Monday, June 21, 2010

A writer's administrative duties

I had a rather harsh reminder recently not to ignore the administrative duties that comes with being a freelance writer. I used to be on top of my email inbox at all times, but in the last couple of years I have gotten pretty lax about filing client emails and deleting unimportant ones. As a result, my PST file got so big that it locked me out Saturday night.

And unfortunately, since I've also been lax about backing up my work files, I didn't have any recent (as in, newer than 6 months ago) backups.

So I spent about 15 agonizing hours trying to rescue my PST file without trimming off too much of the valuable data it contained. Every time I trimmed it, I also had to scan and repair it, so the process took a while each time. By trimming a megabyte at a time, I finally got a workable file with 10MB trimmed off.

I got lucky and it doesn't seem like I lost much, if anything at all, but I will need to be careful in the future so that it doesn't happen again. This means, however, that I need to be sure not to let myself get so busy that I don't have time for administrative tasks. I found those and housework (especially laundry!) are the first to go when I get really busy, because I sure as heck am not giving up my time with my horse. What do you give up first when you get busy? And how do you manage your time so that the tasks you don't prioritize as high still get done?


Mridu Khullar said...

Crikey! I'm off to back up!

Katharine Swan said...

Good! I'm now a born-again backer-upper too. My faith in you has been restored, O USB drive!

Lori said...

Oh no! How awful!

Katharine, I use Mozy for much of my daily backup. It's online and the first 2GB are free. It's not perfect, but until we get the hard drive/server crap my husband wants to set up, it's better than nothing.

What do you use now?

Katharine Swan said...

Lori, I used to use Mozy, but I stopped when the program went crazy and started majorly slowing down my system. I use the good ol' manual way now -- I back up all the day's work and email onto a flash drive before I shut down each night.


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