Backups

I have become rather obsessive about backing up my data, and I tend to evangelize about it.

What if you lost your computer today, along with all of your most important files and treasured family photos? Hard drives die, phones go missing, laptops get stolen—and these things can be devastating if you’re not prepared.

Thankfully, backing up is easier than it’s ever been. Here’s a glimpse into my current system:

  • I use Time Machine to back up the files on my Mac to an external drive. Time Machine is amazing—it’s a total “set it and forget it” solution. It automatically keeps hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months.
  • I use iCloud Drive to sync my Documents folder to the cloud, adding some extra peace of mind for my most important work files.
  • My iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch are automatically backed up to iCloud as well—which makes it quick and easy to load up a new device when it’s time to upgrade or replace.
  • Nearly every digital photo I’ve ever taken is stored in my iCloud Photo Library, which makes photo organization (and rediscovery) a genuinely pleasant experience.
  • Most of my web projects are powered by WordPress, and I use VaultPress for those. Hands-off, automatic offsite backups and security from Automattic, the company behind WordPress itself.
  • I manually back up my static websites, because they don’t change much. (My web hosts also have their own backup systems in place, but I try not to depend on those.)

I didn’t realize until I made this list just how Apple-heavy my backup regimen is. It wasn’t always that way—I used to be a Windows guy—but it all really does just work.

Whatever solutions you go with, make sure you have something in place to save you from disaster. And don’t wait! Today could be the day you lose all those precious photos, or your tax documents, or that novel you’re working on.

Back it up!