What is the first rule of having a writing project? Back up your work. Your writing should be backed up in four different places not including your computer.
1) Online storage
Not only is your work stored online (protected), but you can access it from your mobile devices as well. This allows you to continue your research and writing anywhere, and anytime. Here are some examples of online storage:
- iCloud (also, Cloud)
- Box (Editing Addict’s personal favorite, as you get 50 GB free storage)
- Dropbox (5 GB free storage)
- Here is an article describing the different options out there.
2) USB Thumb/Flash drive
This is a drive to attach to your keychain, or toss in your makeup bag. Although they aren’t saved in real-time like the online servers, it still is an excellent idea to have it as a backup. Flash drives can be bought online or in stores ($6-$150). They can range in storage size from 4 GB – 128 GB, and are the physical size of a ChapStick. Here are a few types:
3) External drive
An external drive is capable of storing much more than a few files. Usually, then can store the backup of your entire computer, plus room for other files. You can find desktop as well as portable versions, both online and in stores. The storage size runs from 250 GB – 4 TB ($70-$1000). Here are some examples of external hard drives:
4) Email to yourself
This is sometimes referred to as the modern poor-man’s copyright. However, don’t rely on that as being so. Here is a link about the true rules of copyrights. Emailing it to yourself does, however, allow you to be sure you have another copy stored in case the unthinkable happens.
When emailing the document to yourself, include information that will make it easily searchable (in case you need to find that version in later years). Most email providers can search the text in the emails if you include:
- Book Title
- Last updated as of (00/00/0000)
If you have these backups, then if your computer is misplaced or crashes, you still have your work. If you are out of town, you still have your work. If a flood takes out all the online storages, you still have your work. Daily, remember to back up your backups. Always.