5 MUST HAVE Tools To Ensure You Don’t Lose Everything

The other day I was working away as usual when my computer suddenly completely shut off. Having a battery backup, I was a bit stumped by how this would happen… So I went to turn the computer back on and resume working when it would not power back on. “Uh oh… not again” I thought to myself.

Just 2 years ago I would have been freaking out in a panic. Surprisingly, I was fairly calm this time around. In fact, about 2 years ago, this same thing happened to me and I lost so much work, personal files, and emails… it hurts to talk about. >_< It's because of that event 2 years ago that I utilize 5 main tools that ensure I never lose any more work, personal files, or basically... anything digital... ever again.

1. Dropbox

This is the BEST application ever. You “only” get 2gb of free storage space (well 2.25gb if you sign up using my referral link) but not only is it free, it’s an EPIC way to sync important work files among all your computers instantly. You can pay for more storage if you need it.

Better yet, you can access your files online, so it’s a bit like a back up for important files. Or, as if that wasn’t enough, you can get the iPhone / iPad app (for free) and access your files there. Very, very slick.

What’s also great about Dropbox is that you can invite employees, friends, etc and share a folder with them. I have a folder that I share with my employees for work and can control exactly who see’s what content. No more emailing file after file with my todo lists. ๐Ÿ˜€

You can read my complete review on dropbox.

2. Carbonite

Ok… not THAT type of carbonite.

Carbonite is a bit like dropbox but more for making a complete off-site backup of all your important files.

The way it works is you pay something like $50 bucks a year and you can back up an “unlimited” amount of data backup for that.

After you install a small, non intrusive application on your computer, it slowly encrypts and then uploads your files to Carbonite’s servers. I have nearly my entire C:/ drive backed up so if my hard drive ever fails, I can just reload my files directly from their servers and be on my way. Gigidy.

What I love about it is that it’s constantly working whether you are making new files or modifying current ones.

As if it wasn’t good enough, carbonite has a iPhone / iPad app just like dropbox so you can access your files from your mobile devices as well.

Another MUST HAVE tool for sure.

3. Evernote + Fujitsu scanner

Evernote is a really awesome service. Like dropbox and carbonite, it is an online storage system but only for documents. Mainly I use evernote for keeping track of receipts. I scan them in (or take a photo), upload them right to evernote, and I have a permanent digital copy of my receipts.

So why use evernote instead of say, uploading the scanned PDFs to carbonite or dropbox?

The main reason is that I can go in and tag the documents so I can search for them later. Or… even better, evernote automatically converts scanned documents into searchable text with surprising accuracy. For paper documents, receipts, etc, evernote is king. Dated, scanned, tagged, document goodness. I know all the organization freaks are drooling right now.

What’s cool is that the Fujitsu scanner I have has a one button scan to evernote option so literally it’s as easy as pressing a single button to scan a bunch of documents directly into evernote’s servers. Win!

Thanks to @DDN for the tips on this one!

4. LastPass Firefox plugin

You know what I hate? When you start fresh on a computer… a lot of the passwords for those random sites you go to like once a year are gone!

If you’re like me and use a ton of different passwords, then you know how annoying it can be to try and reset the password or spend 5-10 minutes guessing which password it was (and sometimes getting locked out of the site completely for a bit…)

That’s one of the reasons I LOVE lastpass. Basically, lastpass stores all your passwords for internet websites remotely. That way you can access your passwords anywhere you go… even when you are on a freshly reformatted computer.

Now, obviously you don’t want to put your passwords to financial sites (banks, credit cards, etc) on this service. Even if all the passwords are double encrypted, I just would never trust that sort of information anywhere except my head.

Nevertheless, for most websites, this is a service that I just could NOT live without anymore.

It’s also great for employees. Instead of having to give them every different password and keep some master “old sk00L” excel list, you give them a single password to access all the sites you need them to access.

5. External Hard drives

Common… they’re like $50 for a bazillion (real number) GB. I use this for storing all the personal files I have. I don’t update it regularly because I don’t add files to it very frequently but if you don’t have at least 3 external hard drives, you have not truly lived the internet geek lifestyle. ๐Ÿ˜‰

So those are the main 5 tools to ensure I always keep my sanity my work safe. What do you use?

This is a guest post by Jonathan Volk who frequently blogs about making money online. He also has a free affiliate marketing guide that is extremely complete and has a ton of great information. You can read my review of his affiliate marketing guide here. Go check out his blog and subscribe!