Nobody wants to waste time or money, and I know it’s not part of your daily plan. But, if you’re not backing up your files, including all your original logo designs, you are basically planning to fail because you failed to plan for something that might happen.
There are some critical reasons you need to create backups, and there are different kinds of backups. Let me share some stories that you may have experienced before.
Scene One: You’ve just had a great, productive work session; lots of creativity and progress on your current big idea. Suddenly, your computer freezes, and you realize you DIDN’T HIT SAVE ONCE!! You wait (impatiently) for the computer to refresh, catch up, and stop being flaky, but nothing happens. You take a break, take a walk, get coffee, come back…still frozen. CRAP! You didn’t want to reboot because you’ll lose everything you just did. But eventually, you have no choice.
Scene Two: Your designer or agency delivered all your logo designs in an email. You save all attachments to a folder on your hard drive, plus save your email. So far, so good. Over time you’ve played around with your logo designs: changed a color, added a tagline, created a reversed version, made a holiday version, you get the idea. Eventually, you upgrade your equipment: your network server, your web host, your email server, etc. One day you need the ORIGINAL source file for your logo design…and you can’t find it. That email you saved didn’t get archived when the server got upgraded. All the logo designs on your hard drive and flash drives have been tweaked or modified for one reason or another. And you never put a copy of the files on the network because you are the only one who can open the source files anyway. WHAT were you thinking?! You call the graphic designer you hired, and their phone number is not in service, and the email you sent bounces back. CRAP!
Scene Three: You bit the bullet and decided to create your own logo design. You did research, bought a program, took a class, and dove in. Congrats! After hours, days, maybe even weeks, you have a logo design you love. You want to put it on your website, but the file is too big and loads slowly. So you figure out the recommended size, change your logo file, save it, upload it, and you’re all set. EXCEPT, now the logo design file is too small to use for a flyer, T-shirt, or sign – and you didn’t think to create a copy of your large logo design file before you changed and saved it for your website. CRAP!
Guess what? I’ve been in these situations, or very similar ones, before. CRAP happens. One thing I know for sure, when you need to create a logo design from scratch, it goes a LOT faster the second time around, because you already worked out all the bugs. Consider it an exercise in improving your skills with practice. I know it’s really frustrating, though. So here are some recommendations.
First, get an external hard drive, with enough storage space to back up your entire computer, plus lots of extra room (you keep creating more files, right?). Most external hard drives come with their own software, and it will likely be some kind of plug and play, with prompts and wizards to install the first time it’s connected. Then you can set up automatic backups on the schedule you want. If you travel with a laptop, make sure you plug in the external hard drive regularly, so it can do its job. There are plenty of articles and tutorials online to help if you get stuck.
Second, there are lots of options for online/cloud backup and storage services, including both business and personal plans. Why should you consider both an external hard drive AND cloud-based storage? Well, no one wants to experience it, but what if there’s a burglary or fire? Cloud backups will save the day. You’ll be able to buy a new computer, and be up and running again quickly.
Consider these recommendations as a double insurance policy. The cost to replace or recreate everything on your computer is far higher than buying an external hard drive, and a subscription to an online storage plan. I hope you haven’t experienced ANY of these stories yourself. Computer and file backups are necessary, and provide peace of mind if anything does happen. Good luck!