Terrific Tuesday – it is terrific to have a plan to survive your computer dying.
Recently, for no reason at all, through no fault of my own, the hard drive on my laptop computer decided to stop working and I had to send my computer back to the manufacturer for service. I saw the breakdown as an inconvenience. My husband who has been married to this blogger for 22 years, saw an opportunity for a blog series. I use my computer for work, for fun, for pleasure, for entertaining my children. I really like my computer.
Last week in this space I talked about why you should switch to electronic life organization rather than paper day planners. In upcoming weeks I will be looking at ways to survive the failure of your smart phone and tablet. Today is all about how to be prepared for your computer to die on you unexpectedly.
There are many options for backing up your computer and saving your information. The price options for the various backup methods vary as well. In this article I will be discussing only free or very low-cost options because as a wife, mother of four and a business owner, I must be very careful with how I allocate my funds. Most people are familiar with modern storage devices such as external hard drives, DVD, CD, SD cards and USB flash drives. Each of these devices allow you to save your files to the external storage device and then retrieve them on your computer or someone else’s computer at a later date. I back up all my data files to DVD and a USB flash drive each week. Files that are particularly important to me get sent to the SD card I keep in my SD drive as they are created. These storage methods have proven very good for me when I needed to restore my computer to factory setting and then put my data back on the computer after a nasty computer virus.
If you use any of the Microsoft Office products, I suggest you get a free email account with live.com and use the Sky Drive cloud storage. Today, Sky Drive gives you 7 gigabytes of free storage. A few months ago there was a special promotion that gave 25 gigabytes of free storage to existing customers, so of course I jumped on that offer right away. A neat feature of the Sky Drive is that you can install a Sky Drive on your computer and with a few keyboard strokes and mouse clicks, all your files will be stored on your local hard drive and in the cloud in your Sky Drive. The Sky Drive allows me to store word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and photo files. It is also nice becuse it is easy for me to use file sent to me by customers, fellow bloggers and even help my daughter proof read school assignments. Sky Drive is great because there are many smart phone and tablet programs that allow you to save and retrieve files found in your Sky Drive.
One of my favorite programs is Evernote. It is the program I use most often on my computer and Kindle Fire tablet. Evernote is a word processor and data base program on steroids. With Evernote, your files called notes are stored in folders called notebooks. All your notes and notebooks are accessible in the cloud, on your smart phone or your tablet. In addition, Evernote has a large number of add-on programs that make Evernote even more efficient, easy to use and comprehensive. I use the Skitch program on my Kindle Fire which allows you to take notes and store them in Evernote. On my laptop I use, a Clipper program which copies internet pages and stores them in the notebook of my choosing. This feature makes it very easy to write my Saturday blog article series, “Better Blogging, Better Business.”
The best way to survive your computer being incapacitated or dying all together is to back up your data files on a regular basis using a combination of physical and cloud based storage. So, the question for you this Terrific Tuesday is, what do you do to be prepared for the death of your computer?