Save Early, Save Often

For many, losing a document or a project that you’ve been working on for a while can be devastating. You put so much time and effort into your work and thanks to a mishap, it’s gone. Here are a few ways you can help prevent those kinds of catastrophes from effecting your productivity.

Save early: Make sure that you save as soon as you get started. I know it sounds dumb, but it can help get you back to the start quicker. You have your margins set and your font and header dialed in, just click save as and give it a name.


Save Often: About every 5 minutes is good. By doing this, you can avoid getting too far down the road before facing data loss or even a program freeze.

Set the auto save/recovery to on: Most casual users don’t realize that this feature is not always on. To do be sure it’s on,( in Word) click on the file tab, then click on the Options choice on the left. Select the Save tab on the left menu. Now you can edit how the document is saved from the file type, location and how often it is saved.

Avoid Confusing WIP Titles: WIP titles (Work in Progress) can get mottled and confusing. You want to create titles that let you know what exactly the document is or where you are at in it. For instance, I give my docs working titles such as, “Saving Docs- Draft 1” or “Saving Docs_draft_6-4-13″. Once my work is ready, I give it it’s final title: Best Practices for Saving Your Data_Final_6-5-13”. The last thing you want to do is get your titles mixed up and accidentally save over a new version with an old version.

Keep your system healthy: My father always taught me that if you take care of your equipment, it will take care of you. Same goes for computers, cars, appliances, etc. Don’t neglect your gear whether it’s keeping up on the latest software updates or cleaning out your air vents on your laptop. These things can build up and then take their toll one at a time or all together. Take your machine to some one you trust. A family friend, an authorized computer repair person or your department IT person. Just make sure you take it in. You may find that you need minor service or a major overhaul. The point is, not knowing is never better.


Be sure you keep these few steps in the back of your mind when working on your next major assignment. It could save your day.