I write regularly in coffee shops and libraries. I am more easily distracted at home, so I am constantly carrying my netbook around. I am paranoid about losing my novel through either theft of my netbook, or from a computer crash that I can’t recover from. I don’t want to imagine losing my first novel. I don’t know if I would have the strength to write it again.
I have been using the online service DropBox. Dropbox is essentially an online drive where you can store and backup your information. Not only is the information backed up, but you can you access files from any computer or Smartphone. When you sign up for the (free) service, you place a folder on any device you use regularly. When a file is saved to the local folder, a copy is stored online, and the folders on your other devices are updated as well. You can also access the folder on any random computer by going to their website and signing in with your password.
When I was writing the first draft of Share the Road, I backed it up after each session. And either through paranoia, or to create a road map of how far I got each day, I sent a separate file each day leaving all the previous ones intact. There are 30 versions of the first draft, one for each day I wrote. I did the same thing for each of the edits, so there are more than a hundred files, each with a slightly different version of the book.
I doubt I will ever go back and pour over each version to see what each contains, but it is sort of interesting to look back on the file dates to see how long I took on each round of editing. I probably won’t even open more than a few of the files at any time, but it is nice to know they are there, backed up on another server in case my computer fails.
And of course, most everything is backed up on another external drive in case the cloud fails me. You can never be too careful.