On Storing Your Digital Files

Believe it or not, I store hardly any files on my actual computer.

It’s true! Although I have hundreds (probably thousands, actually) of digital files of all shapes and sizes, they don’t stay on my actual computer.


1. They take up space and make the computer run slower
2. I want to be able to access them at ALL times

I work full time doing marketing for an insurance agency, but sometimes I go in early or stay late, and I always have an hour off for lunch. That comes in handy, since I also run a photography business on the side, no to mention that I’m a consultant for Clever Container…and there’s this little thing called The Road to Domestication, too! I also am very active on the Board of Directors for a local music and arts academy; I’ve got a lot going on! And I never know just where I’ll be when something needs to be taken care of!

So, I use a Seagate Portable Hard Drive. It’s the Free Agent Go Flex model. And a SanDisk Cruzer flash/jump drive, and also a PNY Technologies Attache flash/jump drive.


The Seagate is 500 GB, and is actually about half-way full! It’s separated into my four areas of life:

The “Drive Stuff” folder is full of all the components included in the drive – I really didn’t like seeing it float around in the midst of all my folders, so I made a folder for it!

Clever Container is for all my consultant materials, Personal is for…well…personal stuff, Plant City Academy of the Arts is for the Board that I sit on, and Portray Photography & OS is my photography business.

Each one of these folders breaks down into what seems like a million other folders. Here’s the next level of the Clever Container folder:


…the Personal folder…


…the PCAA folder…


…and the Portray folder.


Each of the above folders breaks down into a TON of other folders

These things go with me anywhere I go, so, no matter the situation, I am able to hook up and get to a file in an instant if need be.

Case in point:

  • Last week, I was able to email the Clever Container Catalog over to a client in an instant when they were not able to get online and view it!
  • I’m able to blog from just about anywhere!
  • If I’m at a Board Meeting and one of the other members wants to know what last year’s promotionals look like, I can grab them straight away!
  • I can re-send any photos to clients…or even upload to the lab for them in seconds!

There are a hundred other reasons why I like having all of this near me at all times, but those are just a few examples!

And the flash/jump drives?

The SanDisk drive I use for miscellaneous items. It’s 8 GB, so it’s a pretty good size. I transfer things between computers with it, etc. And just this morning I threw a presentation on it for my boss at the insurance agency to use in our Staff Meeting (after he wasn’t able to connect to the server). Love having it on hand for all kinds of emergencies!

The PNY drive is only 1 GB, but it has ALL of our personal docs on it. (Really need to find a great way to back that thing up…) At the end of every year, I take ALL the documents that have been in the filing cabinet in the office, scan them and file them on this drive. This eliminates crammed physical files (which I can’t stand!).  The files start in 2004 and go through 2012! This has been fantastic for me…like the day I acquired a nail in my tire on the way to work. Roadside assistance changed my flat in the parking lot of my office, but I was able to grab that drive, pull off the warranty paperwork for my tire, and get a free new tire over my lunch break. Perfect!

And the best thing is? ALL of these drives can be searched with a click and a keyword! Pulls the file you need almost immediately without having to dig through any paper! Love it!!!

So, that’s how I store my digital files in a nutshell! What I need to do now is find a way to back all of them up. Anyone have any ideas?

19 thoughts on “On Storing Your Digital Files

  1. I use crash plan for backup. I lost my external hard drives content because of one wrong click! I picked crash plan because it doesn’t throttle your upload when you account gets a certain size, the way others do. However you would want to specifically look for one that backs up your external media- there are only a few who do that

  2. I use Google Drive to back everything up– I use my “drive” folder as though it were “My Documents” and it automatically syncs every time you use a computer connected to the internet (or instantaneously, if your computer is always online). Then, I can access and download all of my files from anywhere that I can log into my G-mail account. The only thing I don’t upload on drive is sensitive financial documents out of fear of my gmail account (and thus my google drive) being hacked. Besides, I’m unlikely to need my 2011 tax return when I’m out and about…

  3. Love love love it!! Thank you. I am going to do this! Along with Mary Organizes file organizing and this, I am set and ready to take on this fun project! Tackle something I haven’t in several years…also helps when you don’t have your own computer and you are using the family computer in the kitchen for everything (yup that’s me!)

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