Business strategy: Make sure you back up your files
Your files are a BIG part of your business life (and maybe your personal one too).
Making a back up plan for those files is a TOP priority for keeping your business running smooth-as-silk. If you’re working on your computer every day back up (make a duplicate of) the files you worked on that day.
You wouldn’t drive around without car insurance (please say ‘no’…smile).
The first question I always get is “how much” and the next is “how often” then “where.”
How much to back up
Ideally? Everything, as frequently as possible. In fact, there are special data tools that create a mirror image of everything, including all your software and settings. This is the fastest way to recover from a problem.
Most of the tools let you pick and choose what to back up at what time and how frequently. The more files you include in the back up, the faster you can get back to what you need to do rather than spending hours and hours trying to find something. One tool to check out is Acronis True Image which has options for backing up your files locally (to another hard drive or a data drive) or to the Cloud (the new fancy term for online).
How often to back up
As frequently as possible. Ya jus’ never know when something weird will happen. The electricity drops right at the time you’re saving a file or you deleted something you didn’t mean to…or….
At minimum, back up the files you’re working on daily. If you’re making lots of edits, multiple times a day is even better (it doesn’t take that long to couple a file to an external drive or an online service like Google Drive, Dropbox, or CrashPlan). It’s kind of like saving the file…how much are you willing to risk losing?
Where to back up
Ideally (tired of that yet?), you have at least 3 places where you keep those critical files you never want to be without: 1 (or more) external drives (connected using a USB cable) and 2 places offsite. That could be 2 places online, 1 place online and 1 at your friend’s house, or 1 you carry with you everywhere.
There are a ton of places you can store files online and you need to make sure that is not the ONLY place they are stored. Many of the places have a free account with X amount of space available. Popular ones include
- Google Drive (if you have a gmail account, you have access to this automatically and can set it up to keep the files online “in sync” with those on your computer)
- Drop Box
- CrashPlan (this is specifically a back up location with unlimited space if you choose to purchase it. It can also back up to an external drive or another computer)
Losing files seriously sucks toads
I thought I had things covered one summer and in 72 hours two data drives failed that had the mirror image of EVERYTHING (including many of the recordings and programs I had done for the last 15 years).
No worries, thought my cocky self…I have a special file structure I use to keep everything together and I had it backed up two others places. You soooooooo don’t want to hear the hell that was.
I had used Norton Ghost (no longer my favorite!) to backup, daily, just this file structure. Recovering it was worse than Nightmare on Elm Street. Don’t ever ask for that story or you might hear words you wish you hadn’t!
And no, I didn’t have an online backup.
Why do ya think I’m pushing ya to do that, at least for those critical files you need to run your business and earn a living.
P.S. Don’t forget to back up your website(s) too!