Thursday, September 22, 2011

Back It Up

Most of us already know that we should back up our work. What I'm going to strongly suggest with this post is using multiple forms of backups as opposed to just one.

Recently, I was in the middle of renaming a few of my manuscript files when a few of them became corrupted. Some of the files refused to open at all and the ones that did open were still unreadable. The glitch ate most of my work.

The cloud service that I use to automatically sync my work to my other computer as a back up proceeded to sync those corrupted files to my other computer before I could retrieved the undamaged versions of those files.

Fortunately, the day before this incident, my work had automatically backed up onto an external hard drive via Time Machine. If not for that back up, I would have lost my entire manuscript! But I was saved because the Goddess was smiling down on me and I didn't rely on just one form of backing up my work.

It is highly suggested that you do not depend on a single form of back up. Life is strange. You just never know what can happen.

You may be familiar with some of the apps below. Others might be new to you. Utilize as many as you can.

Back up your work with these cloud services (in no particular order):

Dropbox (Windows, Mac)
SpiderOak (Windows, Mac)
Windows Live Mesh w/Skydrive (Windows, Mac)
iCloud [formerly iDisk/Mobile Me] (Windows, Mac)

Or with these Hardware methods:

Time Machine (Mac)
External Hard Drive
Flash Drive
Consider printing out a hard copy of your manuscript

Safe Practices 

Any time you plan on making major edits to your work, create a copy of that file first and save it somewhere else on your computer as a backup. That way if something goes wrong with the original file you'll always have that duplicate file as a backup.

Make backing up your work a routine, and stay up to date. Don't procrastinate and put it off for another time.


Jaime Morrow said...

I bought myself an external hard drive recently because I started freaking out about the possibility of losing my work. I am so wacky about it, I actually bring the wallet-sized hard drive with me when I leave the house (you know, just in case). I've heard too many horror stories like this one to not back up my stuff. Glad you managed to save yours!

Kelley said...

Good advice. I get the heebies thinking about losing stuff.

Caroline said...

Yeah, it's ultra important. Last year at my school (every kid in grades 7-12 get computers for lease) we used a program called ifolder. This didn't back up old copies or store them online. Long story short, ifolder spazzed out (after our teachers drilled us to save everything to ifolder) half of the kids at school lost all their files and never got them back. I was lucky, my manuscript went untouched. We use dropbox now, and even if there was a curupt file, you could get an older version of it. :)

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