Steps to Management Success – Step 46: Save, Save, Save

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010

STEP FORTY-SIX

Save, Save, Save

Everyone knows that you’re supposed to back up your data files (if not your complete system)—but many people don’t get into the habit of doing it until it’s too late. You can save yourself a ton of pain by taking a more proactive approach.

WHAT IT MEANS: Backing up your data should be at the top of your computer maintenance list, right next to virus protection. Without data backup or virus protection, you are running the risk of losing your data. And it will happen—it’s only a matter of when. To quote a tech-savvy friend of mine, “There are only two types of hard drives—the ones that have failed and the ones that will fail.” Yes, normally hard drives will live for years without incident. But eventually they will die. It might happen gradually, by more and more bad clusters accumulating until most of the drive is unusable. Or it might happen suddenly—like a bolt of lightning that fries your hard drive.

ACTION PLAN: The first step in having a backup plan is to decide what data to back up. All of your documents? Your e-mails? Your contacts database? Your bookmarks or list of favorite Web sites? You probably won’t want to lose any of this information—so don’t! Backing up means keeping a copy of your important files in a separate location for retrieval in case of an emergency. Keeping a copy of them in another folder on the same hard drive though is not a good idea. Put it on a separate medium. Preferably, you have two backups on two separate types of media in two places. Typical data-storage choices are CDs, external hard drives, and the relatively new USB mini flash drives that can be attached to your key chain (although their storage capacity is more limited).

EVEN BETTER: The backup concept isn’t just for computers. Just as you might have alternate routes in mind for getting to work, strive to have contingency plans in place when equipment or systems fail. If your copier broke down today and you urgently needed to make copies of something, what would you do?

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)


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