How I back up my writing files

I keep multiple backups of my writing files.

I have saved jobs set up that use yCopy2 from Spacejock software. I’ve been using the program for so many years I can’t even say for sure how long that’s been. It’s a great little program and I love it. If it ever stops working, I’m going to be sad beyond measure.

I use Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, an SD card, an expansion drive, a second computer on my network, a backup directory on my laptop hard drive, and email.

It sounds a little crazy as I write it out, but I like it. Yes, I use a lot of hard drive space to store multiple copies of my important files, but no, I don’t ever get them confused because I have a system that works.

I have a main writing directory for all my writing related files (outside of the Windows My Documents directory). I run my yCopy jobs 2–3 times a day, when I’m ready to break from my work usually, but anytime, really, especially if I’ve accomplished something I want to be sure I don’t lose if a catastrophe were to strike within the next few hours. :D

Yes, I’m also a bit paranoid.

Those yCopy jobs copy my entire writing directory into my Dropbox folder, my Google Drive folder, my OneDrive folder, onto my SD card, onto the expansion drive over the network, and onto the second computer’s hard drive to a folder that mirrors my laptop folder. I manually email myself copies of my Word documents every so often, just as a last ditch safety measure, and once a month, I copy and archive my writing directory to a backup folder on my laptop’s hard drive. I do that one manually, so if there’s ever a problem with yCopy, I will at least have this. I recently cleaned those out to limit how many copies I had, because I was approaching one for every month since July 2012 and that’s a lot of duplicates (especially considering how I back up my word docs as I’m working on a book), and my main writing directory has been growing quite a lot since I became more focused on learning cover design so they were taking up ever more space on my laptop. It’s also the directory where I keep my stock art downloads and that’s been growing too. So… it was time to eliminate some excess. That said, I still have about 4 copies of my writing directory as it existed at the time I made the copies for each of 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and monthly for 2016 to date.

Yes, I am terrified of losing work.

Yes, I have pulled files out of some of those folders after I regretted deleting a file from my main writing directory.

Yes, I check the files and associated directories regularly to make sure yCopy is doing the job I need it to do.

Yes, it’s totally worth it. I have peace of mind. If my house burns down, I have the cloud files. If the cloud becomes inaccessible, I have my hard drives. If my computer is stolen, and I get locked out of my cloud drives AND my email, I have my second computer, my expansion drive, and my Kindle. Did I fail to mention that I also use “Send to Kindle” to send my in-progress Word docs to myself each night? Yeah, I do that too.

I know there are probably many more ways to make myself even safer, but this is the level I’m comfortable with. To be honest, I know it’s much more than most people will ever even consider doing, but these files are important to me, and I do my best to treat them that way.

As for my other files, I finally started backing them up too, but I’ll be honest, I just don’t worry about them that much. It’s the thought of losing my books that terrifies me. :D