Why is backing up not the same as digital archiving? It is a question of longevity.
If you have stuff that you want to last for a long time, then you need to do more than back them up.
What is the difference?
Backing up is a process of making copies, that you repeat on a regular basis. The copies mean that, in the short-term, you can recover your files if something goes wrong.
Archiving is an ongoing process that extends the usable life of your digital files. It involves caring for your treasures over the long term, and on a regular basis.
If you have digital things you care about, then they are worth archiving AND backing up.
There are six activities involved in digital archiving:
1. IDENTIFY those things that are important to you
2. ORGANISE them in a system that makes everything easy to find
3. DELETE anything you don't want to keep
4. CHECK in on your stuff every so often to make sure it is not degrading or corrupting over time
5. MIGRATE your stuff to the most current file format to ensure you can always open your files
6. COPY your digital archive several times, and store in separate places (i.e. make back-ups)
All six activities are important if you want to be sure your digital stuff will be usable long-term.
Backing up is SUPER IMPORTANT. But it is only one of the things you need to do to make sure your stuff stays safe.
If you haven't already set up your own Digital Archive, I have written a mammoth post on how to do that. It is likely to involve a fair investment of your time and energy. But once you have got over the initial legwork, you'll only need to do a quick digital hygiene routine every so often.
I really appreciate you taking the time to read my little article - you're amazing! Are you already doing all these things? Or are you inspired you to start archiving your treasures? I hope so; if you have spent time creating things, then those things are worth celebrating.
I post a new article every Tuesday on how to care for your digital treasures. So if you would like to stay in the loop, why not join my email community? You will also get a copy of my FREE How to Start Your Digital Archive Workbook.
Thanks again for reading. Have a great day and BACK UP YOUR STUFF!!!