10 Part Series: How to Increase Your Productivity as a Designer — Tip # 5: Buy A Backup Hard-Drive (and use it!)
Even if your computer has a 10 terabyte solid-state hard-drive, having a backup is essential to any person who makes a living on the computer, especially those of us who are in the creative field. Using your backup hard-drive is even more important, and setting up automated backup will ensure that this will happen. It can be easy to forget that our computers aren’t failsafe, especially when we use top-of-the-line equipment, but lets face it: machines fail. Not might fail, or will fail if abused. Will fail. At some point, all computers, all hard-drives meet their end and if you are not prepared, hard-drive failure or loss can be devastating. In addition to natural death, hard-drives can also be stolen, lost, or (computer gods forbid) murder.
The benefits of having an external hard-drive are extensive, the only drawback being the cost. However, with the ever-decreasing price tag and increasing storage capacity of today’s external hard-drives, one would be hard-pressed to not justify the purchase.
Using an external hard-drive is an easy way to clear off your internal hard-drive, which will ultimately improve the performance of your computer and make it easier to find the files that you are currently working on by streamlining your finder window.
When you acquire your backup hard-drive, be sure to set it up with a password to secure it. Then, before you do anything else, set it up in a program such as Time Machine, which will automatically back up any files on your computer, and continue to do so at regular intervals. Most external hard-drives come with operating systems that are similar to Time Machine, but especially with Mac I prefer to use programs that were created specifically for the operating system.
Once you have your hard-drive set up, all you have to do is use your computer. If it’s set up properly, the hard-drive should automatically back up at regular intervals. I have mine set up to update every hour, but depending on how much work you do, how important it is, and how much you use your computer, you may want to update it more or less often.
To take it a step further, you can purchase two external drives and alternate use every week. Keep the one you aren’t using in a safe place, away from your computer so that if theft or damage occurs, so you at least have some backup to recover with.
All in all, backup is good. You never know when disaster will occur, whether it be failure, damage, theft, or loss, and being prepared for that will save you crucial time, frustration and money!
Below are some links to resources for external hard drives:
Got anything to say? Go ahead and leave a comment!
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