Where Should I Store Stuff?

We just answered an email from a client asking for advice about storing data, and we thought it might be of interest to other digital packrats out there…

If money was no object, we’d all have multi-terabyte drives in our PCs and keep every file we ever created at our fingertips.  Instead, we prioritize, just as we do with any other personal property we need to store.  Clothes you wear every day are hung in the front of your closet, whereas out-of-season-wear get parked in the back; stuff you wear even less frequently, such as your wedding dress, are probably in boxes in your basement or attic.

The level of access you need to your files should determine where they get stored.  Stuff you work with every day should be stored on a hard drive within or directly connected to your computer (or on a mapped network drive).  Stuff you may occasionally need to edit or update but don’t use frequently can go on removable, rewriteable media, such as an external hard drive or a USB key.  Old photos, old tax returns, and other stuff you simply want to archive can go on inexpensive read-only media, such as CD-ROMs or DVD-ROMs.

Computers, hard drives, USB drives, and CD-ROMs can break, get corrupted, or be damaged if your building burns down, so keeping offsite backup copies of your important data is also paramount, regardless of where you decide to store them onsite.  We wrote an article about disaster preparedness & business continuity planning that might interest you, and a series of articles about computer optimization; the second one, “Digital Hoarding,” specifically addresses the problems with filling your hard drive and some strategies to thin it out.

If you need help with optimization or with devising storage and/or backup strategies, we’re just a phone call or email away.  Enjoy!


Brian Blum is the founder, president, and chief consultant at Maverick Solutions IT, Inc, and is still somewhat leary of “the cloud.” Maverick Solutions helps schools, NFPs, and SO/HOs get more value from their technology budgets. Visit our Website to learn about the services we offer.

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