|I also have a huge box of old CDs and DVDs.|
Image: © Carloscastilla | Dreamstime.com
I used to email copies of my word files to myself, so I had a copy of my work in case something dastardly happened to my computer, but I wasn't very good at remembering to do that regularly and I'd also end up with heaps of emails clogging my email account. My new approach eliminates those problems.
My 6 Step File Management Plan
- When I start a new story, I create a new folder inside my "Writing" folder. The name of this new folder is usually my characters' names.
- Then, I save every word file in that folder with the name of the project (usually the characters' names again) and the date. Occasionally I'll also include something specific if applicable, like "outline" or something like that.
- Then, each day I work on that file, I start by doing a "save as" with the new date. Yes, this means I have a lot of files, but it also means that I have a lot of back ups if suddenly my file becomes corrupt or I accidently delete a section I really like or whatever. This is based on the method of file management we do at my day job.
- When the number of files becomes too onerous to sort through or when I get to the end of the project, I will create a new sub-folder called "Obsolete." I move my older files into this folder. I never delete anything. Again, this is inspired by what we do at my day job.
- Then, I have my folders so they automatically back up to the "cloud." Every file in the folder, including each new one I create, is automatically backed up without me having to do anything. I've heard of people using SugarSync and DropBox, but I expect there are a lot of other similar resources. Make sure you check them out and that you are comfortable with them before uploading anything. Also, depending on the size of your files, some cloud storage sites are free. I have also chosen to back up photos, which can be quite large, so I pay for a larger account.
- Then, about once a month, I back-up my computer files onto an external hard drive.
Do you share my paranoia? Do you have any other tips or tricks to manage your files?