It’s the end of the year and the holidays are over and you are getting back into your regular schedule for the New Year. So, why not make it a New Year’s resolution to get your data storage in order? In this day and age almost everyone uses one or more computers and potentially several mobile devices as well. There is your home computer, your work computer, maybe a laptop, even your PDA’s or cell phones. It’s time to get them organized and backed up for the New Year. Everyone should be backing up their data, but if you have not done that yet, now is a good time.
You have years of photos from your vacations, kids, weddings… and so on. Back them up. It is easy to do and can save you time and money in the long run.
There are multiple ways you can back up your data so that is it is reasonably safe from failure. Go out and buy an external hard drive, or a large flash drive. You can also try the online backup methods that seem to be very prolific these days. One thing is for sure: Stop keeping all your data on a single hard drive.
We have seen many times that people bring in drives that are so far damaged they cannot be recovered at all, by anyone. Some people lose their accounting files for their business, years of pictures of their baby growing up, tax files for the last 10 years, wedding pictures and videos…you name it. It is better to be safe these days.
It is also a good time to organize your data so it is easy to find and go through. Do you have 6 years of emails you never delete? Does Outlook take 5 minutes to load because you have 100,000 emails? If so, organize them into different Outlook data files. Do you have documents stored in hundreds of different locations? Then place them in your My Documents folder or Home directory. Backing up data is much easier if you have all your data in a central, well organized location.
Now, when we talk about backing up, this means that your data should be in multiple locations. An external backup drive is only a backup drive if you still have the data somewhere else, because that drive can fail too. If you have data keep it on your main computer, and on your external drive, or online backup. The more places the better. Start of 2011 organized and safe. You will thank us later.