases with patient information. The tool offers a secure environment that ensures compliance with HIPAA and FERPA rules.)
In addition, users get:
Seamless integration and in-browser editing with all Microsoft Office platforms (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), as well as the ability to integrate with Google Drive off-site.
A tracking history of all document editing changes, giving you the ability to go back to past versions, and options for recovering any deleted past files or folders.
To take advantage of all the features of JHBox, the tech team is urging users to steer clear of common confusions. In a nutshell, their tips can be summed up as: Use your JH.edu account—not the jhu.edu or jhmi.edu account you usually use. More explanation:
You may not even realize it, but you already have a JH.edu account, even though you receive your normal email at a jhu.edu or jhmi.edu address. Your JH account works in conjunction with the my.jhu.edu site where JHBox resides, under the "Cloud" button.
When signing up for JHBox, be sure to set your JH.edu email as your primary address. You'll find that by clicking on your name on the top right of the home page, then "Account Settings."
Even if you don't think you'll be initiating JHBox projects, the tech team encourages you to set up your account to make it easier for colleagues to reach out to you.
When you're inviting Hopkins colleagues to collaborate on JHBox, make sure you're using an email address for them ending in jh.edu rather than jhu.edu or jhmi.edu. If that option's not appearing automatically (indicating they've already signed up and have an account), you'll want to manually type in the person's email address with the jh.edu ending. (If you do that, there'll be no glitches with the other person accepting your invite.)
Anyone who has been invited with a jhu.edu address can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in merging their accounts.
Posted in Tools+Tech