My yoga instructor mentioned that her hard drive crashed and that it might cost her $2,000 to recover it. I realized that one problem of living on an island is that the salt air is tough on hardware. My advice is to not rely on hardware that you have to manage. Here’s what I do for backups and keeping track of stuff.
Cloud Storage is Great
I use Google Drive but Dropbox and other products are fine solutions too. Since I use gmail I’ve been sucked into the Google ecosystem and generally find it quite convenient. I love the fact that I can store things in my Google drive and access them from my iPhone. Several times I’ve been stuck needing a copy of some document and then realize that I can pull it up from my phone. Install the Google Drive app on your computer and your phone and you’ll be able to access all your files anytime and anywhere.
You won’t need to backup your drive since Google does that for you.
I use Google Sheets instead of Excel. I use Google Docs instead of Microsoft Word. I love making spreadsheets and I have a bunch of them to track investments, expenses, and other things. I’m learning Spanish and I have a Google doc called “Spanish Cheat Sheet” where I keep crib notes on Spanish grammar.
Cloud Storage is Scary
Ok, so the downside is that you have personal information stored in the cloud where hackers can get it. I have news for you, hackers can get onto your personal computer too. Google (or Dropbox or Microsoft) will be better at protecting your information than you are. Plus they will back it up so you don’t have to worry about it going away.
Caveat! Passwords and 2 Factor Authentication
Google can’t help you if you have an easy to guess password. Keeping track of passwords is a pain. I recommend using Lastpass (or 1password) to keep track of your passwords. I use Lastpass and they have a Chrome extension that will fill passwords as well as credit card forms. It saves me a ton of time and I feel secure. The only problem is you have to create a very secure password and that can be tough to remember. I have Lastpass suggest passwords and then pick one that seems kind of easy to remember. I make up some story about the password so I can more easily remember it. I do add hints that will help me remember it, don’t make the hints too obvious though.
Besides having a secure password, and Authy to keep your data secure.
I use Lastpass For your Google account turn on 2 Factor Authentication, also called 2FA. This means when you log into your Gmail account from a new computer you’ll need to type in a special 6 digit code generated by an app. Google has an app but I prefer Authy.