In addition to studying PR at the University of Oregon, I work part time at the library’s information technology center. One of my duties at the ITC is helping people with basic computer troubleshooting issues.
It seems as if not a day goes by without a patron asking us if we can recover a corrupted document that they either emailed to themselves or saved on their personal thumb drive. Unfortunately, a corrupted file is generally unrecoverable, and it is frustrating because it usually is not the patron’s fault.
There is a more reliable way to backup documents. GoogleDocs will make sure that you will never see a ‘corrupted file’ message… as long as Google’s servers hold up. How do you access Google Docs?
Step 1: Sign up for a GMail account
Step 2: Click ‘Documents’ on the top menu bar (when your email is open) OR visit http://docs.google.com
Step 3: Create a new document
Step 4: Either copy and paste what you’ve already written, or start typing your document on Google Docs
Step 5: That’s it! Google Docs automatically saves your document every couple of minutes (Just to be sure, make sure you click save before you close your browser).
Now all you need to do to access your document is to open Google docs, copy your text and paste it into your word processor. You will have to fix your document’s formatting (because copying and pasting from Google Docs is similar to copying and pasting raw text), but you will have a document that will never be corrupted. In addition, you will be able to access your document wherever you can access the internet!