Friday Find: A Helpful Hint

You know how we’re always told to back up our work?

You know how some of us (throat-clearing here) don’t always follow that advice?

Well, last weekend my computer’s hard drive sputtered to its demise. And for a few days, it seemed unlikely that my files–and please, for a moment, just imagine all the files I had stored–would be recovered.

The ever-brilliant BJ Epstein offered more than her sympathies. She shared with me one of her data-preserving secrets: sending copies of your files to your own e-mail (let’s say, gmail) account.

I like it. I hope you do, too.

7 thoughts on “Friday Find: A Helpful Hint

  1. Lisa R. says:

    This tip has saved me too, not always b/c of a crash, but when I (throat clearing here too) have deleted an entire file, usually when dealing w/multiple revisions.
    I sometimes bunch a big group of important files into one doc and send that to myself.
    Sorry to hear about your crash. I had one back in November, exactly two days after sending off a 50-pg research thesis. The week before, my husband stood over me until I backed-up. I just hate it when he’s right!

  2. Margay says:

    After having issues with my own computer not so long ago, I resorted to this little trick myself! Actually, I started it a couple of years ago when I was doing an online writing course and sent my assignments to my email so I’d always have them. That’s how I got the idea to send other important info that way. Another way I back up – flash drives. Love them!

  3. Erika D. says:

    Thanks for the comments. Yes, I finally bought my first flash drive this week, too. Live and learn, right?

  4. Jeanne Lyet Gassman says:


    Do you know about Google Docs? It’s a server run by Google (free) that’s designed to back up your documents. Everything is password protected so you control access. You can also save .jpg files, powerpoint presentations,.doc files, etc. And you can edit and revise your work online and save each version if you want.

    The whole site works a lot like MS Word with many of the same features. I use a flash drive as well, but since I have different operating systems on my laptop and my desktop, it’s difficult to transfer things. But, with Google Docs, I can access my work anywhere, from any computer.

    Just (ahem) Google “Google Documents,” and you should be able to find it.


  5. Erika D. says:

    Thanks for that, Jeanne!

  6. Kiersten says:

    This tip worked great for me in grad school. I would email my thesis on a Mac and then open it in a PC at school. Great Blog!

  7. Erika D. says:

    Thanks, Kiersten.

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