The single, most important organizational tech tool

There’s a scene in a movie I love called Office Space where the three, beleaguered main characters reach their breaking point with a semi-functional fax machine.

In a moment of madness, they abscond with it in the trunk of their car, drive to an abandoned lot and “jump it” in a gang-inspired melee. In slow motion, faces contorted with the rage of the oppressed, they exact their revenge for all of the nonsensical error codes, paper jams, and time wasting bugs.

They smash it smithereens with baseball bats, fast fists and series of hard, swift kicks. Only when the annoying contraption has been reduced to a pile of rubble do their faces finally relax; with the machine gone, they’re back in control.

Have you ever had such an ‘Office Space Moment’ of your own (or wished you could have one)? I sure have — about once a year my computer (no matter how new or old, mac or pc) gives me the blue wall (or spinning beach ball) of death.

When technology works for you, it’s very, very good. But when it doesn’t, it’s awful. The best way to avoid those kinds of moments: make sure you are doing automated backups and/or using an online file syncing service.

The most important tech tool: backups

It is only a matter of time before your hard drive crashes. Backups are the single, most essential thing to organize in your digital life. And the easier you can make backup process, the more likely you are to do it.

I personally highly recommend and love Dropbox. This software as a service enables you to automatically sync every file on your hard drive with a “cloud” server each time you go online (for those with broadband, that means every time you turn your computer on). This has two benefits: (1) you always have access to your important documents no matter where you are and even if you don’t have your computer with you. (2) Just connecting your computer to the internet = a file backup (your photos, music, and files).

How do you backup your files? How often do you back them up?

  • Suzy R

    I could only smile and laugh when I read this – one of my favorite all time movies!!

  • Soni C.

    Office Space never fails to make me roar with laughter each time I watch it.

    Ironically, as I was reading this post my laptop froze and I had to reboot it. 🙁

    I keep both a local and online backup. I do a full backup to a high capacity external hard drive once a week and schedule daily incremental backups using the free version of EaseUS ToDo Backup. I back up all my critical files, including music and pictures, to my Amazon cloud drive. I also keep any files I need to access remotely on Dropbox and I’m a heavy user of Evernote for all my notes, task lists, etc.

    Also wanted to add that you should periodically try restoring your data. Being unable to restore your data is as bad as not having backed it up.

  • SarahButtonedUp

    Soni – that is such an excellent point about practicing restoring your data. Thank you for sharing that. AND for sharing the point about having multiple backups. While I love Dropbox as my insta-backup, about two years ago they had a glitch and I lost ALL of my files. Had I not had a second backup (on an external hard drive) saved my bacon. Redundancy is the name of the game.

  • SarahButtonedUp

    🙂 Me too. I always try to picture the writers and crew and how much fun they all must have had making the movie.