10 Simple Ways To Backup Your Life

Summary – Sometimes redundancy is a bliss

It was the year 2001. I was doing my internship at the time with a petrochemical company. I remember this year very fondly because this is the year I make one of the biggest mistake in my life.

Please bear with me as I explain some details about the mistakes. You see, being a student, my computer was my life. I had files about everything saved in my PC. This includes notes, assignments, projects, personal pictures, diaries etc. In short, the last 5 years of my life were well documented in that PC.

One fine day, I mistakenly formatted the PC and I lost everything in seconds.

(This is where I pause for about 2 minutes regretting that I don’t have backup)

They say the last person to laugh usually have backups. Therefore compiled below are some suggestion on how you can start to backup your life based on what I’ve learnt.

1) Invest in an external drive.

The price for an external drive is now very cheap. You can get 1GB of space for about $0.30. Just imagine buying a permanent storage for thousands of documents for a few dollars only. Isn’t that a bargain?

2) Use Gmail

Gmail is personally the best webmail ever created. At the time this is written, Gmail is offering around 7GB plus of space for you to use. You can upload all your files there without ever worrying of running out of space. The best thing about Gmail is that the search engine is so advanced, you can find any documents in just seconds.

I have actually compiled a list of phone numbers, addresses and URLs in my Gmail. This way, I know that I can always get that information as long as I’m connected to the internet.

3) Get an actual note book

It will never hurt to actually own a few books to jot down important details such as phone number, addresses etc. You never know when suddenly you are cut off from technology with nothing but your book.

4) Scan your notes / documents

If you want to retype all your notes into your computer, it will take you another 10 years of your life just to do that. It is better if you can scan your notes or if you don’t have a scanner, take snap shots of your notes using your digital camera or camera phone.

You are in the same time decluttering too.

5) Use software to backup your phone

I formatted my cellphone on a regular basis. I prefer to have a short list of contact number in my phone book. This way I can immediately find a friend’s number fast. But, I have no worry because I always backup the data on my phone into my PC

I’m using this software – (MyPhoneExplorer) to help me back up my data. So far, I am impressed. Try it.

6) Memorize 3 phone numbers

But what will happen if you don’t have your cellphone or laptop or your notebook and you are lost somewhere in the city. Who will you call? More importantly do you know the number to call?

I suggest that you memorize 3 phone numbers of your closest friends or family. Remember it by hard. Who knows, this may be the one thing that will save your life some day.

7) List down important dates throughout the year

You know that book you keep your details in (Point 3)? I prefer to call it VIB (Very Important Book). All you need to do is to list down important dates throughout the year in the book. It may be your anniversary date, or your doctor’s annual appointment. One year is a very long time, and my guess is that people can sometime forget an important date easily within that period of time.

8] Take pictures of your life daily

If you browse my computer now, you will notice around 3000 pictures saved in it. They are not just a picture of me with a scenery. In fact, I snapped a lot of pictures ranging from flowers, bugs, scenery, events to the unrecognizable. They may not mean anything to other people, but they are very important pieces of my life that brings back a lot more memories.

Seriously one of the best investment I ever made – A camera phone.

9) Write a biography of you

Just think about it. Do you know anyone in the whole world that will write a biography about you. I don’t think so, unless you are a very famous person.

Here’s a project. Why don’t you start writing your own biography. Let it be a small project you do once in every week. It is not for sale of course. Believe me, it will be one of your VIBs during your golden days.

10) Impart wisdom to your children

What better way to back up your life other than seeing your son/daughter to learn everything about life from you. They will be a better version of you.

This is for me, the best way for you to back up your life. Teach your children all the good things you know about life. Impart your wisdom to them so it will guide them throughout their life. Just imagine, an exact replica of you who possess your wisdom and your best quality.

In a way, this is the only way a person can live forever.

– I wonder –
Are there any other way that I may have missed to backup your life?

———– Personal Note ———–
One of the worst case scenario that I sometime picture in my head is an amnesia incident. What if suddenly you forget everything even your name? What will you do? That’s would be the worst kind of formatting accident ever.

Don't want to miss a single tip? Get updates via RSS (Full) or Email

Appreciated action :

This post has 14 comments.

Pictures & Avatar next to all comments are courtesy of Gravatar
  1. This is good list of practical tips. I don’t have a gmail account but maybe I should. I already have 5 emails addresses though so I think that’s enough.

  2. 31 Jul 09 8:31 pm

    Karen – You should try it. But you will need to check through other blogs on gmail utilization. I wish you all the best 🙂

  3. 16 Aug 09 11:18 am

    should’ve read this when I was doing all the disgusting HR stuff. If only….(gaze at the stars above)

    thanks….good tips!

  4. 20 Aug 09 9:10 am

    Salam Ramadhan Al Mubarak to Bro Banji & Family..
    Wishing you all the best of health, happiness and prosperity during this blessed month and beyond..

  5. 21 Aug 09 9:44 am

    salam bro… lamanya tak singgah. Selamat Menyambut bulan ramadhan almubarak.

  6. 31 Aug 09 11:16 pm

    Cheryna – Thank you for reading cheryna

    Yanz & Kuina – Salam Ramadhan Al Mubarak to both of you too 🙂

  7. 31 Aug 09 11:45 pm

    Great Article! A few notes:

    #3-4) Take Notes and Retain that Knowledge: I batch these 2 together. I take an intense amount of notes (suggested by Tim Ferriss author of the Four Hour Workweek, known to have over 15,000 pages of personal insights). I then type them into a word document and organize them by subject. (I call it Basics”).

    #6) Remember the numbers of 3 people: A close relative, a close friend and a “phone book friend” – someone who knows a lot of people. (Remember the 6 degrees of separation).

  8. banji
    01 Sep 09 12:27 am

    Levik Dubov – The next proper thing to do about handling lots of notes is to organize it in such a way that it can be retrieved anytime you want. Do you have any tips on that? I’m sure you have a few effective ones.

    Thank you for the additional ideas. Appreciate it.

  9. 16 Sep 09 1:43 pm

    I only follow step 2. Did not follow other steps before. Need to start invest an enternal HDD is the first thing I will do. 🙂

  10. banji
    12 Oct 09 8:24 pm

    Jayce – There was once a time when I had a 4.3GB HD and I really don’t know what to fill it with. Now it’s Terrabytes era already.. Good luck backuping your life 🙂

  11. 15 Oct 09 4:57 am

    banji – I’ve written an entire post on the Writing and Organizing Notes. Check it out here http://sentimentofsuccess.wordpress.com/2009/10/14/how-to-take-and-organize-notes/.

  12. 17 Oct 09 7:37 pm

    Levik Dubov – Thank you for sharing. I particularly like the PUTS process.

  13. 19 Apr 10 5:05 am

    This is a very useful post. Some insightful tips that I will implement in my own life.

    Thanks for sharing


  14. […] 10 Simple Ways To Backup Your Life […]

banji Read LessonInLife.com In Your Email

Please enter your email address
    Unconventional Guides
    Advertise here
    Handbook for Life