The nightmare of all time for a student is losing the text of one’s thesis. For an author, it is the latest round of corrections and edits. Professors have lectures, tests, and notes to safeguard. You say you will back up soon, but the dreaded event happens and the files are lost. You think it can’t happen? Ask around!
It seems impossible to believe that everyone doesn’t back up daily or at least weekly. Getting software is easy or using storage and sharing like Dropbox. As long as it is dependable, it will prevent tragedy from striking when your battery dies or the power goes out (or you get sabotaged). At the very least, print your current work and archive-able materials. Pages to retype are better than nothing. Relying on memory is just as absurd as it sounds. There is no alternative better than backup.
University professors often use office staff or teaching assistants to prepare course outlines, exams, lectures, and other related documents. It is their responsibility to follow up and make sure these items are stored safely and a copy transferred to them electronically. The naiveté of the absent-minded professor doesn’t cut it. You don’t impress anyone by pretending your brainy head is always in the clouds (and I don’t mean the good kind on the Internet). Utilizing safeguards is not out of character or beneath you. It is the difference between literary life and death.
That being said, what can you do? Remember the days when you burned a CD and had a zip drive. You could send files to clunky storage centers. In addition, universities are known to have large departments with dozens of faculty. The computer system is often a network. While people are using Google docs more and more, some older methods store information in the local server. Otherwise, the same data protection you get for business is available for the teaching profession with existing software. The principles are the same. Some you can customize them for your needs. There are numerous options for your Mac, PC, or smart phone. It’s great to be able to download files while on another computer at will. PC Anywhere and LogMeIn are forerunners that have led the way to the new technological heights. The procedures are more streamlined and user-friendly than ever before.
There are dozens more whether they are for storage or “backup.” It depends how you want to backup, retrieve documents, or share with others. Keeping tabs on your work output is as important as any other routine chore. Email used to work but many files are too large. There are transfer programs for a fee to remedy the problem if you don’t like dropbox or Google Drive (such as ShareFile, SharePoint, or ZipSend). Sometimes you have to go with what others set up prior to your participation. As long as a system is in place, you can start to feel more secure about safeguarding your work.