Personal Preservation: Practicum Reflection

Reading through the Preservation in a Box resources made me consider my document preservation in a broader perspectives.  It is good to think about how you store your documents not just for next month or next year but for the next 20 or 30 years.  I believe I am in a pretty good place for the time being based on the factors that were considered in the reading, including usability, cost, transferability, reliability, etc.  I use Google Drive to back up all my documents in the cloud.  Google is a major company with many customers so there is little risk that is will go out of business in the near term.  It has very reliable storage capabilities.  It also helps me organize my documents into folders for easy access.  These files are stored in the cloud and on my hard drive so if my computer breaks I will not lose all my documents.  The information was geared more towards institutions but I did find a couple practical improvements that I can make to better preserve my documents.  First, I have word documents in both Google Docs and Microsoft Word formats.  With Google Drive you can open and edit Word documents.  So there is no reason I should keep my Google Docs file types since it has less funcationality.  I plan to convert all my Google Docs to Word documents to normalize my files.  The key problem for Word documents is if Microsoft updates their file formats. For instance, when Microsoft switch from .doc to docx.  From what I read I think using an odf open document would be the best solution but Google Drive does not support this and I definitely do not want to take the time to convert all my documents to this format.  So, I think I will just be on the look out for a Microsoft update and convert my documents to the latest Microsoft file type as soon as I can.  In addition, even though I back up my documents to the cloud I should also buy an external hard drive to have an additional back up option.  This will be more manual but I will also not be tied to Google for all my document preservation if something goes wrong with my cloud storage.  Please let me know if you have any additional ideas or tips for preserving personal files.

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