Yesterday was World Backup Day, intended to raise awareness of the importance of backing up personal and archival data. I hope you won’t mind me sending this reminder a day late. The fact is, it’s never too late to back up your data—until it’s too late. Don’t wait until you have a system crash or data corruption: Back up now!
If you missed it, I wrote a series of blogs on using cloud-based storage solutions to keep your writing and other valuable documents safe. Here are links to those articles just in case you haven’t yet set up your automatic backup sync:
This can’t be stressed too much: Back up now! Whatever storage you choose, whatever method you find practical, just do it—and frankly, one day a year is not enough if your livelihood, or at least your precious creations, are stored as bits of data. Continue reading
Several weeks ago, I began a series of articles on how writers, many of whom are not naturally technologically adept, could easily put into practice good backup procedures for their valuable documents by using cloud storage. We know we need to make backup copies of our writing files, but we don’t always know the best way to do it, and we don’t want it to be difficult and time-consuming. Right?
In “Cloud Backup: A Brief Primer for the Practicing Writer,” I explained why I think cloud storage is a safe, reliable backup method that writers can easily put into practice. Next, in “Cloud Backup for Writers, Part 2: Using Dropbox,” I showed how you can set up and use Dropbox as an automated backup system for your important writing files. (As a bonus, I also wrote about “When to Use ‘Backup’ vs. ‘Back Up’” for all the grammar geeks out there.)
Up now is a walkthrough of using Microsoft’s OneDrive for automated backup. The delay in getting to this one is a result of Microsoft’s change in its service from SkyDrive to OneDrive, which was announced just as I started on my series. The service is basically the same with a new name, although I guess there are some new incentives built in for extra free storage. The switch to the new name is mostly less complete at this point. Continue reading
If you read my last post, you should understand why I believe writers should use cloud storage to back up their writing. However, even if you’ve signed up for a cloud service, you might not be making use all of its features, either because you don’t know about them or you haven’t figured out how to set them up.
Performing file backup can be a tedious and, therefore, often overlooked task, even when you recognize how important it is. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just save your writing on your local computer as you normally do, and then it would automatically back itself up to the cloud? Well, that automatic sync feature is something you can do with Dropbox, provided you set it up correctly.
Let’s take a look at using Dropbox and how to take advantage of some of its best features. For these instructions, I’m using Windows 8.1; if you’re using an older version of Windows or a Mac, you might find the screenshots and some of the steps slightly different for you, but generally the principles should work the same. Continue reading
Part 1: Why Should I Use Cloud Backup?
OK, raise your hand if you’ve ever lost a digital copy of something you’ve written. That could mean that the file became corrupt, your computer itself crashed, you lost a thumb drive or disk, or maybe you just forgot where you saved the file. Looks like just about everyone’s hand is up. A bit sad, but to be expected, I suppose.
For writers—that is, people who identify themselves as writers, engaged in the craft of creative writing in whatever form—losing your work can be particularly devastating. Which is why it’s important that you have good backup procedures in place and keep your writing works in multiple locations. Using a cloud backup provider usually lets you set up an automated backup procedure, and the saved files are offsite, so loss or damage of your local computer won’t affect the backup.
With current technologies and the variety of cloud storage options now available, setting up reliable backup has never been easier. But, because I know many writers and other creative people can be somewhat technologically phobic, I’d like the take some time to demonstrate, step by step, the process of setting up a cloud backup strategy that runs automatically to protect your most precious documents. In follow-up posts, I’ll show how you can use Dropbox and SkyDrive to get great protection. First, however, let’s look at what cloud storage actually is and how you can use it safely. Continue reading