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), 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 for documents, iCloud or Google Photos for photos, code in github, etc.)
  • keep working files in Dropbox (including my 1Password file, Notational Velocity 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, Apple, 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.