Friday, June 10, 2016

Are You Backing Up??

I hope the previous post was helpful! More soon on the subject of organizing your writing, but first, a more pressing topic.

You might recall that I ended the previous post by urging you, dear reader and writer, to remember to back up your work! I was recently talking with a poet friend who was bemoaning the fact that her current backup drive is full. If you are like most people, you keep meaning to purchase a new drive or even a little "thumb" drive, but you never seem to get to it.

A quick and easy temporary solution is to email yourself the latest draft of your piece. It will then at least be stored on the server, i.e., in your webmail. But, and this is something I just learned for myself, depending on whether your mail account was set up as IMAP or POP, the server won't store things indefinitely. As it was explained to me, (and feel free to educate me if I don't have this quite right) an IMAP account is best when syncing across devices as the server will store a copy in your webmail inbox. A POP account on the other hand will not do that. Instead, your emails will download from the server to your various local devices (computer, tablet, phone) but will only be saved for a few weeks on the server.

Ok, now back to backups. There is software that will do this job for you. I'm a Mac user and my computer has a program called Time Machine built into it. Another popular program for the Mac is called Super Duper. For PC users I'm certain there are plenty of good options there as well.

The ideal setup is to have two backup drives; one that you are currently using at home and one stored safely offsite, perhaps in a bank safe deposit box. You'll want to switch them out periodically. How frequently you do this depends on how prolific you are. In addition to the "big" backup, I also have a thumb drive that I put new files on. It's great to do this with photos as well, as they are important keepsakes. Which reminds me that I haven't done this in a while so I will take care of it right now!

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