Organizing my digital life

W- upgraded our file server to a RAID-1 configuration (mirroring without parity or striping) using two 1.8-terabyte disks. Now we can back up and reorganize our files, and set up regular backup routines too. It’s a good time to think about what I want from archives and how I can organize them to improve retrieval and serendipity.

What would a good archive be like?

  • [X] HTML and images of my blog, so that I can browse it and recover even if I mess up my database or my images
  • [X] Database backup of my blog, so that I can restore it more easily – test by setting up virtual host
  • [X] Backup of my whole website
  • [X] Backup of my personal files (organizer.org, outline.org, ledger, etc.)
  • [X] Presentations
  • [X] Photos, sketches, and book notes, organized so that I can browse/search by keywords and other criteria, maybe get statistics
    • Inbox
    • Processed
    • Favourites?
  • [ ] Backup of Twitter/Facebook activity, perhaps using ThinkUp
  • [ ] Database of books I’ve checked out from the library: title, author, ID, start date, end date, and maybe any notes I have (possible link to Goodreads if I can get that working?)

What would good workflows look like?

Photos:

  1. Copy files off the camera and put them in my folders.
  2. Use Bibble5 to rate the photos and process them.
  3. Export the pictures and upload them to Picasa and Facebook.
  4. Order prints.

Blog posts:

  1. Draft posts using organizer.org in my Emacs, or use ScribeFire to draft graphical posts.
  2. Illustrate them with sketches or photos (optional).
  3. Publish to blog.
  4. Save daily backups of database and monthly backups of HTML.
  5. Print blog dump monthly.
  6. Do a monthly or weekly review of unpublished drafts to see if I can build on them.
  7. Review past years’ blog posts to see if I can build on any.

What do I want to access from my laptop while I’m at home?

  • Personal files / documents
  • 1024×768 versions of sketches and favourite photos
  • Presentations organized by topic?

What do I want to be able to access offline or away from home?

  • Personal files / documents

Hmm, might be worth saving up for a larger hard disk drive for my laptop, too…

How do you get more value out of your archives?

2 responses to “Organizing my digital life”

  1. jehzlau says:

    Wooot! You’re so organized! And you keep your backup files really secure. ^_^

    For me, I’m doing a weekly (but twice a month if I forgot weekly) backup from my dedicated server automatically to my desktop drive via cpanel’s backup wizard.

    Then my desktop syncs to my 4tb external wd drive if there are changes in my PC files using WD’s smartware [backup software that works like Apple’s time machine]. :)

    Everything is backed-up to my 4tb external desktop HD. :D

  2. Soha El-Borno says:

    Sacha, organizing your digital life is very necessary..being online most of the time. But i was wondering how one could go about organizing their non-digital life? things like your learning plans, your life goals, business goals, long term and short term plans, things you want to focus on, personal development, etc.. is there a good system to follow? or one place that could combine all these components together to help you move forward in an organized way?

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