Get free online storage for creative files, work with teams

Are you still storing files on your computer’s disk? Get up to 4 TB of online storage for free and solve space problems. Store files online, collaborate with teams, access them anywhere.

Thanks to today’s fast internet connections and a wide range of online storage providers, it is easier than ever to work with files in the cloud. You are not limited by the free space on your computer, and you can more easily collaborate with others on projects.

Cloud storage is built into Windows PC with Microsoft OneDrive and it is in Apple Mac with iCloud, so you probably already use it to some extent. There are many alternatives to OneDrive and iCloud of course, like Google Drive, Dropbox and Box, to mention just three. A search will turn up dozens more companies willing to help you with gigabytes or even terabytes of cloud storage.

Is there room for yet another online storage service that wants to look after your files? Playbook aims to stand out from the crowd by offering 4 TB of online storage for free, provided you meet certain requirements, but even if you do not qualify for that, you can still get 100 GB of free online file storage. When you consider that Microsoft and Apple only offer 5 GB for free, and Dropbox even less, Playbook’s 100 GB looks attractive.

I don’t expect these offers to last forever, so it may be worth signing up early to grab your free space, just in case. Playbook online storage is accessed through a web browser, and you sign up at the Playbook website.

Playbook free vs paid online storage

The amount of free storage that Playbook offers is astonishing and 4 TB unheard of, however, there is a catch. Playbook is aimed at creative people like artists, photographers and designers. If you have an existing portfolio of artwork available, you can apply for a 4 TB free storage plan on Playbook. They will take a look and if they think you are worthy, you will get your online storage for free. There is a link to apply on the website home page.

If you do not qualify for a 4 TB free account, you can subscribe and get the same 4 TB of online storage for $12 a month, which is cheap for the amount of space you get.

Ordinary folk, like you and me, can sign up for a free Playbook account and get 100 GB of online storage for files, which is still very generous. When you look at what Microsoft, Apple, Google, Dropbox and others offer for free, 100 GB is amazing.

Store creative files online

Unlike the storage on your computer, which can accept any type of file, Playbook online storage is designed for creative files. There is no list of what is acceptable, but I uploaded JPEG, HEIC, Word documents, PDF files, zips and even html code. I could only find mention of executable files being barred.

Playbook online storage for creative files
Playbook online storage shows files as thumbnail images

Playbook only offers thumbnail views of files and there is no traditional text file listing with filename, date, and so on. This is not like OneDrive, Google Drive and others. If Playbook cannot create a thumbnail, it shows an empty space.

This means that it is not good for zips, code and similar things that don’t have thumbnails. However, it is great for photos, videos, documents, PDFs and other files that can show a thumbnail.

Playbook file organization

Online storage normally looks and works like a drive in the computer. There are folders, subfolders and files. Playbook is different. You create playbooks and these contain boards. Boards contain sub-boards and files. You can think of a playbook as a folder in the root of the drive and boards as subfolders within them.

Playbook online storage stores files in boards
Boards are used to store files in Playbook

Create a board and open it and you can drag files to it from the computer’s disk using Explorer (PC) or Finder (Mac). Once uploaded, which is fairly quick, the files appear as thumbnail images in the board.

You can view files in the browser and move from one to another slide-show style. You can download files, move files from one board to another by dragging and dropping, zoom in and out of images, read PDFs and more.

Sharing, publishing and collaboration

Playbook is designed for collaboration and sharing. You can invite other people to a playbook, which is like a creating a shared folder in other online storage. You and whoever you invite all have access to the boards and files contained in the playbook.

Invite other people to a board in Playbook
Playbook is designed for sharing and collaboration

Other members of your team can contribute files to the boards. Members can react to files with a heart, thumbs up/down, and green tick. Comments can be added to files by members. These features are useful if you want to create online resources for a team to share.

Playbook members can react to files
React to files with hearts, thumbs, ticks

Each playbook can have its own members and several playbooks can be created, each for a different team. You can also create private playbooks that only you can access.

A board can be shared and a link sent to anyone you want to show the files to, like clients and customers. A board can be turned into a publicly accessible webpage, so if you want to show off a collection of photos on the web, you can place them in a board and then publish it.

Playbook lets you publish collections of files on the web
Publish a board on the web

You can choose if people can download files, like photos, or just view them. You can automatically create a license, such as non-commercial use with attribution, for example.

Final thoughts

Playbook is a bit different to the usual online storage for your files. It offers a lot of free space and if you need more, monthly subscriptions are fairly cheap.

There are a few odd things, like its focus on creative content like photos, videos, and documents, rather than any and all files. It only offers thumbnail views, not filenames and dates.

A really odd thing with the free storage is that if you do not access a file for more than 60 days, it is transferred to slow, long term storage. If you need a file you haven’t accessed for 60+ days, it takes 24 hours to retrieve it. That could be a problem for some people.

There are no desktop or mobile apps, and everything is done through a web browser. It is therefore not as easily accessed as other online storage like OneDrive, Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive and so on. I prefer those alternatives, but Playbook is certainly worth investigating if you want a lot of online storage for media files and easy collaboration features.

Maybe because I have a free account, but I found that invited members had too many permissions. They can delete files for example. I would like to limit what members can do.

There is a lot to like in Playbook and it may suite some people more than traditional online storage.

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