I really love the free online courses offered by productivity bloggers. Another one that I really enjoyed is the Simplify Digital Backups by Barbara of SimplifyDays.com. It’s advertised as the ultimate guide for backing up your digital life and I believe it is correctly described. I learned so much from this course and it has me wanting to plan on how I should backup my digital files.
The course is divided into five sections. Barbara provided us details on everything digital backup. Whether it’s cloud-based services, external hard drives and even specific details on how we should backup digitally. I appreciate that this is a free course.
Gravity of Backups
Hard drive is the main data storage of your computer. Hard drives typically live for 2-8 years. Hard drives will eventually fail. When a hard drive fails, sometimes data can be restored and most of the time, data is already lost. Our hard drives are fragile.
Internal hard drive typically holds hundreds of gigabytes (GB) while External hard drive holds terabytes (TB) of information.
Digital Storage Lingo
- 1024 KB = 1 megabyte (MB)
- 1024 MB = 1 gigabyte (GB)
- 1024 GB = 1 terabyte (TB)
Many of us have data stored in applications (e.g., Evernote). Evernote could go out of business and cease to exist. Evernote can have a data breach. If someone got into the device where Evernote data is in, data can be compromised.
Apps and software gets updated all the time. Sometimes, data gets lost in the process as well. Despite all of these possibilities, digital information is still safer than physical information. Digital backups are the key to safe and secure information. It’s very simple and everyone can do it. You can restore data in just a few simple clicks.
The 3-2-1 Rule
- keep at least three copies of your digital information
- keep in two different formats
- have one copy off-site
Physical information only exists in one location. On the other hand, digital information can easily be reproduced and saved in multiple ways and multiple locations.
Nothing is 100% safe but if you follow the 3-2-1 rule, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll lose all your information. If you follow the 3-2-1 rule, it won’t be hard for you to retrieve your data. You do not have to worry about losing your memories when you follow the 3-2-1 rule. It’s powerful and freeing!
Nitty-Gritty of Digital Backups
Ensure your information is secure, safe and accessible.
- Get an External Hard Drive
- can have your information stored in a small item
- don’t need internet connection
- you can keep the external HD at home
- Get Another External Hard Drive
- simply drop all your information into the drive
- store it somewhere else outside your home or in a safety deposit box
- Sign up for Cloud Backup Solution
- easiest one to setup and maintain
- can run in the background
- save your information automatically in the background
- automatically update your backup
- if your hard drive fails, you can still retrieve all your information on your cloud backup.
- restore information quickly and easily
Cloud Storage versus Cloud Backups
- many apps and photo storage offer cloud storage
- store your information in the cloud and access it from wherever you are
- if you delete your photo on your phone, it’ll automatically delete on your cloud storage too.
- cloud storage syncs
- cloud storage keeps your data up to date
- cloud storage is NOT a solution for backups
- great for easy accessibility of information
- allows you to retroactively go back in time and pull information
- if you lost data friday last week, you can retrieve data from your backup on tuesday.
- keep information safe
- you can use this to retrieve or restore data
Important tip: export all information from cloud-based services (i.e., go into an application and export data you stored, then save that information in your cloud backup and/or external HD).
Important things in Establishing Your Digital Backup
Barbara’s Simplifying Story:
Nine years ago, Barbara & her husband wanted to simplify their life. They sold and traded most of their stuff. They moved into a smaller home. Part of their simplifying process is to learn to move to digital. Originally, the going digital goal is to keep all of their stuff but Barbara realised that it was very very wrong.
- Digital stuff should also be organized like physical stuff.
- Remove stuff that you do not need whether it’s physical or digital.
- Do not hoard digital data.
- Learn to simplify your digital life.
- Don’t spend money backing up data you do not need.
- After a good purge, you can backup and store digital data that is meaningful to you.
- Get a plan in place today and start backing up your digital life.
The Simplify Digital Backups eCourse is a bit of a wake-up call for me as I don’t have any backup system at all. I have cloud storage but don’t have any cloud backup at all. So I’ll make sure to include this in my 2019 goals (my 2018 goals is pretty full).