March 08, 2010

Backing up the manuscript

Do you back up your manuscript on your USB drive? Email it to yourself? Don't back it up at all?

For a long time, I didn't back up my work. A newbie mistake, I know. When I had written 100 pages, Bear said, "Are you backing that up somewhere?"

Huh? The thought had never even occurred to me. Suddenly I became paranoid I would lose ALL OF MY WORK. I started backing it up by sending it to myself as an attachment or putting it on a USB drive, but I found several problems with those methods:
  1. I ended up with different versions of my manuscript and could never keep them consolidated;
  2. I was always worried my USB drive would get lost or my email server would mysteriously delete my most recent save;
  3. I was wasting a lot of time and worry attaching Word documents, sending, saving, etc.
That is, until my friend Joe turned me on to Dropbox.

Dropbox is a program that allows you to sync your files online and across your computers automatically. With Dropbox, if I makes changes to a chapter on my laptop, the next time I open it on my desktop, those changes will be available. If I need to access my manuscript from someone else's computer, all I have to do is log in to Dropbox, and there are all my files. You can even put files in a password-protected 'public' folder to grant others access to files of your choice.

Dropbox is free. It has made backing up my work painless and worry-free. I know this sounds like an advertisement, but I am honestly that happy with Dropbox! If your current method of backing up your work isn't working for you, be sure to check it out.

Hope everyone enjoys this second week of March! Before we know it, it'll be springtime!

How do you currently back up your work?


Debbie B said...

Thank you for sharing this! One of my biggest annoyances right now is getting to school and realizing I didn't send my assignment to be printed, nor did I e-mail it to myself, thus leaving it useless on my home computer. This will make life so much easier!

Heidi said...

i write on paper :D

Abby Stevens said...

Debbie - I am glad this will be of use to you! It was a sigh of relief when I finally downloaded it and saw how awesome it was.

Heidi - Maybe it will be useful once you get it all typed up for editing! :)

Krispy said...

Oh cool! I'll have to bookmark that. :) Right now, I'm using Google Docs. That way whatever I'm writing is always available to me wherever there's internet. It's also the back-up for some of the stuff sitting on my laptop. Definitely not as synced up awesome as Dropbox is sounding though. Hehe. Thanks!

Erik said...

I use Dropbox a lot, for various purposes. It's great.

Google Docs is great if you're co-writing something with someone. (You can both edit at the same time -- don't ask me how it works)

Digital Kitsune said...

You mean that you weren't running an Apache server in your house with SVN configured for secured WebDAV access with SSL encryption using a self signed certificate. (0_0) I'm just shocked!! SHOCKED! (^_^)

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