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5 Extremely Easy Ways To Backup Your Computer

5 Extremely Easy Ways To Backup Your Computer

One surefire way to ruin a day is to find that your laptop/computer has been compromised. The culprit could be an accidental spill, drop, or even a virus, but all of a sudden your life is gone. All emails, pictures, jokes, projects, and bookmarks that make your life easy—Gone! In order to be ready for this crisis, it is necessary to make backups of the information you love and cherish. Here are a few ways to make sure all is not lost.

1. Cloud Programs like Crashplan, Carbonite, & Backblaze

The most effective backup method is via cloud service, which protects your information in cyberspace. Another more traditional method is through a restore function within your computer or a hard copy backup of all your files. The reason the cloud services are more effective is that they update often without any work on your part. This type of backup is more inclusive. The likelihood of having different components backed up, such as photos, music, bookmarks, saved emails, and files is significantly higher. It simply provides the most up-to-date info accessible through an internet connection. You can also be selective of what you want to backup. For example, you could opt to never have temporary internet files backed up. This may be a good thing if your source of the crash was a virus downloaded via an internet app or email.

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A major drawback to this type of backup is that cloud drives can be susceptible to hacking. The data is stored in cyberspace, where it may be at risk. This is something that needs to be researched with any cloud service. Each company has a security protocol, and it would be wise to find out if that company has ever been hacked or how it is rated among all the other cloud services out there. Like every industry, there are always good ones and then better ones.

2. Internal Backup

Most operating systems now have a “time machine” function where you can restore your computer to an earlier date. When you shut down each day, your computer saves all the programs and updates through that date. Being able to go back to a prior date might allow you to work around a suspicious file that has been downloaded that may be a virus or some other malware. This also is the simplest way to restore all your information. Internal backup systems on both Windows and Mac operating systems have become much more user-friendly over the years.

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The downside of this is that other files may not be saved. Peripheral data obtained via the internet or files downloaded after the restore date may no longer be accessible. This could be very frustrating if, for instance, you collected many diverse sources for a project and then had your computer crash. Some of the research or even the breadcrumbs that may have led you to sources may not be readily apparent, and you risk having to reinvent the wheel.

3. External Hardrive

Investing in an external drive to store major files may be a good idea. This is sort of an old-school but comfortable way to have privacy and protection. This is what most people have seen IT departments use to restore computer function in the past. There are many who trust this alternative more than any other. It is user-dependent, since what is saved is what you consciously backed up. It has known parameters without external factors (relying on software or security) to protect your information.

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The downfall is that if you have not backed up information recently, you might lose necessary or vital information and programs accessed since your last backup. This is the biggest problem with this sort of backup—it takes diligence to remember to backup information. It is common for people to forget to backup or save their work, and that human flaw can make your life harder if you depend on this method.

4. CD Backup

This is a more primitive method of system restore. Burning the inventory to a CD will, of course, provide you access to those files up until the date of it being burned; however, you have multiple discs to contend with as well as errors in burning that you may not have caught at the time you backed up those files. It may be unreliable to a degree. This sort of safety net allows for a great deal of issues, such as having incomplete copies of programs, glitches within the burning process, disk defectiveness, and human error. These all could be factors in making your day much more complicated.

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5. Thumbdrive Backup

The most basic of backups of only prominent files to a thumbdrive is the most limited form of backup. Thumbdrives have relatively limited space and thus can not store much data. However, this is a very easy way to save information that came be taken anywhere at any time. You can take your entire desktop on vacation via a thumbdrive. The only drawback is the space capacity of the drive itself.

Using one or varying combinations of these sorts of backup methods will help to save you time and frustration when your computer crashes. It is better to be prepared, despite the cost of and amount of thought and energy needed to make such alternatives viable or more practical for the amount of information, the level of security, and the accessibility that you personally feel comfortable with. Each of these ways provides the basic remedy for the problem of a computer that has crashed. It comes down to personal choice, preference, and comfort. Which way works for you?

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5 Extremely Easy Ways To Backup Your Computer

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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