To the Cloud!

TGIF! Casey here.

Today’s topic is like housekeeping, not very exciting but necessary all the same.

Show of hands:

IMG_2761How many of you back-up your digital data on a regular basis?

How many of you store your digital data on an external drive (like a USB drive)?

Does anyone use cloud based storage?

And, final question, has your computer suddenly died without warning or been lost/damaged due to unforeseen circumstances?

Now, this isn’t an exam. I’m not going to grade you, but if you answered ‘yes’ to the first three questions, gold star for you! If you said ‘no’, then this post is for you.

I know it seems obvious that your writing and other important documents should be backed up, but we are all busy people, leading hectic lives.

Before, in my day’s of ignorance, when I was tired and wanted to shut down the laptop for the night, I grumbled about having to take the extra steps to find the little USB drive and save my data.

I’ve since had an attitude adjustment. For me it was the day my motherboard just stopped working mid-sentence. Blank screen. Total panic set in (thank you, Katy Lee for steering me to your super awesome brother, Mr. Fix It.) Luckily, my hard drive was unaffected (and I back-up my writing every night) so I didn’t lose any data.

But what about situations like natural disasters or a sudden power surge? Or you drop your laptop? Dump coffee on it? Someone steals it?

This year, after years of relying on my little USB drive and emailing myself my documents, I decided to also use a cloud storage site.

I chose Dropbox. In addition to all my writing, I have a ton of photographs and music to preserve. And those take up a ton of space, so the trial size data allocation that usually comes with “free” storage offers wasn’t going to cut it. Dropbox had the best price for the amount of storage I needed and they were compatible with my iPod and Kindle (very convenient).

There are other cloud-based services to choose from like Carbonite, Skydrive , and many more. This article is a helpful summary of what is out there. It all comes down to how much you want to spend, how much space you need and what kind of convenience you want.

I strongly encourage everyone to have an off-site location to store your data.  Disaster can happen at any time. Don’t let your writing (or photos, music, etc.) be a victim.

Please share your methods for securing data. And do you have any data disaster stories to scare us with?


13 thoughts on “To the Cloud!”

  1. Yes, I do. I learned recently to use Dropbox, not just an external drive. Or at a minimum, I email myself new words, if Dropbox isn’t working for some reason. Great post! Thanks!!

    1. Thanks Nia. I also like to email my finished books to my kindle too. So a copy is stored on my Amazon cloud space and I can read it on my kindle and, added bonus, find more typos. 🙂

  2. Oh boy, you are so right Casey. Happened to me a couple of times. I have a few ways to save. In fact, now that you reminded me, I have some work to do right now. Thanks. Will I see you in Atlanta?

    1. Glad I could help Gail. And sadly, you will not see me in Atlanta. I have college tuition for two boys to pay this month. One of these years I’ll make it to an RWA convention.

  3. Great point, Casey. I do email my WIP every time I finish to myself & regularly back it up on my thumbdrive, but yeah, all those pictures.

    We use dropbox at work and what’s nice is more than once person can access it (if you give them access). So for instance if the hubby uploaded pictures on his computer and then stored them on dropbox, I could access them on mine if we shared dropbox. Or If my computer (shudders at the thought) crashed, I could access my document on his computer via dropbox.

    Once again, there you are keeping us on our toes and helping us out. We’ll miss you next week, but one of these days, we’ll get you to RWA with us.

  4. I used to rely on thumb drives and only backed up once in a while, but after losing information way too many times, I now save everything to Skydrive. It allows me to update and access my latest files from any of my computers which is very helpful.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.