Imagine the scenario; you have spent hours working on your assignment or dissertation and the worst thing has happened… your computer has decided to go on strike and all your hard work has vanished inside the bits and bytes of the digital world. We have all experienced this and know how dreadful it feels. Hours of work gone in seconds and you have to start again from scratch….
Fortunately, computers don’t run on floppy discs like in the 90s and there are a couple of ways in which you can avoid this catastrophic situation. Below are some tricks to help keep your work safe.
Word If you are using Microsoft Word go to settings, find the autosave section and reduce the interval to the minimum, 1 minute. Word will now automatically save your work every minute. It is also possible for Word to create a backup of you work automatically, you can enable this feature under the File tab. Go into File, click Advanced and find Create Backup copy. You will now have both frequent autosave and a backup of your work.
Pages Apple’s word processor, Pages, is student friendly. When you start to type Pages automatically saves everything you type and keeps a record of your deleted section. Unlike other software, Pages is very reliable when it comes to saving your document frequently.
If you want to have a copy of your work somewhere other than your computer, then a good back up is using your email. By simply emailing the document you are working on to your email address, you will have a back-up copy that can be easily accessed. A benefit of emailing yourself your work is that each document is filed chronologically. If you change your mind about an edit you can easily find a previous draft. If anything happens to your computer, then all drafts of your work are saved in your email address.
Online Word, Pages or Google Docs? Most people think that by using a web-based processor they are safe. However, if there is a problem with your internet connection then your browser will become unresponsive and you will lose your work. Make sure you are regularly saving your work even if you are using a web-based browser. Web-based versions of word processors are great and make our lives easier; however a reliable internet connection is very important to keep your work safe.
Evernote An alternative to any word processing software is to start using Evernote. Evernote is a note taking app which can be used to write assignments. Evernote automatically saves your work on both the web-based version and the software version. You can also use Evernote to type your work and then copy it to Word or Pages for the final edit.
Whenever you start work on a document make sure you get into the habit of saving the document frequently and creating backups. You can also use cloud storage for additional safety. This may all seem time consuming but less time consuming than re writing whole assignments.