Quick And Dirty Backup Of Important Stuff

Hey, there!

You’ve heard me talk in class and at workshops about the importance of having backups for all of your work, especially long term projects like audiobooks.

In my Managing Clients and Projects class, I share with you my admittedly insanely overengineered backup process, but for right now, I want to share with you a backup method that a lot of people overlook.


What? Yep.

Now, I wouldn’t rely on this method solely – it’s meant as an additional layer of backup protection, and it really only works as a file-by-file backup for items 15-20 megabytes or less, not a whole hard drive backup. But it’s so easy to do, you might want to add this little tip to your VO utility belt. Use this for those special files that really matter to you.

Here’s how you do it.

Just send yourself an email with whatever file you want backed up attached. Use the filename as the subject line and also the body of the email. Then, archive that email when it comes in. No need to open it, detach the attachment, or doing anything with it.

Until you can’t find the original. You now can go to your email, accessible from anywhere, search for that message, and grab the attachment.

As an example, if you use Gmail, like I suggest you do, you now have a copy of your work on Google’s cloud servers, and since Gmail is searchable in your Gmail corpus (that’s a fancy word for your entire email, contact and calendaring database), it’s there pretty much forever.

And the amount of storage Gmail gives you for free is similar to the storage you’d get on the free versions of iCloud, DropBox and all the others.

So if you’re working on that demo, spot, chapter or IVR prompt set, or really anything – a report, a deck, a presentation, an article – whatever you want to make damn sure isn’t going to evaporate if your hard drive goes south, this fits the bill nicely.

Hope this helps.


6 Responses to Quick And Dirty Backup Of Important Stuff

  1. kara August 9, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    a little off topic but mentioned above –
    (and of course feel free to move my comment to appropriate post)

    having not taken your management and project class (one of the few i think i haven’t! thanks for such a great selection!)
    what do you use for that?

    i’m considering studiometry though was recently introduced to fm (filmmaker) starting point.
    they’re both in the 300$ region, so very reasonable.

    sm is a stand alone option, while fmsp is a free add on to filemaker 12, which i’m *moderately* familiar with.

    do you have experience with either of these options?

    i would prefer something completely separate from what i have now (i.e. stand alone crm with invoicing, time tracking capabilities, etc)

    on a mac.

    thanks so much!

  2. Stu Norfleet June 14, 2015 at 8:48 am #

    David, Yet another SUPERB recommendation! So very grateful for your continued assistance as we navigate this business!
    Stu Norfleet

  3. Randy June 14, 2015 at 9:42 am #

    I’m using Carbonite for my backup. I also am a freelance illustrator and for just over $50 a year this has paid for itself two times when my Mac’s motherboard gave up the ghost one time and the hard drive had to be factory reset another time. Each time I was able to retrieve all my personal and professional files. The downside to this is that the $50 package will only keep files for a month or so. If you delete files from your computer, it will eventually be erased from Carbonite as well, so it’s not a replacement for solid backup. But for a quick and complete file restore of your system as it was at the time of the crash, it’s great. For smaller files, I like the email option, thanks for the tip.

  4. Tami Romani June 16, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    Great tip, David! thanks so much – I will start sending those emails to myself today!

  5. Petrea Burchard May 11, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    This is a great tip. Thank you. I’ve got two small exterior drives and two computers, and my files are saved in all four places. But as much as I love my Macs they are both getting old, and so is one of those exterior drives. Gmail is just the ticket! Thanks.

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