Location and schedule flexibility is one of the greatest advantages to life as a blogger. However, this likely means that you are in charge of your technology and data management. It can be hard to prioritize organization, backup, and security when you have work tasks taking up the majority of your time. The key is to schedule automated data management processes, so that your files are covered without major time interruptions.
We all know how quickly blog-related files can accumulate on your computer. You’ve got images filed away for post graphics, audio interviews, and maybe even footage for vlogs. Chances are, you’re using the same technology for business and personal use. Before you know it, your computer is giving you a low capacity warning. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to keep about 10-15% of your hard drive free at all times. This allows software to write and remote temporary files, which might be necessary for a program to run.
Free hard drive scanning tools like FolderSize for PC and Disk Inventory X for Mac show your files sorted by size, so that you can see what’s taking up the most space. We often accumulate media files, such as movies and music, and then forget about them. You can use hard drive scanning tools to locate space-hogging data files and then erase them.
What would happen to your workflow if your computer was suddenly damaged, stolen, or lost? Data backups are absolutely critical for bloggers. External hard drives and cloud storage is the ideal combination for a data backup. Having a local copy stored in your office gives you immediate access to data, with quick transfer speeds. Cloud storage should be used as a secondary backup, in case your external hard drive is also damaged, lost, or stolen.
External hard drives can be linked to automated operating system backup utilities like Time Machine for Mac and File History for PC. G-Drive and LaCie make some very high quality, portable hard drives with USB, FireWire, E-SATA, and Thunderbolt connectivity. USB and FireWire are the slowest interfaces, good for transferring basic documents and smaller-size files. E-SATA and Thunderbolt are commonly used in professional media industries, when you have to move large film and photography files.
There are endless options for cloud storage solutions. Services like Carbonite, SkyDrive, and Amazon Cloud Drive are just some examples of secure business storage. These systems have desktop client software, so that you can set up automatic file syncing.
System and Software Updates
You can quickly fall behind in productivity if you don’t keep your operating systems and professional software up to date. Both Microsoft and Apple release system updates that provide critical security protection against new data threats. You might want to rethink clicking that “Later” button whenever you receive an operating system update prompt. Since bloggers often blend work and personal files on the same computer, you run a higher risk of infecting your professional data. Additionally, bloggers usually don’t have the protection of an in-house IT department and secure Wi-Fi networks. Since updates tend to require a time commitment to download and install, schedule these maintenance events to run when you’re not using the computer.
While it’s generally a good idea to run system and software updates, you also should check the upgrade notes for compatibility issues on both computers and mobile devices. For example, filmmakers who were early Final Cut Pro X adopters were disappointed to find that the new software didn’t support projects created in Final Cut 9. You can catch important changes, such as a lack of backward compatibility, by reading through the notes. You must check to make sure software and peripheral systems are compatible. Will your virtual-phone-system, media recorders, and printer still work with the new technology?
Bloggers who perform regular data maintenance are less likely to run into major file emergencies. Invest in a few backup systems, reduce clutter, check compatibility, and perform software and system upgrades. These tasks can greatly increase the longevity of your technology and data.