Yay! This past weekend marked the official ten-year mark for my blog. *whew* I made it…even though the past few years made that milestone a bit questionable.
On my post announcing my annual Blogiversary Contest, we had enough comments to earn two winners. Woo hoo! But I always struggle with the part where random.org selects the winners because I wish I could give everyone a prize.
In fact, we ended up within rounding distance of having enough comments for three winners, so I’m going ahead and awarding a bonus third winner because I just can’t help myself. Yay! *grin*
I’ve said it before, and I really mean it. You’re the reason I blog, and I appreciate you all so much. Thank you!
Before we get into announcing the winners, I want to touch on a subject that came up in last week’s post about organization. As Clare O’Beara and I were discussing in the comments of that post, the best organizational system won’t help us if we lose our notes, so we need a plan.
Every System Has Risks
In last week’s post, we discussed several types of organizational systems, from tangible notebooks and planners to digital online solutions. Either way, we might run the risk of losing all our notes.
If we use a tangible and portable system, such as a planner, we could lose the notebook itself. No matter how “attached” we are to our planner, we all get distracted, or we might drop the notebook in a puddle and ruin the pages themselves.
If we use a tangible and non-portable system, such as a whiteboard, we’re obviously less likely to misplace our notes, but the risks still aren’t zero. Sticky notes can blow or fall off a board, someone else could accidentally erase our scribblings, or a bigger tragedy could strike, like a flood, tornado, or house fire.
If we use a digital system, such as computer files or apps, the risks come from multiple directions. We could lose our phone or laptop, our computer hard drive could crash, or files could become corrupted.
Why We Need to Plan for the Worst
That list of risks sounds pretty dire—and maybe extreme. After all, it’s easy to assume those problems won’t happen to us.
Sure, maybe we won’t ever have an issue…but maybe we will. And if we do, the cost of not having a plan is always higher than we think.Why should we plan for the worst to keep our writing data safe? Click To Tweet
Those of you who follow my blog might have heard that my house flooded last November—the whole first floor. The water didn’t seem that deep, so we initially thought the chaos would last for about a month.
But our move-out lasted for three months, as every step of the demolition and reconstruction process revealed more issues. So it was a good thing that we’d grabbed everything we thought we might need before packing up: whole file drawers of important documents, every power/charging cord we found (even when we had no clue what it went to), and so on.
Or as I mentioned in my comments to Clare in that organization post, years ago, I lost a ton of data when a hard drive crashed and couldn’t be recovered. I literally felt like I’d “lost my mind” because I’d lost so many of my notes I’d taken over the previous year or so. It was like a mental breakdown in some respects, so ensuring we have backups is no joke.
What’s Our Backup?
Depending on our system, we might decide on a couple of different approaches in our “plan for the worst.” Basically, we want to have a backup of our notes and information.
For a tangible system (whether portable or not), we might decide to create a weekly task to take pictures of our organizational system’s current status (digital images are cheap *grin*). The images would then be a backup of our notes, reminding us of what other tasks or projects we have on our plate.
For example, we could take a weekly picture of our whiteboard or the weekly calendar page of our planner. Or if there are aspects of our organizational system that are less familiar or automatic to us, we might focus our picture-taking on that aspect of our system.
For a digital system, we can backup our information to somewhere in our home, like with an external hard drive, or somewhere offsite, like with cloud storage. Or ideally, we’d use a combination of multiple backup approaches, as different backup methods have different pros and cons.What are some of our options to backup our writing and organizational data? Click To Tweet
In general, if we have an account on an app for our digital system (such as OneNote or Trello), our data is automatically backed up to the app’s cloud as part of the benefit of being able to access our information from different devices, like our desktop/laptop and our phone. However, we then have to protect our accounts and data from other risks, like theft, so good passwords and phone security are a must.
For our data files (Word, Scrivener, etc.), we might use an external hard drive and/or cloud storage, like DropBox, where every file in a specific folder is automatically copied to the cloud. Either way, we want the backups automated if possible, so we don’t forget to protect our data.
Personally, I have backups through various apps (like OneNote), cloud storage on DropBox and Microsoft’s OneDrive for most of my data files (such as Word or Scrivener files), and nightly onsite backup of my computer itself. In addition, I have my Android phone backed up to Google.
(In other words, I’ve learned my lesson and won’t lose either my auxiliary “brain” or my story drafts. Er, I might even be paranoid enough to have backups of backups now. *smile*)
Reminder: Happy Blogiversary to Me!
As I announced a few weeks ago, after 1000+ posts (1046 posts, to be exact) and ten years of publishing articles every Tuesday and Thursday, I’m giving myself the gift of an irregular schedule. That means this post is my last regularly-scheduled, Tuesday/Thursday post.
But don’t worry, I’m not going away—and neither are my guest posters!
I’ll still be writing new posts (and sharing guest posts), but those posts will be published…whenever. Some weeks I’ll share a post or two, and other weeks I won’t have anything new to say.
So before we get to the Blogiversary Winners, this is a great time to make sure you’re signed up for my New Blog Posts newsletter so you don’t miss any of my new scheduled-when-I-feel-like-it posts! *grin*
Blogiversary Contest Winners!
And now, the part you’ve all really been waiting for… *drum roll* the winners from my 10th Annual Blogiversary Contest!
E J Randolph
And the Bonus Winner…
Congratulations to you all! You should receive an email from me within the next day, so start thinking about what prize you want. Should I be worried? *smile*
Do you back up your organizational system or other data? If not, why not? If yes, what type of organizational system do you use and how do you back up the information? Do this post give you different ideas, or do you have questions for me? Do you have other suggestions or insights for how we can back up our organizational system or information?Pin It