Tinkering With Ideas #019: Always have a backup plan

published2 months ago
2 min read

Hi Reader 👋 -

Happy Wednesday. If you're in a part of the world engulfed in record-breaking heat, I hope you're finding ways to stay cool.

In about a month, school will resume here. My youngest child has a birthday at the beginning of August. And two different groups of out-of-town guests will be visiting over the next few weeks. Whew! Summer is great, but often feels hectic.

1) Reflection:

I've been writing in journals for years: a Moleskin notebook, and I fill out one page every day. I'm really intrigued by the idea that AI could look at my notes (if I were to switch to a digital format) and link my connected ideas, events, etc. Like I could search back through and find times of the year when I'm stressed. The human brain can only process so much and I have this theory that AI could find patterns that I can't recognize on my own.

But here's my hesitation: I want to "own" that data. There are a lot of AI startups right now. What if I choose one that has this type of functionality, and it goes out of business — and along with it, I lose my notes? I looked into a product that had potential but it had no way of exporting my notes (which is really all I need to ensure I don't lose anything). Sigh.

If you come across a product, reply to this email and let me know. I'd love to check it out.

2) Product:

Speaking of preserving data, I'm really, really big on password management systems. If you don't have one, go get one. Every website login should have its own unique, complex password. And a password management system ensures that you never have to think about the password.

I've used both LastPass and 1Password. Both are great. I'm on a family plan for LastPass, which means my spouse and I each have separate passwords stored, and then also have shared passwords for accounts we both use.

3) Tip:

In addition to storing passwords in LastPass, I also have digital copies of our social security cards, health insurance cards, and some other docs that I like to securely store. Physical copies can be lost or damaged.

I also have dual backup for digital copies of anything. I store everything in Google Drive and it's installed on my desktop so that docs sync seamlessly between my desktop and cloud storage.

But what if something really bad happens like my Google Drive were hacked (despite my complex password and two-factor authentication)? Or something happens to Google and cloud storage is no longer an option? Nothing lasts forever; just look at Twitter.

So I simultaneously have a sync going on between my Google Drive files on my computer and an external hard drive. This happens in the background using a built-in Windows process that I set up. Computer crashes? I have everything in the cloud. Can't get to my cloud storage for some reason? I have the external hard drive.

That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.


Anna Burgess Yang

LinkedIn | Threads | Medium | Substack

Want more ideas?

Check out this article on Medium: Protect Your Writing Business in a World of AI

I have Thoughts about the SAG-AFTRA strike. Read more here: You cannot exist without us

My friend John started a Substack! Check out his latest post: Knowing when something is "good enough"

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Anna Burgess Yang

I'm a workflow geek, remote work evangelist, and #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. I educate and equip people to take control of their time and energy, their money, the tools they use, and their careers. I also like naps.

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