Web Services

No More Need for Data Recovery


04. December 2010


This afternoon, I received an email from Michelle Villalobos, one of the keynote speakers from the Empowered Women Summit:

Pashmina, I’ve spent the last week and a half recovering from the Summit – not just mentally and physically, but also electronically. See, on Monday after the Summit, all hell broke loose – my hard drive failed and I lost everything…

I stopped reading right there, immediately empathized, and then cringed. Why is a high powered entrepreneur such as Michelle spending “a week and a half” recovering from a failed hard drive? This shouldn’t be happening. Not any more. Not in the 21st century. Not when there are people like ME to tell you there’s another way, and I can help you get there. I’m challenging you to embrace new technology. Embrace changes that can prevent loss in productivity and time. Get on the cloud, and lead the way for others in your network to do the same.

What’s the Cloud?

Let me put it this way: you could literally smash my laptop against the wall, and I wouldn’t blink. I’d still need a new laptop, yes. But I wouldn’t be thinking about data recovery. I’m no longer worried about viruses or hardware failure. This is because all my valuable data lives online, accessible on the internet, from any connected computer (or phone). So if my hard drive, or computer fails, I can head to Best Buy, and recover in hours. If I can access the web, I can access my data. That’s one definition of what it means to be on the cloud.

No part of my digital life resides exclusively on my hard drive. Every piece of data I own also simultaneously exists on some web based app or service. My email, documents, and photos to start, but even beyond that from my banking, invoicing and all my interactions with my clients, it’s all online or on some web app. About three years ago, I made a short post for a dead simple way to backup critical documents, and it’s still valid today. It takes three simple steps, and it’s easy to get started.

A Web Based Office Run By Simple Web Apps

Transitioning to the cloud implies that you’ll transition your business to function on web apps. “Apps” aren’t just limited to that Weather widget on your iPhone. Apps also encompass things you’ve used on the web like Google Maps, Facebook, or Twitter. And more robust services like Freshbooks (for online invoicing and billing) or Mailchimp (for email marketing). These are apps too. And unlike traditional desktop software, web apps tend to be small, specifically focus on doing a few things well, yet extendable. They often can integrate and share data and information with other web apps too.

Switching to web apps and services has other benefits too. Aside from being able to access your data from any computer, and almost any modern web browser, web apps also don’t require maintenance or upgrades. I can’t think of anyone who isn’t annoyed by iTune’s constant notifications to upgrade. Imagine never having to upgrade ever again. Web apps upgrade on their own. You’ll always be using the latest version, which means it’s also more secure.

Cheap Online Recovery

For those of you with Apple you use Time Machine for a continuous incremental backup of ALL your data. Head to an Apple store and chat with them and they’ll set you up to have all devices backup with Time Machine. The trifecta of bulletproof backup is: local backup to external media (with Time Machine or any Windows backup software) + Cloud Based Online Tools (Google Docs, Flickr, Vimeo, etc.) as mentioned above + and finally cheap online recovery.

back up your computer Back Blaze backup service is a no brainer. For $50 a year this painless and easy solution will continuously backup your computer. You have unlimited storage, and you have a suite of restore options when you need it.

Love Your Tech

One last thing I’ll say for those of you resisting the change, or holding on to old methods of working. I know it can be daunting, but it’s NOT hard. You worry that the next thing you “upgrade” to will suck, or won’t make your life easier. I’m here to tell you that it will, and that you can do it. Get the right advice, and choose wisely. You’ll be happier, more efficient, and may end up saving money in the process. Some of the newer web apps are SO good, that you’ll wonder what you ever did without them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people call me months later and say “OMG I looooove this thing. I don’t know what I’d do without it!”

I invite you to comment, and ask for advice. Think of a tech need you’ve been trying to solve, there’s probably “an app for that.”