Are You Backing Up Your Life?

My life is in Evernote. It’s a software product that holds all kinds of data.

I’ve got everything in it (don’t tell the data thieves).

In it, you’ll find my:

  • medical records,
  • tax returns,
  • college English class essays,
  • travel plans,
  • bar exam application,
  • receipts for everything I own,
  • the text of every speech I’ve ever prepared,
  • product instruction manuals,
  • meaningful greeting cards I’ve saved over 50 years, and
  • everything else I have that can be turned into a digital file including audio, video, and photos.

Seriously, my whole life is in Evernote.

Then I woke up the other day and noticed that the Evernote icon on the dock of my MacBook was missing. Odd.

I went digging, and it wasn’t just the icon.

Evernote was gone.

Somehow the program had been uninstalled. That had never happened before. I still have no idea how it happened (it’s usually user error, I suspect).

Anyway, Evernote was gone and, with it, so was my life.

I felt agitated. That turned into panic, and I quickly logged into the Evernote website. Evernote is one of those programs that syncs the desktop version with the cloud version.

The panic turned to ecstasy when I realized that my life (my data) was safe and sound on the Evernote server.

I quickly downloaded and reinstalled Evernote and restored my data to my MacBook. Life was good.

However, the panic did have a lingering impact. It got me worried about my backup strategy for Evernote. Backups are a hassle, and I’m probably overly reliant on services like Evernote being reliable and backing up data on their end. Occasionally, I make a physical backup of my Evernote data, but I’m not religious about it since I’ve never had a problem, and I figure that Evernote can be counted on to fix any issues.

That’s kinda dumb. While Evernote is my friend, it’s still my responsibility to take care of my own data. Screaming at Evernote won’t restore the data if something extraordinary happens.

Do You Have a Backup Plan for Your Data?

That’s why I went ahead and set up an account at CloudHQ. It’s in the business of accessing data on servers like those at Evernote and syncing the data with a server elsewhere. I’ve got it grabbing the Evernote data and copying it over to an account I have at Google Drive. It’s not just copying the data. It’s converting it from the Evernote format to simple text files and simultaneously creating a PDF of the same Evernote note.

The CloudHQ backup can then be downloaded to a physical drive or even copied to another backup service.

What’s this costing me?

Here’s the budget:

  • Evernote Premium: $45 per year
  • Google Drive (1 TB of storage): $9.99 per month
  • Cloud HQ: $99 per year
  • Total: $263.88

Is it worth it? Not on the average day. On the average day, it seems like spending 72 cents is quite a bit for storing my data. I’m frugal like that.

On the day the data disappears? That’s when my 72 cents looks like a pretty sweet deal. In fact, on that day, I’d pay more, much more (maybe even $1.44) to recover my data.

Backing up data isn’t fun. It isn’t sexy. It does nothing for me on most of the days of my life.

But on that one disastrous day, it’s so freaking wonderful to have a backup. It feels so good to be prepared. It’s such an incredible relief to know that I have what I need. In that brief moment, I’m a rock star in my mind. I’m incredibly smart and well prepared. In that moment, I’m a master of the universe.

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It’s that brief moment of preparedness that makes it all worthwhile. It’s totally worth the investment of dollars and time it takes to make sure you’re ready.

Is your data backed up, rock star?

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