Save yourself the trouble in the future – back it up. Whatever is you’re working on at the moment, back it up. Keep one copy. Keep a second copy. Keep a copy far away. However small you might think the job you’re doing is at the moment (speaking from a design perspective here), it will come back to you at some stage.
A one off design I did only a few months ago came back to bite me this afternoon. Loads of JPGs knocking around but do you think I had a PSD or AI file to go along with the design, which it turns it isn’t exactly as one-off as I thought it might be? Nope. The result? Redo the design from scratch, based on the JPG.
Like my reading habits, my backup habits have changed of late as well. When I made the investment before Christmas in getting a new iMac into the office, I needed to pick up an external drive to store a lot of the good stuff (and junk) that had built up on my work laptop and the server here in the office. A few weeks on and it’s paying off – save a copy locally, sync it back to the server, sync it back to the hard drive. If (like the desktop bandit I am) I start clearing house on the laptop or desktop and accidentally blitz something, I know I’ve got a spare copy to hand.
Many moons ago I used to do this with floppy disks. The office I’m in at the moment has a desk full of 3.5″ disks with CAD drawings for various projects I tackled in my early teens. Once college hit it was onward towards CDs, USB keys and then towards my mp3 player, iPod, emailing to myself, copies on my phone… wherever you have the chance to back something up (look at PutPlace.com or Dropbox as online solutions), do just that – back it up.
If anything, it’ll save you tearing your hair out or punching your desk in the future.
Update – PutPlace.com Offer: Adding this as Joe‘s left a comment with a bonus code you can use for PutPlace.com. Sign up for a 30 day free trial, use the promo code ‘joe’ and you’ll have your trial extended for three months instead of thirty days – nice one Joe.