Sometimes Laptops Take Dives

My laptop took a dive early last year. That HP Pavillion was the most durable machine I’d owned in recent memory. But as it turns out, the term “durable” has its limits.

The laptop contained the complete works – all my files, including web projects, short stories, music and ebooks. Losing those things was a major pain in the behind. I could’ve easily lost my mind and sworn off recreating newer, better versions of those things. But I didn’t. I took advantage of the trusty interwebs for some files and set out for a year in backups galore. Particularly in cloud-based places I could access from my main three devices: laptop, tablet and smartphone.

I summoned a few services I highly recommend:

Evernote

I took to Evernote for taking and sharing notes. I can do it all from any of my devices. Styling is basic and different Notebooks can be set up for full-time work, side projects, and even a separate area for journaling. I do short lists for shopping as well as set-up to-do lists for long-term projects. It’s available from browsers, as well as in native device app stores. Device agnostic services like these play a key part in forward-thinking organization. Also, there’s an easy way to back it all up.

Google Drive

I purchased an Acer laptop with Windows 8 a few months ago. It came with a trial of Microsoft Office, but I decided to forego paid programs to stick with the versatile free ones as long as I could. Google Drive (with its Docs options) fulfilled this role. Instead of MS Word or Excel, I could use Google Document or Spreadsheet. And it saves to Google Drive. And for that trusty backup? Options are readily available and pretty easy to pull off.

Dropbox

Lastly, photos taken from the phone and typically stored on the PC are sent off to Dropbox, along with other documents, so as to keep another backup to the backups. Dropbox is available from most devices, so you can access everything from anywhere if you have an internet connection and your password. Sure, I could stick with just Google Drive for this same storage but the photo backup automation really makes this essential for me, right now. Perhaps in the future I’ll try it differently if I find a better way. And, for the finale, you can sync your files with an external drive.

The Rest

I have a 500GB external drive I use to backup all the web stuff, in case the internet breaks one day and I need to disappear like a thief in the night but maintain my livelihood and sanity. I’m using Spotify for music and playlists on the go right now. Until I switch back into buying albums on my own again (I go support a few artists if I’m a big fan, but mostly it’s all Spotify), the service takes care of most of my needs there.

That’s All, For Now

These are just the methods I’ve used to live in the cloud and keep backups of all my things. If you have tips on improving what I’m doing, please share.

Sometimes laptops take dives, folks. And it’s good to have a backup plan in place. Don’t wait until it’s too late.