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Organizing Your Digital Life: Have a Backup Plan

Organizing Your Digital Life: Have a Backup Plan

No matter how organized or unorganized your digital life is, you need to have a backup plan. What would happen if your laptop was stolen at the airport or you dropped your phone in the toilet? Would your files and pictures be lost forever? It’s possible and this is why it is so important to have a plan to backup your digital files.

There are a couple of ways you can back up your laptop files:

1. To the cloud - whether you use iCloud, Carbonite or Dropbox - backing up your files to the cloud allows you to access your files in case of computer failure or loss. Trust me, I once had a major corruption on one of my laptops and I was instantly able to restore everything by using the restore feature on Carbonite. It was the best money I had ever spent on technology. Most of these programs will save changed files automatically so once you’ve done the backup the first time, you don’t have to think about it again.

2. A hard copy - You can also backup your computer using an external hard drive or even CDs or USB drives. These are great if your laptop becomes corrupted; however what if your home is broken into and the computer and the attached hard drive are stolen. Then you are out of luck. One way to deal with this is to have multiple back up options (meaning several hard drives or sets of CDs). Keep one copy off site (say at your mom’s or the office) at all times. It may not be the most recent version of your files but something is better than nothing.

I am a multiple backup kind of girl. I use Carbonite to backup everything on my laptop, my photos (and my husband’s) are instantly uploaded to Dropbox whenever we are connected to our home wi-fi. I also copy my pictures annually onto a CD for an extra step of safekeeping.

So many people I talk to don’t back up any of their files on a regular basis. This really makes me sad because it is very cheap, very easy and will save you a great deal of headache and frustration in the future. Please make your backup plan today!

How do you backup your important files?

 

Paper Purge: Organize Your Printed Photos

Paper Purge: Organize Your Printed Photos

Are you hesitant to organize your printed photos because you don’t know where to start? Here are few tips to help you get going.

1. Gather all of your loose pictures into one place so you can see what you have.

2. Decide what you want to do with your pictures. Do you just want to organized them and store them in photo boxes? Do you want to make photo albums? Do you want to display them on the wall? This will help you have a plan of attack.

3. If you are going to organize your photos in boxes or in albums, how are you arrange the pictures? You can do it chronologically or by family member or by events (Christmas, birthdays, vacations). Whatever works for you and how you think when you want to find a specific picture.

4. I hereby give you permission to throw away the blurry shots, the ones what cut off your kids’ heads and 9 out of the 10 pictures you took of the view out your hotel window. Reduce the photo clutter!

Like all organizing project don’t worry about getting it all done in one sitting. Working a little at a time can help reduce the overwhelm of this kind of project. Happy organizing!

 

Paper Purge: The Best Filing System

Paper Purge: The Best Filing System

What is the best filing system for all that paper? Actually it’s a trick question because there isn’t one best system.  The best system is the one that works for you and that you will stick to.

 

Here are a few tips to developing your best filing system.

 

Paper Purge: How Long Do I Need To Keep It? Part 2

Paper Purge: How Long Do I Need To Keep It? Part 2

The eternal question is how long do I keep this piece of paper. We worry that we may need it someday. Here are some guidelines for some of the main kinds of paper we all deal with.

Medical Records - At least one year for bills and Explantations of Benefits from your insurance company and until you are sure the bill has been paid and settled with your insurance company.  Your medical records should be kept permanently. Don’t depend on your doctor’s office to keep them for you.

Paper Purge: How Long Do I Need To Keep It? Part 1

Paper Purge: How Long Do I Need To Keep It? Part 1

The eternal question is how long do I keep this piece of paper. We worry that we may need it someday. Here are some guidelines for some of the main kinds of paper we all deal with.

 

Bank Records - One year, unless you need the records for your tax filings. Then you’ll need to keep them as supporting tax documents for seven years.

 

Paper Purge: Toss Your Phone Books

Paper Purge: Toss Your Phone Books

Be honest how often do you use the traditional phone book and yet you keep the 6 that seem to show up on your doorstep every year. Most people are more likely to pull out their smart phone to look up a phone number than the yellow pages.  

 

Getting Control of Your Kids' Papers: What Else?

Getting Control of Your Kids' Papers: What Else?

What else can you do with your kids’ special art work? How about scanning it and turning it into special gifts like a coffee mug for Grandma or a mouse pad for Dad? Take those scans and turn them into a digital photo album. Frame it and put it on the wall for everyone to enjoy.

 

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