Keeping files consistently backed up is a pain.

I’m pretty good about it–I back up to an external hard drive regularly and to DVD yearly, and I email manuscript files to myself whenever I remember.

But if my computer were to crash randomly, all that wouldn’t realistically keep me from losing days or weeks of writing work, which depending on those days or weeks could be at best painful and at worst disastrous.

I’ve known for a long time I should be using dropbox or a like system.  I swear everyone uses one of these things but me.  But I’m always skeptical of new things that promise to simplify my life.  In my experience, the best way to keep my life simple is to depend on as few devices and services and gadgets as possible, and not to fix things that are not broken.

But my backup system was inadequate, and therefore broken.  Finally fear of data loss motivated me to sign up and try it.

And while I still have no desire for a smart phone or an ipod or an e-reader or a gps, I discovered that dropbox is totally awesome.

All I did was download the thing, and then link my shortcuts to all my important files to pull from my dropbox folder instead of my hard drive.  Now every time I type a sentence (and obsessively hit ctrl-s), that sentence gets saved to a server somewhere.  Better yet, I can access all my work on both our desktop and my laptop, which makes working with our budget and work schedule files much easier.

And I never have to think about it again.  That’s my kind of simplification.