Backup for every UX Designer (yes, you!)

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.

Backup for every UX Designer (yes, you!) was originally published in UX Planet on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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