A long time ago, in a kingdom far, far away, I used to work at a place where standard policy was to save our data in multiple places. As far as our policy was concerned, those newfangled computers couldn’t be trusted. So not only did we save things in a couple of different internal databases, but we also saved paper copies of everything — augmented sometimes by all that data being input into spreadsheets on our computers that we shared with one another.
(This was pre-Google Drive and pre-cloud, in general; I’m talking shared Excel workbooks.)
While this seemed slightly excessive, upon reflection, I can say that we never lost an order (that I know of) while I worked there. I worked there for several years, too.
At the time, I was writing loads of papers for college. I’d recently gotten my first laptop — the first computer I’d ever owned. You’d better believe I backed everything up on multiple disks, so I had multiple copies. Again, slight overkill — but I never lost anything important that way.
A friend shared Dumped! by Google with me, and it made me glad that I’ve continued this practice, even in today’s cloud age. Have you ever thought about what would happen if you couldn’t use any of the Google products you currently use? You should. This isn’t intended to incite panic about Google, or to imply that their products are unreliable. However, with our increasing dependence on them to smooth out the roughnesses of everyday life, having a backup plan in place seems like the pragmatic thing to do. Until now, I have only had the foresight to back up drafts and finished documents. That’s a problem.