Hoarding, purging, and retrieval.
I admit it; I’m a hoarder. That is, I hold onto countless elements relevant to my business. I accumulate, cache, amass, stockpile, and maintain files, notes, folders, images, and email threads. If there is a remote possibility for the need to reference information down the road, those pieces of data are funneled to a physical or electronic folder.
The one time I drifted from this (overly) rigid standard was a purging expedition prompted by my husband, who had less-than-eloquently bequeathed my workspace as the equivalent of an Office Max-driven windstorm. NB: not many months later a client requested a hand-written reference note for a brochure revision where, to my horror, the noted reference was in Fat Cat Design Heaven.
Let’s be real: hard copies, notes and notebooks take up physical space, and eventually I need to weed and purge. But the same goes with electronic files – particularly design files, which can amass gigabytes and then some of storage. So I cannot keep everything. But when it comes to this precious data, I have to be cautious about eliminating anything that may come into future play. So what do I do when files have been deleted, but are then needed back?
Even though I didn’t have a local copy saved, I was able to retrieve them and resend everything along seamlessly.
Enter the two-tier electronic backup system: I back up all of my electronic files using two methods: physical + virtual.
A is for Apple; B is for Backblaze
Apple’s AirPort Time Capsule is a stand-alone, physical backup device that runs in the background, seamlessly maintaining copies of my data; while Backblaze is a cloud-based service that provides an additional layer of restoration security. But why employ both?
While each provide backup and restoration services, I would not want one without the other. Time Capsule allows me to restore data whenever I upgrade to a new Mac, for example, while Backblaze allows me to store (and retrieve) data from the cloud – after all, what good would my Time Capsule do if my office were burgled or, goodness forbid, caught on fire?
So for data backup storage and retrieval, I use both – depending upon convenience and time factors.
For example, I recently revised a brochure design, but overwrote the original file rather than saving it as a new revision; so the previous version was theoretically gone from my local environment. A few clicks into Backblaze, however, and my original file was restored.
Alternately, last November I created a group of images for a colleague, and after sending the files I deleted them from my hard drive. Just now, he needed a fresh copy of the same jpegs, and Time Capsule came to the rescue. Even though I didn’t have a local copy saved, I was able to retrieve them and resend everything along seamlessly.
I love this system, and it works perfectly for me.
Have you used either one of these services? What do you use and what would you recommend? And most importantly… are you a hoarder, too?