1 – Take pictures with your phone
Cameras in today’s mobile phone are very powerful tools when it comes to taking pictures spontaneously. Your kids are doing something cute? Rather than fumbling with a big Nikon D7000 you could just whip out your iPhone and start shooting. The best part: your photos are automatically backed up and synced with Apple’s iCloud so you never have to worry about losing your data and you always have your photos available anywhere you go to show off.
2 – Plan your media needs
I am a great fan of planning. It gives you a great opportunity to preorganize potential photos and videos and be prepared for some quick shots as well. Therefore, I recommend you plan ahead and think about what kind of device you are going to use when all your family comes together. You could create already a folder on your computer and name it “Christmas 2011” and then categorize it even further into “Photos” and “Videos“. This gives you already a good structure to start. I know it is hard but also think about how many potential photos and videos you might end up with. This could be just a couple of hundred but also easily go into the thousands depending how amitious you are. Per photo you’ll need around 5MB while a video can take up easily hundred of MB.
3 – Do multiple backups
When you plan your media files and backup needs it is not enough to think about just one online backup solution for example just perform a local backup. I’d always recommend you combine local backup with online backup. This is the most secure way to store (and restore) your data. Online backup protects your data from being corrupted due to accidents or a fire while local backups ensure that you have your data always available even if your internet fails or if the online backup service experiences an outage.
4 – Don’t only think about your files
Of course your files are important. But I am sure your spouse or your son is also going to take some pictures or video recordings and you don’t want to lose this data either. Think about it: it could be that you missed the golden shot of 2011 because you had to prepare the christmas goose but uncle John had his camera ready. But he is very clumbsy and spilled tea over his camera…Well that’s why you ought to plan you online backups not only for yourself but also for other people that are going to be with you on Christmas Eve.
5 – Leave work at the office…
…but have it always avaible with your cloud storage No, seriously. Christmas should be the time when you can and should relax completely. But if you are sort of a workaholic (as I am) then you might want to make sure to have your data always available. This could be documents, spreadsheets or other project files. There are several great cloud syncing services out there. I personally recommend SugarSync which gives you a good bang for your buck and you can backup and sync your data easily between your work and home.
6 – Read my Online Backup 101 Report
The best method against data loss is knowledge. How can you avoid losing your data? What is online backup? What online backup provider shall you choose? How much storage do you need? You need to be able to answer all those questions to find the perfect online backup service for Christmas and beyond. With my guide you can easily fill in the gaps in your knowledge and protect your data correctly. Read it here.
7 – Check your backup routine – now!
It is always better to be safe than sorry. I always recommend people to double check their backup setup because there are many mistakes that could happen along the way. Be sure to have activated “continuous” or “incremental” backup with you online backup provider. This will allow you to save your data on the fly without having to worry about backing up your files manually. This is especially important when normally one backup a month would do for you. You are a lot more likely to forget that because you will produce more data over Christmas Holidays than in the months before – so be prepared!
8 – Test your restore process – twice!
Restoring your data is as important as backing up your data. The day will inevitably come where your hard drive fails and you need to restore your data immediately. Believe me – it is the most painful experience to realize that you meticously thought about your backups but have forgotten to double check that the restore process works as intended. So do a couple of test restores – just in case. This way you can detect errors before they even ocurr.
9 – Get another online backup service
Online backup and storage has become incredibly cheap these days. So you can consider getting a backup of your backup. I know that sounds quite over the top – but I honestly rather spend $3 on another online backup service than losing all my data due to some weird server error. Remember for just one Cappuchino at Starbucks you can save your digital life and your beautiful Christmas memories of 2011.
10 – Enjoy Christmas!
First and foremost, just enjoy Christmas – that’s the most important thing in 2011. Forget all the stress of your daily life and enjoy the time you spend with your family and loved ones. Don’t think too much about taking pictures, videos and whatever else – just relax and eat well! BUT – do you backups!
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