Backup Your Spreadsheets

If you’ve ever lost hours of work when your computer crashed, you know why you should backup your spreadsheets – frequently. If you haven’t had it happen to you yet, don’t think that it never will. Chances are you’re going to have it happen to you eventually. If and when it does, if you have your spreadsheets and other data backed up, it won’t affect you as bad as if you didn’t have a backup. Using the three methods below, you should have a pretty airtight plan for backing up your important data, including all your spreadsheets.

Save Often
If you haven’t learned this by now, it’s something you should be doing. Saving your spreadsheet every ten minutes or so will make sure you don’t lose any of your important data. Most people don’t start doing this until AFTER they have lost a file and a few hours of work. With a keyboard combination (Control-S usually), there’s no reason not to save frequently so you don’t lose any data in your spreadsheets.

While this is a good idea, it still won’t help if something happens to your computer or your hard drive.

Backup to Flash
Beyond saving your files every ten minutes or so, it’s a good idea to back up to a flash drive at the end of each day when you’re done working. The best way is to keep all your spreadsheets and other files in a single folder than you can just drag and drop to your flash drive, making sure you don’t forget any important files. While flash drives are dependable, you don’t want to put all your faith in them either, especially if your files are irreplaceable.

Backup to DVD
Once a week or once a month, you should backup all your files (including your spreadsheets) to a DVD for more permanent storage.

DVDs won’t last forever, but if you’re backing everything up after a month, you can begin to get rid of your older DVD backups, making sure the ones you have are new and won’t give you any problems when you try to read the data on them.