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Stop Making Excuses For Not Backing Up Your Computer

Stop Making Excuses For Not Backing Up Your Computer

Stop making excuses for not backing up your computer. The reasons may not be obvious as these things run and run don’t they? Well, unfortunately computer components fail. And if your hard drive happens to be one of the things to go wrong then all of your precious data might go with it. This article will do its very best to convince you to start backing up your computer today.

Expect Failure

You’ve got to expect failure when your precious files, photos and videos are stored on a computer hard drive. It may come as a shock when it does happen but the blow can be lessened by knowing that you have a recent copy of your data. Your computer’s hard drive might last for years and you should enjoy the good times, but when it does fail you need to be prepared.

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If you are reading this because you hard drive has started making funny clicking noises then do not delay. Make sure you get a full backup as quickly as possible – your drive is close to death and there may be data that you cannot access, but salvage what you can before it’s too late. Seriously.

Human Error

If you’ve been lucky enough not to experience hard drive failure you’ll probably know how it feels to accidentally delete something. It’s all too easy to delete important files either on purpose or by accident. It’s only afterwards that you realize that you’ve deleted something you need and recovery is at best difficult and at worst impossible.

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Theft

No one likes to think that he or she is going to fall foul of a laptop theft but it does happen. If you have a backup that runs when your laptop is at home then at least you have something to fall back on if this horrible thing happens to you.

Backing Up Your Computer Is Easy

Whether you have an OS X Mac or Windows PC, it is easy to set up a backup procedure which will make sure that your data is safe. As a bare minimum you should have an external hard drive set up to keep a regular copy of data stored on your computer (laptop or desktop). For less than $100 and around 30 minutes setup time you can have a first line of defense. Follow these guides to get yourself going:

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Mac OS X backup using Time Machine
Backup Windows machine using Windows Backup

Backup To The Cloud

There are a multitude of services that will back your computer up to the cloud. These services take copies of your files over the internet and store them on servers that are not in your home or business. Services such as Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox allow you to sync copies of files and store them in the cloud. These services are great for having a copy of your crucial files offsite in case your computer hard drive and external hard drive fail at the same time. The services all have free plans which can get you started, and when you hit the buffers you can upgrade and gain more space. Google has recently dropped their prices so you can now get 100GB of cloud storage for less than $2 per month. This is a very cheap and easy way of making sure that your files are safely stored offsite.

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Another cloud-based option that you should consider for backing up your computer is one where all of your files are backed up to the cloud. These can be set and forgotten about as they will upload when files are updated. Carbonite provides plans for individuals / small businesses and they do not limit how much data is backed up. If you have a lot of data it can take weeks to get the first full backup. It’s also worth considering whether you have a monthly cap on your broadband connection. Check the terms of your broadband connection before signing up for one of these services as you do not want your backup to take you over a limit.

Backups Are For Everyone – Including You

Backing up your computer truly is for everyone not just tech geeks. If you use a digital camera (or smartphone camera) and store these files on a computer, then your special moments captured may be at risk. This is not just me trying to worry you, this is an inevitable fact. Even if you don’t take digital photos, documents that you have created and edited on your computer are at risk. I cannot emphasize enough how crucial setting up your back up is. If you couldn’t stand losing your data then make sure that you have an onsite backup for all files and offsite storage for everything you couldn’t be without.

Featured photo credit: Jon Ross via flickr.com

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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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