All of us have regrets in life. Some can be as personal as breaking up with a really nice girlfriend or as simple as not buying an iPhone when it was on sale. These regrets, at times, haunt us. It makes us think “Bakit ba kasi ganon? Mali ba ‘yung desisyon ko?” keeping us up until wee hours of the morning. It’s sad and stupid at the same time. Why stupid, you ask? Let’s take Nadine Lustre’s logic for this one. “Come on, guys. It’s .” Meaning what’s done is done and we all have to move on from the past.
HOWEVER (all caps para intense), there is one thing we can—and should—regret about for the rest of our lives. Nope, it’s not missing Britney Spears’ concert or breaking your iPhone 7 while partying. These things we can actually forget through time and a couple of beers. But losing your files and not having backup? That, my friend, is unforgivable.
Years of accumulated music, movies, and personal photos and videos all gone. You kept them in your laptop for years thinking they will never leave you. After all, they’re safe, right? Stored on your beloved computer, ready to be accessed whenever you want.
But the unexpected occurs. You switch on your laptop and see the blue screen of death. In a minute or two, your laptop is dead and your files never to be seen again. Sakit, besh. Even if you pay thousands to a technician in Greenhills, you still won’t retrieve all of your important files.
Cue in cries of regret. “Bakit kasi hindi ako nagback-up?”
Oh yes, it’s your fault. There were many ways to back up your files but you never paid attention and gave time. Now they’re gone and you’re left crying in the corner of your dark, dark room.
Don’t let this happen again. We know how hard it is—we’ve been there, too. So put into heart these four rules on backing up files. Whether you’re backing up with an external hard drive or cloud storage service, these rules will keep your life organized and your files protected. Read and take notes.
1. Adjust your filing system
It starts with you. As predictable as that sounds, it really does. When backing up, one of the most important things to remember is that you need to be organized. You need to have an efficient filing system as if you’re filing super duper important documents in the office.If you start with a system that works best with how you work, making it easier to pull up specific files and folders, then backing them up will be a lot easier. I use a simple formula that trains my brain to label everything in a way I best understand it: Name_Month_Year
So for example, if I’m creating a folder for my beloved cat photos, I’ll name it like this: PolkaThePusa_Nov_2017. Keywords are important here. They need to be personal yet systematic. In this case, it’s by using my cat’s name and the period I took or saved his photos.
Adjust how you save your files, tag them, and categorize them. It’s just a lot easier that way, both in the short term and in the long run. Trust me.
2. Assume everything
In times like this, there’s nothing wrong about being an assumero. It’s not that the worst will happen all the time. It’s just putting an end into something so you won’t get hurt when sh*t gets real. Assuming everything also prepares you for the future.
Consider that our work machines are limited by the technology that’s inside them. In turn, those pieces of innovation rely on many other things—electricity, a stable internet connection, multiple connectivity peripherals that can fail you anytime, anywhere.
Always work with assumption that not a single one of them is foolproof. Something will go wrong and you need to be prepared for that. That’s why I back up twice a week, just because and just in case. As Ate Vi once said, you can never can tell.
3. Multiple backups. I repeat, multiple backups.
Your 2TB external hard drive may be new and expensive but it’s not enough to keep your ~memories~ safe. Your backup needs a backup. Yes, it’s redundant because that’s how you can keep your documents forever.
Apart from owning a quality external hard drive, also make use of cloud storage services like Dropbox and Google Drive. Keep your important files there. Files you can’t live without like your dog or cat’s derp photo. Cloud storage services are typically free, especially if you don’t need much space. Take advantage of this. The internet can help you.
If you have another computer, save your important files there as well. The more the many-er.
4. Keep it simple, keep it clean.
Last but not the least, label everything as best as you can, but also in the ways that you understand. What that means is this: go with what works for you and then work with it.
I know it’s tempting to read and internalize everything we find online on “how to be the best you at work” and “work like the masters” but at the end of the day, it’s still what you’re comfortable with, what you can sustain, and what you win with.
In this digital age, files are important. It’s the life and blood of many businesses; it’s what keeps memories forever etched in our lives. Make an effort and back them up. It won’t take you a day, heck, not even four hours. A few clicks can keep you happy not only today but as long as you have files to access and enjoy. Happy backing up!