It’s a new year and an excellent time to put new routines in place. One habit that sometimes gets overlooked is regularly backing up your manuscript in progress.
At least some of your back-ups of your documents should be done “off site”; i.e., off your main computer and away from the building that houses your main computer. You need to cover yourself for any possibility from viruses to fire to theft. There are many options for backing up, and the more variations you use the safer you are likely to be.
Some quick and easy options are to:
- Save copies onto an external hard drive that you or someone else keeps at their home or office. You may want to rotate two or more hard drives this way so that one is always off site and you have a drive available for backing up when you need to.
- Save your current most important files onto a flash drive and take it with you if you leave the house.
- Pay an Online Data Backup Company for storage for your most important files. (Please do plenty of research first and ensure that the company is reputable.) Free alternatives include Google Docs, DropBox, and Microsoft Cloud Storage, but you should never rely on any third party platform as your only back up.
- And my favourite option: Email a copy of your document to yourself at a different account. This gives you two back-up copies: one in your inbox of one account and one in your sent folder of the other. I often do this several times a day when I’m about to leave my desk for a while and have written anything of value.
You can email a document directly from the document itself without having to switch across to your email account and browse for the correct file.
File, Save and Send, Send Using Email
Office Button, Send, Email
File, Send to, Mail Recipient
Make January the month that you get yourself into the regular habit of backing up your work until it feels as natural to you as clicking Save.
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