“You need to make backups of backups, you then need to take those backups and leave them at your friends’ house – in case your house burns down!” that was advice we got from our 1st-year design lecturer. We all used to laugh when he said that last part, how dramatic can this old man be? Yet in hindsight, I realise that no truer words have ever been spoken, and yet it still seems to be the lesson that architecture students find the hardest to learn.

We’ve all been there… That dreaded moment when your laptop screen goes turns blue! The ‘Blue screen of death!’ when the blue screen is upon you and you have not hit the save button in the last hour! Yes, I know the feeling. I still think my computer hates me, in fact, I think all computers hate me, but we all know that it’s not the poor overworked machine’s fault. It’s our own fault, we know better, we know that we should always back up our work externally, and yet we still don’t.

There are so many different options when it comes to backing up. You can back up on an external hard drive, Google Drive, Dropbox or flash drives– just pick any one of those or even two of them. I personally think the internet is the safest place to back up your work since regardless of what happens to your computer, whether it crashes or gets stolen, you can always access your work from any other computer by just logging onto the internet. I have developed the habit of emailing my presentations to myself after working on them, in case my pc or flash drive bail on me on the day I have to print. As ‘OCD’ as it may sounds, I know people who have ended up in tears at the printing shop having lost all their work.

Now because it’s a new year, I think we should start on a good note by developing good habits. The options for backing up are endless and even if you consider yourself ‘old school’ and hate the internet, you can also use ‘cds’. Whatever you do, just remember to back up! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


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