mnmlist: minimalist backup
Recently some respected bloggers & geeks have written about backing up your computer files … calling for the need to buy extra hard drives by the half dozen (“example”:http://www.43folders.com/2010/03/15/yes-another-backup-lecture), regularly schedule backups and off-site transfers and much more.
This is the old-school computer expert lecture, and if you enjoy doing those kinds of things, that’s cool.
I actually don’t, and so I don’t do it.
What do I do instead? Here’s a simpler method:
* store files online (Google Docs or “Zoho”:http://www.zoho.com/ for documents, Picasa or Flickr for photos, code in “github”:http://github.com/, etc.)
* keep working files in “Dropbox”:https://www.dropbox.com/ (including my “1Password”:http://agilewebsolutions.com/products/1Password file, “Notational Velocity”:http://notational.net/ notes, drafts, and more)
Using this method, I’ve never lost an important file.
There’s an off-chance I might lose a scrap of information, because I’m not as anal about backing up as others. However, I’ve also realized that my data isn’t as important as I once thought, and letting others worry about backing up my files (Google, Zoho, Yahoo, Dropbox, et al) means letting go of control and letting go of those worries.
Will I lose something someday? Sure, maybe. But will it be the end of the world? No. If it takes 20 minutes to recreate something, that’ll be less than the hours I would have spent cumulatively backing things up or buying hard drives and USB thumb drives and off-line storage. If I lose a dozen photos of thousands I’ve taken, it’s not a big deal.
I’ve let go of the need to obsess about every bit of data, and with it I’ve dropped the need to obsess about backups.