Whoa, Backup There

October 13, 2017

Today, I’m going to preach unto you the gospel of a back-up strategy. (No, really, you want to read this, I promise.)

Here’s what happened:

I reached a writing milestone (I sent my daughter the first draft of Book 2). I thought, hey, how about I change up the file names and folders so they are consistent, and better reflect the series, rather than the random names I came up with before things were written. No problem. I’ve done this a bunch of times before.

Then. Something. Happened.

All. My. Work. Disappeared.


Now, I’ve been using computers, literally, since Ford was president. Want to know why I didn’t have a Major Freak-Out? Because I knew I had my stuff backed up. Not once. Not twice. But three times that come to mind. No, make that four. Maybe more.

The first back-up didn’t work. Ouch.

But I went to another in another place, and behold, my work was restored.

Here’s what you need to know about backing up: you want a 3-2-1 strategy (go ahead, click that link. I’ll be here when you get back). Basically, anything it would cause you pain to lose (photos, documents, the video of your wedding, that one pic you love of Spot when he was a puppy) you should have *three* copies of, *two* of which are local (like, in your home or office) but on *two* different devices (like, on your computer and on a Time Machine backup or an external hard drive). Plus, you should have *one* other copy off-site. Preferably, all this should be automated. Again, something like Time Machine for local backups, and a service like Backblaze (whose article I linked to) or Carbonite for off-site. The same goes for your phone. If you’re not backing up your phone, especially your photos, what happens when it goes kersplunk in that convenient bowl of water?*

Folks, you gotta do this. It’s not that hard or expensive, and doesn’t take that much time to put in place. I like you, and I don’t want you to feel pain. And there’s no pain quite like data loss that is preventable.

And if you’re the techy one, and you have all this handled, then who do you know that you can help out to put something like this in place? Your mom? Your grandpa? That nice Mrs Nelson who always gives you her spare squash?

Embrace the gospel of backing up. You’ll be glad you did (but you won’t know that until you need it and wish you had.)

(First published in my weekly email.)