How often do you save your documents or illustrations? Do you back your work up? If so how often? Is your backed up data stored locally or in the cloud?
I consider myself to be pretty good at backing my files up. I have the hard drive on my computer that my work is backed up on, I have an external drive that I back up to and I also have two offsite “cloud” storage accounts. Does that sound like a lot to you? Welllllll, let me tell you a quick story about why I go to the lengths I do…
Several years ago I was working as the Art Director for small company and I was the only Mac user in a PC environment. I started running into a HD (hard drive) space issues because I could not attach t0 the company network to back up, so I was gifted with a great external drive set up that would allow me to slide multiple storage units in and out of it, that would enable me to back up until my heart was content. The tech guy was really excited about this setup – OK I was too, but he was REALLY excited – so much so that he moved rather than copied nine months of work to the external drive and then pulled the drive out of the housing without ejecting it! I just heard all you old school Mac users gasp…
Of course I immediately broke out into a cold sweat and the room began to spin! Alright – maybe not literally but figuratively for sure. You see – on a PC you can pretty much pull a drive out without ejecting the device and for the most part have your data be fine. Because of the way a Mac processes data being moved, you have about a 50/50 chance of the file(s) being corrupted if you pull the device out without ejecting it. Guess what happened to my files? Yep – nine months of work – GONE. Because he had moved my files rather than copied them they corrupted – every single one of them. To make a long story short, two weeks later, and $1,500 poorer, we were able to get pretty much my entire drive recovered. While I had always been good at saving and backing up, the incident made me realize how important the process is.
While you may not be to the point that you’re seeing a monetary return on your investment of time in your craft, your time is still an INVESTMENT. If you lose your work, what would it cost to replace it? I know I don’t have $1,500 (probably much more these days) lying around to have my files recovered – do you?
So here is my little writer/artist PSA because I think this topic just as important as any topic about the crafts themselves:
1.) Save often.
I hit CNTRL S (control button + the S key together) constantly as it’s a quick and easy way to save my work regardless of if I’m working in Photoshop or Word. You can’t save too much.
2.) Invest in an external drive.
External drives are cheap these days. For you writers you don’t need to invest in a large device as a thumb drive will work just fine. If you do go the route of buying an external drive, many come with software to set your computer up to auto update. For Mac users – you have access to Time Machine! Set the drive to auto back up at least once a day at a time when you’re not working (note: your computer will need to be on.)
3.) Go to the clouds baby!!
So many options these days for cloud back up. Google Drive, Drop Box, Media Fire – the list goes on and on. Point is, you want your files safe in an off site location in case (God forbid) your computer and HD in your home are destroyed.
So what are you waiting for? Go save yourselves!!!