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You probably create dozens of emails, text documents, and various other file types each week without ever thinking too much about if that file will be there the next time you come back to your device.

In the Age of Information, most of our devices save to things like the Cloud automatically, and a lot of people (like myself) even went through a lot of schooling with such luxuries. On World Backup Day though, it’s important to remind ourselves that sometimes those files can be lost.

Here are some other things to watch out for as well as tips to help you spring clean and backup your files this holiday:

Duplicates

When working on a previously created file, you can sometimes be prevented from changing that file’s name when it comes time to save. This can create a lot of vaguely different files with names that look like you’re creating usernames (Johnny’s birthday1, Johnny’s birthday1 (1)).  

Naming Conventions

In college, all of my professors would have a 5-minute rant about how they were sick of seeing long file names. Keeping your file names short with abbreviations and underscores instead of spaces and full names can help to reduce the on-screen clutter. Experiment with your own sorting system if you feel like getting fancy!

Multiple Locations

This is the most important one to remember! The cloud or your computer can feel like a safe location, but do not be fooled!! Always, always, ALWAYS save important documents to multiple locations, even if one of those is a physical printout. A broken device or lack of an internet connection can leave you in a rough spot, so always have an online and offline version of your files.

You can save your files to:

  • your computer
  • the Google Drive/Outlook/the Cloud
  • an external harddrive
  • a secondary device
  • physical printouts (party like it’s 1999) 

These are just a few ways you can Spring clean your files; but at the end of the day, the most important thing is consistency. Everyone has their own organization system, it’s just important to make sure you’re staying on top of the file pile.