This week, I’ll post my updated suggestions for three holiday activities that will get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of writing you’ll swear to accomplish in New Year resolutions. Here’s what you’ll get (the links won’t be active until the post goes live):
- 12 Ways to Update Your Online Presence
- 17 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
- Backup and Image your computer
For regular readers of WordDreams, these are yearly reminders. For my new readers, these are like body armor in the tech battle. They allow you to jubilantly overcome or dramatically succumb. Your choice.
Today: Image and Backup Your Computer
Two critical maintenance tasks that lots of people skip are:
- image your computer
- back up your documents
Image your computer
When you image your computer, you take a picture of what your hard drive looks like, including all the programs and extras, and save in a secure backup area. If malware blows up your computer or ransomware locks you out, all you have to do is re-install from the image.
I used to do this with Carbonite but they no longer offer that service so now I use Acronis. It creates an image of my computer on the schedule I set up. It’ll even image drives that are plugged in (like my USB drive).
BTW, if you use a Chromebook, there’s no need for this. You do what’s called ‘Power Wash’ which returns the device to original settings. Since you don’t download to Chromebooks, that works nicely and speeds the device up significantly.
Every writer I know has lost critical work because they didn’t back up on a regular basis. There’s no reason for that. Backing up is easy, fairly quick, and usually free.
Here are some options for backing up your computer:
- backup from the same spot you imaged (see above) on your Windows accessories.
- use a service that automatically and continuously backs up data files to the cloud so even if you forget to do this, they don’t.
- email copies of your most important writing to yourself. For my WIP, I do it every day. If you use Gmail, you can email up to 20 MB (or more through your Google Drive).
A reminder from Janet over at Focused on Story:
“…check your external hard drive to make sure it actually has the computer backed up files on it. Unfortunately we backed up to it, but all of the files weren’t getting backed up. We’d had the back-up a long time, so when the tech checked it, he heard something rattling inside. It was broken! sigh.”
Yep–I had that happen once, too!
Another suggestion from Andrew over at Andrew’s View of the Week:
“On a Mac, use an external USB drive and time machine to backup and consider using iCloud for remote backups.”
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the Man vs. Nature saga. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Against All Odds, Winter 2020. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning