Backing up your work

39645bbe8aaf2fe0040402e9271402dac3c32850I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to regularly back up your writing on the computer (if you prefer to word processing over handwriting, that is).

I’ve known a number of writers who lost hours, days, and even weeks of work due to not having backups. The causes? Anything from viruses, computer crashes, and even corrupt files.

How to backup:

  • To a cloud drive. There are a number of cloud drive services which are free out there in the Web. Simply sign up, and either upload or sync the files to the drive and back up periodically.

ZumoDrive– I discovered my HP Laptop already had this installed. It offers 2 GB of space free, offers an IPhone App, and synchronizes with your computer.

Windows Skydrive is another cloud drive, offering 25 GB free, and links up with with Messenger, their online web apps, and synchronizes with the computer and mobile phone.

If you Google a search, you’ll find a huge variety of choices for backing up your work.

  • To a flash drive. Flash drives, also called thumb drives, are tiny drives you insert into any USB drive and backup like any disk or hard drive. You can get them for $5-$10 and they hold from anywhere to 4-8 gigabytes of information.
  • To CD/CDR/CDRW disc. I think this gets a bit pricey over time, and more complicated than the other methods. Sometimes the ‘burn’ program you use to create the backup will foul up or the disc won’t work correctly. If you can get it to work, discs generally offer 400-700 megabytes, or DVD-r/rw offer up to 708 gigabytes of space to backup your files.

You can also check your word processor for settings that automatically saves as well as saves a back up. MS Word, I know, has the setting to save every 10  minutes, but you can change this to less time. Frankly, I’d hate to lose 10 minutes of writing.

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