If you were following along on Instagram stories last week, you might have seen that my computer bit the dust halfway through my work week. I had to buy a new computer—which was an unexpected investment—but I was able to keep what is irreplaceable: my photos and files for client work and my own business. I didn’t lose anything, which is super important when you need to get back to work after a setback like a computer crash.
I got so many DMs about how I back up my computer that I thought I’d put together a quick guide for you to what I think is the easiest and most efficient way.
Photography: Madeline Harper
Dropbox makes it so, so easy to save files, keep folders organized, and manage large amounts of information. The most important ease-of-use tip for Dropbox is to install the application to your computer instead of managing your files through dropbox.com. Once you have the app installed, you can literally drop any files from your computer straight into your Dropbox storage.
For IDCO files, we take advantage of the “select sync” feature to keep relevant files on-hand and everything else in storage until we need it. For instance, if we have client A, E, I, W currently, we don’t need to have all the folders for clients A-Z taking up hard drive space. So, we use the “select sync” feature on Dropbox to uncheck any past clients. This process keeps my computer running more efficiently and keeps my files organized and easy to find.
Having my files synced also means that when I open a file to make revisions or updates, it automatically saves to my hard drive and to my Dropbox account. Once I’m finished with a client project, I simply uncheck their folder in select sync and it’s removed from my desktop but saved on my Dropbox account where I can access it anytime through the website. Meanwhile, I can use that hard drive space for the next client.
When you’re deciding what to keep handy on your desktop, keep in mind which files are going to take up the most room: photos (especially high-resolution ones), Photoshop files, and mockups. You should keep as few of these as possible on your computer. Try to keep most of them in your Dropbox storage.
When you save a file to your desktop, you’re using RAM memory, which is your computer’s short term memory. Overusing this memory causes your computer to run slowly and prompt you to “restart” constantly. Be mindful about where and how you save your files and remember to shut down your computer every night to clear your RAM memory.
Don’t place too much faith in your computer and its storage capacities. If your computer isn’t running efficiently, try alleviating some of the storage load. Creating a quick back-up routine will make your life so much easier when you’re, inevitably, replacing your desktop or laptop.
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The Identité Collective is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.