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):
- 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence
- 16 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
- Backup and Image your computer
For regular readers of WordDreams, these are yearly reminders which I update each December as needed. For new readers, these are like body armor in the tech battle. They allow you to jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb.
Today: Backup and Image Your Computer
Two critical maintenance tasks that lots of people skip are:
- back up your documents
- image your computer
Backup Data Files
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.
- backup from Windows Settings>Backup.
- 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.”
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).
Here’s the sign-up link if the image above doesn’t work:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. 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, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022