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Easily Organize and Backup Data

You may have read one of my earlier articles about making sure your backup data is on at least three devices in three corresponding locations. In that article, I mentioned that if you happened to only have your data on two devices and those devices are in the same location, it spells disaster for your data if something were to happen to your house or if your laptop and external storage device were to be lost or stolen.

But now that you know how many devices your should have and where they should be, I would like to give you a method for organizing and backing up your primary personal data. Please note that this will not include data such as, video game saves, application databases like QuickBooks, or computer applications and settings.

The method is really quite simple if you have your computer files and folders organized logically. Everyone’s logic is different so feel free to modify my method accordingly. For instance, my computer libraries have the following naming convention and hierarchy:

  • Documents
    • Personal
    • School
    • Work
    • Applications
  • Desktop
  • Downloads
  • Music
  • Pictures
  • Videos

So let’s break this down a bit. Essentially, Documents, Desktop, Downloads, Music, Pictures, and Videos are all libraries. So when I go to a manual backup I create folders that correspond to those libraries onto an external device. That way when I explore my local folders and external device simultaneously, on the same screen, I can more easily drag and drop the contents of each local folder onto the external device. Doing so creates a streamlining effect and makes manual one-to-one copying easier.

Once you have created your corresponding library folders onto your external device, you’re ready to begin the manual copying process. Simply open an explorer window and navigate into the first library you would like to copy. Then open another explorer window and navigate to the corresponding library folder on your external device. While both windows are side-by-side, select all the contents of your local library. Then copy and paste them to your other explorer window. Alternatively, you can drag and drop the files from one window to another.

Once you have the contents of your first library backed up on your external device. Repeat the previous steps over and over until all of your files are backed up. And that’s how you easily organize and backup data.

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