Two days ago I did something that made me appreciate my free online backup storage more than ever.
I had just started Tim Ferriss’s Slow Carb Diet from The 4-Hour Body and I decided to get my diet-approved “cheat day” out of the way that night.
I got in bed with my laptop, pulled up Netflix, and grabbed my bowl of cookie dough ice cream. I was ready for complete bliss… and then promptly fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning to a dead Macbook covered in melted ice cream.
One trip to the Apple store and $1000 later and I was all set with my shiny new Macbook Air.
I could have paid to have my old laptop repaired, but why go to the trouble when I can have a new laptop for almost the same price?
You might be wondering about all that data I lost, but guess what? It’s 2016.
Everything in your digital world can be easily stored online, typically for free.
When I turned on my new laptop, I connected to wifi, logged into a few websites, and minutes later had my digital life back up and running.
Want to accident-proof your digital world? Here are the free online backup storage tools I use most often.
Free Online Backup Storage and How to Take Advantage of It
#1 – Use the Google Chrome browser to store your bookmarks.
If you’re like me, you find the internet to be a huge and wondrous place. You might come across the Sexy Sax Man on Youtube, or you might find a site that tells you if you should bring an umbrella.
Personally, I’m neurotic with my bookmarks and I don’t want to lose them, which is why I love that Google Chrome syncs my preferences and bookmarks with my Google account that I use for Gmail.
Google Chrome is 100% free and is super user friendly.
Chrome is the #1 browser in the world, so chances are you’re using it right now.
If you are, check your settings and make sure “sync” is setup. And if you’re not, see if your browser has a data backup feature. If it doesn’t, it might be time to switch.
#2 – Use Google Drive to store your files.
Another Google tool? Yep.
If you have Gmail, then you already have Google Drive, which offers 15 GB of free storage space. Now that might not seem like much, but I’m only using 3.21 GB and I use Drive almost daily.
Your average document isn’t going to knock you back much, so unless you’re trying to backup a big photo/video collection, Drive will do just fine.
Plus you can create new documents, spreadsheets, and presentations super quickly while you’re there.
#3 – Use Flickr to store your pictures.
Flickr offers a ridiculous deal: 1000 GB of photo storage… for free.
Why would Flickr offer this? User acquisition.
They want more people using Flickr of course. And as the user being acquired, you get to benefit from their tempting offer.
Just be sure to make your photos private after uploading. You know, unless you’re into that sort of thing.
#4 – Use Evernote to store your notes.
Evernote is a great tool for storing and sharing notes. You can access them on your phone, tablet, or computer and there’s a great tagging system so you’ll never lose a note again.
With the free account, you’ll get 60 MB of upload capacity per month, which unfortunately isn’t a lot, but it’s usually enough if you’re just using text notes. I tend to use it for audio notes as well, which is why I reach my monthly limit from time to time.
#5 – Use Trello to store your action items.
I love good old fashioned hand-written to do lists, but across paper, sticky notes, digital sticky notes and calendar reminders, it’s a lot to handle. More recently, I’ve found myself using Trello to keep my action items under control.
The free version of Trello gets you unlimited use of the platform, with file attachments up to 10 MB, which should be plenty considering you’re using this for tracking to do’s, not backing up your movie collection.
#6 – Use Dropbox for basically anything.
While I’m listing Dropbox last in this list due to it’s low storage size in the free version (2 GB), I actually use this all the time — but I paid for the upgrade to 1000 GB of storage for $9.99/month.
If you don’t want to pay for the upgrade, consider signing up for the free plan and getting your friends to join via your referral link. For example, if you sign up using my referral link, I get 1 GB of free online storage and you start out with an extra 500 MB on top of your already free 2 GB.
I love Dropbox because it’s user friendly and it’s easy to store and share files — whether they’re photos, videos, documents, or presentations.
I hope these tools help you protect your digital goods.
And while you’re in the mindset of safeguarding your stuff, you might consider getting a keyboard protector for your laptop to protect it from accidental spills and such. It’s the sort of thing you don’t really think about until it’s too late… not that I would have any experience with that or anything.
How do you protect your digital life?