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Back it up!
Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2011 10:23 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 8

Sometimes, I think my biggest fear is waking up one morning, and finding my hard drive dead, and my body of work wiped from existence. I know I can't be alone in this, and that some of you have probably lived through it.

Thankfully, this is an easy problem to fix. Here are a few cheap and easy ideas. Forgive me if some of these seem like common sense, I'm just throwing it out there.

Dropbox: Cloud storage at it's finest. If you sign up, you get a free 2 GB (more for educators). You can access it from anywhere through their site, or use the actual 'Dropbox' folder on your desktop. It is easily sortable, shareable, and simple to use. It is also completely free.

Google Docs: If you have a Gmail account, then you are already signed up. It is a cloud based office suite with some real power and reliability behind it. The collaboration tools are simple and effective, and you can store up to 7 GB of data in here. Good luck filling that up with basic manuscripts.

One of the lesser talked about advantages to Google Docs is the ability to open Microsoft Office formatted documents from any computer. There are no installs, as it is all online, and can open those pesky .docx files from most any computer still in use.

External Storage: If you don't really trust browser based applications, then this is probably the best option for you. For less than 50 dollars, you can purchase massive back up drives into the terabyte range. I even know a few writers who keep three of these as redundant back ups.

Evernote: This program can be used for many applications. Note taking, outlining, and novel writing. It is cloud based, so your data is on a server in some mystery location, but is easily accessible. I use this on my phone for most of my note taking, and it syncs to my desktop and laptop almost instantly.

I know there are a ton of other solutions out there, but what do you guys use?

Danielle Poiesz
Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 12:02 PM
Fantastic topic, Tsouthcotte! I'm really bad at backing up my work. I have an external drive for that very purpose (my software engineer brother got it for me after my computer crashed in college and I lost all my papers haha), but I'm terrible at actually remembering to use it!

I'm home sick today so perhaps it's the perfect time Thanks!
Jason Myers
Posted: Friday, March 18, 2011 8:35 PM
Joined: 3/3/2011
Posts: 21

I wrote a robocopy script that copies my work once a day to all three drives INSIDE my PC, to my two external hard drives, my flash drive, and my dropbox. I am paranoid that way.
Posted: Friday, March 18, 2011 8:50 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 8


I need something like that!

Also, there are much worse things to be paranoid about, especially if you already have the hardware
Posted: Monday, April 4, 2011 9:21 AM
Joined: 3/31/2011
Posts: 11

I use Dropbox too. It's fantastic.

I also back up onto an external drive, a pen drive, usually have the current file in 2 locations on the laptop and email myself a copy.

Just in case...
Sinnie Ellis
Posted: Monday, February 6, 2012 2:41 AM
Joined: 4/3/2011
Posts: 67

I lost 3 months worth of work. There was a lot of sobbing in the corner and cursing Dell when my hard drive  had to be rolled back after I was hacked. I have a backup on a jump drive that I never leave. I also email copies to 3 different family members I can trust.

Posted: Monday, October 8, 2012 7:22 PM
I keep my main Outlook pst file along with backups of my browser settings, bookmarks, contacts, calendar, and other such files in my Dropbox folder. Doing this has saved my skin countless times. I also have a folder where I keep my Family Tree Maker files. And my writing files, of course. Dropbox is awesome.


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