Project Data Files, Evernote and the Cloud

I’m incrementally moving my project data and files into Evernote.  The transition is taking a bit of time, in part because I am old and can’t shake the old habit of folders and subfolders and more subfolders.  Evernote is okay for filing documents and graphics, but can’t cut it for the endless data files (plus I don’t want to fill up my allotted space).  I have been using a parallel file folder system to Evernote, but it has been a pain to maintain; project names have a tendency to change, project go dormant than reappear a few years later, and so on.

I also want to move my data into a structure where it is automatically mirrored in the cloud (at least for active projects).  Online backup of everything won’t work: I have almost a TB of data, and I am frequently in a spot with very slow upload speeds.  As part of this transition, I am breaking the habit of saving everything forever.  For example, digital aerial photos used to be hard to get.  Now (in the US at least) they are a piece of cake. I Instead of putting this data in project folders, it is going in a “Data I can Delete” folder.  When I’m done with the aerials, they get tossed.  If I tossed them too early, no problem; I can get them again.  This “Data I Can Delete” folder is now out of my mirrored files routine, making that a much simpler creature.

So here is what I am doing.  Data files go in a cloud folder (Google Docs, Dropbox etc.).  I have this set to mirror on my local drive—that’s important as I am often in the field with marginal or nonexistent internet access.    In Evernote, I create a note called “Files”
for each project.  In that note goes a shortcut to the appropriate cloud folder.  Problem solved. 

Because I am paranoid, I also do this:  my cloud folders are backed up nightly into an incremental backup that is not in the cloud.  Mirroring files is not a total backup solution.  Inadvertently delete a folder, and a few minutes later, it has disappeared from Google Docs.   When I figure out 10 days later that I deleted a folder by accident (right after I empty my Windows Trash to free up some space), I am toast.  But wait, no I’m not—it’s in the incremental backup.  My incremental backup cycle is driven by hard drive space, but it goes about 6-8 months.   That’s good enough for everything except baby photos.

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