So, it happened to me. Not once, but twice. You would think, I would have learned after the first time but alas, I did not. The first go around was with my passion project. An automatic billing error and an email address switch failed to notify me that my hosting was expired. The result? An hour after the discovery, a few days of stress and $150 later, my site was back up. So what I did? I immediately installed a backup plugin on my blog(s), duh. Why didn’t I do this before? Because as humans, sometimes we only act out of urgency.
I call it the ‘I’ll do that later’ or ‘It can NEVER happen to me’ Syndromes.
Fast forward, months later. Issue long and forgotten about. Happily chipping away at client work, course ideas and big projects. Building my glorious font and graphic collection, perfecting my templates, upping my Etsy premade branding game. Then, it happened. Cue the chaos as my Laptop -aka- business partner, best friend and confidant was broken. Not just broken, but completely obliterated. To the point that the hard drive was bent and the the data was well, you guessed it: UNRECOVERABLE.
Excuse me, while I choke back these tears real quick.
You see, as a designer you save A LOT. I mean, a TON of stuff. Client samples, logos, icons, palettes, style guides. Not to mention the loads of materials gathered over the course of a career, the resources you won’t even remember you are missing. I have been paralyzed over the past few days, soaking it all in. There has been so many times I started on project I was in the middle of just to realize that I have to start all the way over.
So, as much as I didn’t want to write this post because of the hesitancy to finally admit to my self that those files are not coming back, I know that I have to save my creative peeps from suffering. So, I have 3 options, as far as I can see:
QUIT. Just give up, throw in the towel.
Start Over. From scratch, rebuild the empire, brick by brick.
Start Over. From Scratch, rebuild the empire, brick by brick. WITH A PLAN. A Backup plan x three.
Three. Final Answer? Yes.
So, my friend. Do you have a backup plan that you use to Secure Store and Save your Creative Work? Because trust me. You NEED one, or two. And even to be safe, three. You just really never know what could happen. Your site could get hacked, your computer could get smashed by a semi, your cloud service could… Rain? Whatever the case may be, PLEASE. For my sanity and your creativity, as soon as your done with this post, take the necessary steps to protect your creative work. You will seriously thank yourself when the time comes.
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First things first: BACKUP YOUR BLOG
This is the easiest, and it literally only takes a few simple steps. If you are on WordPress, you can use the WP Backup Plugin. Once that has been installed, go to Dashboard>Backups>Settings and choose how often you want your site to be backed up, and choose to have your backup file sent via email. Why? Because if you site goes down, what use is the backup on a site you can’t access? There is a way I am sure, but just protect yourself and get it dropped in your email. Take it a step further, and download it into its own folder on your desktop. Then, you can upload it to a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive at least once a month, just to be SURE.
Second, but still Equally Important: SAVE YOUR FILES TO YOUR DESKTOP & A CLOUD
Yes. This takes an extra step. But how many kicks am I giving myself for not enabling the save option in Adobe Creative Cloud? Or, to the Office 365 One Drive Cloud? Too many I care to even count. Why I never took the time to upload my important, big projects into Dropbox or Google Drive (because I do have both)? We can chalk that up to the syndromes I mentioned earlier.
Dropbox AND Google Drive (and so many other services I am sure) can sync right with your desktop. You have the option to choose where to save your files, so how much time really will it take to hit the save button twice and save your project (post, image, template, crazy awesome course, etc) in two places? Well, glad you asked. It takes seconds. The amount of time it can save you if your computer ever just dies, a lifetime (not really, but seems like it to me right now).
Third but still JUST as important as One and Two: USE AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE OR USB
You don’t have to go crazy here and save every blog post, image, and everything you have ever created on the external drives, because that can be expensive. BUT it is worth it to save the super important, big stuff externally like that 150 page ebook you have been working on, the 10 module course with videos, worksheets and workbooks. The 50 zipped and compressed Past Client Files that you may need to access one day. Any thing BIG that would set you back light years if you lost, SAVE IT HERE. Seriously.
There is some good that comes out of this, though. I realized that I am a much stronger and more patient person than I thought. Months ago, I probably would have broke down and cried, quit and stuffed my face with too much chocolate. I am happy to say, I never shed a tear, I will not quit, but admittedly, I DID stuff my face with too much chocolate (but that’s a normal thing for me, anyway). I also got a brand spanking new computer that is SUPER duper fast, and it has the Evernote app on it which has already boosted my productivity and has me actually (re)planning my projects, clients and courses with structure.
And, of course, I now have a backup plan IN PLACE. I had the option before to save all of my creative work, easily. But I didn’t. So, please (please, pretty please) take my advice and at least put some sort of backup plan in place that will allow you to secure store and save your creative work. And for all of you creatives out there nodding your heads like YES! This has totally happened to me, how did you recover? What’s your new fav way to save?
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