Monday, March 12, 2012

Writing Tips ~ Backing up Your Data

Just before Christmas 2011, the unthinkable happened... we left our house for just over an hour and when we got home, someone had broken in and stolen several things - one of which was my laptop with all my writing related information on it.

Here's the thing. I backed up my data periodically. But after this incident I can tell you, I didn't back it up often enough.

At that time I was bearing down on the finish line of a novel and I hadn't backed it up for about a week - I lost several thousand words. Other things I lost that I hadn't even considered backing up were: emails, contacts, and pictures.

So do yourself a favor and don't be like me. Prepare now for the worst.

I now have a program called SyncBack that I use. This nifty little program allows me to use my website (where I already had a significant amount of storage space) as a back up of certain folders on my computer. I've set it up so it runs once a day at a certain time. At least if something like this happens to me again I will only lose at the most 24 hours of work.

There are also lots of options out there of paid back-up services. Some of those are: Carbonite, Live Drive, Storage Guardian, MyPCBackup, and Mozy. (Note, I don't use any of these, so please use caution and check them out before deciding which one to use.)

Where do you start?

  1. Make a list of all the information on your computer that you would simply hate to lose if the unimaginable happened. Be thorough.
  2. Decide which back-up method is right for you. It should be an automated solution, not one that is performed by you, because life happens and backing up our computers isn't always on the top of our priority list.
  3. Set it up and forget about it - well, for the most part - it's good to check in on it every once in awhile to make sure your automations are actually doing what you've told them to do. 

I hope you'll never have to use this, but if you do, you'll be so glad you set it up ahead of time. It will save you lots of hassle!

What are your backup solutions? Any other programs I didn't mention above that you use and are pleased with?
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