This month, we’re all about focusing on innovation, and we came across a statistic the other day that absolutely frightened us: the average lifespan of a flash drive is 1-10 years. Think about that: a decade or less is all you’ll get out of a flash drive. Compare that to the hundreds of years archival paper lasts and suddenly that failsafe hard drive may not seem like the best option for backing up that wedding work (and all of those pretty photos!) of yours. Today, then, we wanted to breakdown some options for backing that work up (And, don’t worry, we won’t blame you if you’re singing Juvenile’s lyrics as you read):
Aisle Planner’s “Archived Weddings” Feature
As an Aisle Planner, you’ll have constant access to all of the past weddings you’ve planned using AP in our Archived Weddings space. Simply login to your account and choose “Archive.” From there, you’ll be able to access all of your archived weddings. Keep in mind, if you need to make changes to any of your archived weddings, you’ll first have to unarchive the event you’d like to work on.
Any past work you keep under your Aisle Planner archives will be accessible at all times, as our system has built-in redundancies. This essentially means that, should one route to our server be affected for any reason, we’ve got a backup route ready and waiting. Essentially, you’re twice-covered, so you should never have any trouble accessing your archived weddings.
Use the Cloud
Outside of keeping past wedding files and notes archived in Aisle Planner, you’ll also likely want to keep photos and other files that weren’t uploaded to Aisle Planner backed up. I recommend keeping these backups on both an external hard drive and in the cloud. With the somewhat short lifespan of flash drives and external hard drives, it makes sense to backup your files using a cloud-based program. We are fans of Google Drive, iCloud Drive and Dropbox.
Remember, though, just as external hard drives aren’t failsafe, neither is the cloud. There’s no 100-percent guarantee you’ll never encounter a rare glitch and possibly lose access to some files (even if for a short while). So, to be safe, keep your important files in both places—in the cloud and on external drives—just to be absolutely sure you’ll have a copy of the files you need should something go awry.
Set a Schedule
The hardest thing about backing up our work is often remembering to do so. I’ll find myself constantly aware that I need to backup files but I put it off and put it off until I suddenly realize that it’s been six months since I’ve backed up my computer or moved photos to Dropbox.
I recommend getting on a set schedule of backing up your work on the same day every month. Treat it as a meeting and don’t let yourself skip it. (If you have a trusted intern or staff member, this can also be a great task to delegate.)
During that time, you should:
- Update the Cloud: If you’re using something like iCloud drive, you’ll likely have your preferences set to where all photos on your computer, phone and tablet are automatically stored in iCloud, so you may not have to do much. If that’s the case, you won’t need to manually drag items to the cloud, but should take a look at your software status and make sure there aren’t any pending updates you’ve ignored for a while (guilty as charged). If so, take the time to update your software. You should also take some time to organize files. Delete that screenshot you accidentally snapped or pull all of those photos from that trip into one single folder. Keeping your files organized is just as important as backing them up.
If you’re using something like Google Drive or Dropbox, you’ll need to manually drag (and organize into folders) everything you want on that platform.
- Backup your entire computer onto an external hard drive: Use Time Machine backups or another similar program to help you make complete backups of your entire computer. If you really want to cover yourself, make a “backup of the backup” (i.e. back your computer up on two separate external hard drives).
- Flag and print the non-negotiables: We all have those files we couldn’t stand to lose (our own wedding photos, photos from some of our best client weddings, accounting records, etc.) As tedious as it may seem, print anything you absolutely won’t be able to live without. You can be strategic about this—you don’t have to print every single photo from that destination wedding you planned, but choose 10-20 of your all-time favorite shots to print and file away just to be safe.
Remember, as tedious (and unsexy) as backing up your work may seem, it’s an important part of the process. Set aside some time each month to ensure your work is copied across a few different platforms. You’ll sleep better at night knowing your work is safe.