The tools I use to be and stay professional as a designer.
Some people say I’m a doomsday prepper, but I’m just serious about my job. You should be, too.
Dear designer, make backups!
“But I don’t know how!” “I don’t have time!”
At the end of this article, you’ll find a link to a service that will take care of your backups for $5 a month. No configuration. No cables. No external hard drive. No excuses.
If you lose any files, you can download a copy of a single file through a web browser, download a ZIP archive of your files, or — at an extra cost — order a USB stick or a hard disk with your data.
I’ve been using this service since January 2015. It’s saved my butt many times.
At the price of the above mentioned $5 a month, you can also backup your external hard drives.
“Okay, good, but when my computer breaks down, I can’t wait for a hard drive with my data”
I understand that. So, in addition to online backups, I also make backups to an external hard drive that I have at my fingertips.
I use the software Time Machine from Apple for my external backups. This part was simple — it was much harder for me to choose a trustworthy external hard drive for my backups. Luckily, there is an online backups company that publishes statistics on hard drives that helped me choose a particular brand and model.
Here’s a note: You don’t want to make backups on an SSD drive.
“What about emails?”
Email is essential to me. It’s more important than a physical address or a phone number. This is the root of my online identity.
I don’t know about you, but I stopped looking for the ideal email client a few years ago and decided to use Gmail through a web browser. I don’t like how much Google knows about me, but no email client is able today to match Gmail.
I pay for my Gmail account. You either pay for a product or you are a product yourself. Email is too important for me to rely on a free service with no warranty.
So what? That’s it? No more on the subjects of emails? Of course not!
Google is a big company, but it’s just a company. I have limited trust in it. Thus, I pay an external company $3 a month for ongoing backups of my all emails. $3 is enough to back up a large number of emails. At the moment, I have 16GB of emails.
Google allows you to specify your backup email address — just in case. If you have a Gmail account, use this feature. And, yes, using a free Gmail account as your backup address isn’t the best idea (I’ve been doing it myself for a long time ;). Pay a trusted company for a microscopic email account to use as a secondary address. At the end of this article, you’ll find a link to a company I trust.
A microscopic email account with a trusted company is also useful as a login for the important services that you would not want to lose access to if you lost your Gmail account or domain for whatever reason. And moreover, there are a lot of companies I trust more than Google.
“And you don’t write down your passwords but remember them?”
No. There is a better solution: password managers. Thanks to it, all my passwords are strong and unique. You will find a link to the password manager I use at the end of the article.
“It all sounds like a big expense!”
Omitting the one-time cost of purchasing an external hard drive, the solution I have described costs me $20 a month. $20 a month is very inexpensive insurance for professionalism for a professional designer even in a country like Poland (where I live).
Disclaimer: This is not an advertisement. I’m not affiliated with any of these companies.
- Convenient online backups without configuration, cables, or external disks (thanks Gleb Budman!)
- Hard drive statistics
- Gmail backup
- Trusted company offering small email accounts
- The password manager I use (thanks Dave Teare!)