I’ve been thinking a lot about how I keep files and information at my house. I have much of it saved digitally on the computer, but there’s paper too. I’ll have to keep up with personal business and even file my taxes while I’m living in Italy, but this won’t fit in my suitcase:
So lately I’ve been busy spending time with my scanner and keeping up with all of the paperwork that I didn’t have time to do previously. It makes more sense to keep up with it daily or even weekly, but when you’ve got a baby on your hip it’s so much easier to stack the papers and save them for later. Which I did, for like, a year.
Two years ago I did the Great Paper Pile Makeover of ’08, and it helped immensely. My strategy at that time to purge and sort was to “pretend I was moving overseas and could only take a few things with me.”
This time I’m really moving overseas, if only for a short time, and I can’t take it with me.
I’ve mentioned before how I use Evernote to save my ideas, research, recipes, and writing drafts.
If Evernote is my idea notebook, then Dropbox is my file cabinet.
Dropbox lets you save your files both on your computer and online “in the cloud” so they’ll be safe when something happens to your computer. If my MacBook happens to get lost, broken, or stolen while I’m in Italy, I can replace the laptop, and Dropbox will save the files and pictures.
There are several online backup services around–Mozy and Crashplan are popular ones, but Dropbox is different. It’s not just a way to backup your files. It lets you take them with you wherever you go.
It’s a folder on your computer, so it’s easy to use. You don’t have to wait days to upload or retrieve your files, and you can access them immediately through your computer, the Dropbox website, or mobile apps. It’s also easy to share files with other people, so I can share photos with my mom without having them be available to the general public.
In addition to Dropbox, I use an external backup drive that I’ll leave here in the states, and we’ll take a couple of memory cards with us.