Back-up system

While working on the redesign of the blog, I realised that my Translator’s tools category is rather bare: 12 entries in six years compared to 86 and 140 in the Freelance translation and Words categories respectively. It says a lot about my lack of interest for all things technical, which is a shame, as the tools I use every day are central to my work as a translator. So I thought I’d redress the balance and talk about some of the programs and applications that make my work more efficient, easier and, in this case, safer. I also hope to learn from you, dear readers, and about the tools that you use in your work, as it’s clearly an area where I could improve my knowledge.
dropboxBacking up data is absolutely essential in any profession, but even more so for us freelancers: we can’t rely on anyone else but ourselves, there is no IT support we can call to retrieve lost information.
Fear not, however: I know that if something terrible were to happen to my precious data, I can always rely on Dropbox.
This online backup system allows me to sync my files on the two different computers I use as well as my iPhone. Not only are the files perfectly safe and accessible on all my terminals, but also, and just as importantly, all the changes I make to a file are automatically updated on all my devices. This eliminates the risk of working on an out-of-date translation and the need to use a USB key or email to move my files between hard drives. There is also an option of sharing folders for team work. Best of all: this service is free up to 2Gb, which is more than enough for my current translations and important documents.
What do you use to backup your work?

By |2016-10-18T15:49:04+00:00August 20th, 2009|Translator's tools|13 Comments

About the Author:

I am Céline Graciet, a freelance English to French translator. Since 2003 I’ve been writing on all sorts of areas linked to translation and the life of a translator.


  1. Marie-Louise Halvorsen August 21, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Great post, thank you! I was not familiar with Dropbox, but after reading your post and checking out their website, I will certainly consider using their service. I currently email files I’m working on to myself when I know I will be away from the computer for much more than 10 minutes. I also back up all my files daily to an external hard drive.

  2. céline August 21, 2009 at 6:24 am

    I also use an external hard drive, one can never be too cautious.

  3. A.S. Marland August 21, 2009 at 8:20 am

    Are you sure that none of your customers mind you leaving their confidential information on someone else’s computer?

  4. céline August 21, 2009 at 8:41 am

    That’s a good point, but I think you’re being a bit dismissive by calling it “someone else’s computer”. It’s a reputable company’s secure server, that encrypts all the files and offers several levels of protection. I reckon my clients’ data is probably safer there than when it’s being sent by email.

  5. Philippa Hammond August 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Céline, I just replied by way of a blog post at
    There was too much to fit into a comment!

  6. shatimi August 23, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    External Drive + Comodo Backup

  7. Online Backups Review August 24, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    I’ve got 3 PCs backed up with Mozy (180+ GB). Haven’t had a problem backing up, or restoring, so far.

  8. Bela August 26, 2009 at 1:34 am

    So far I’ve been using as an online file storage and backup service (it’s free up to 50GB) as well as a USB stick, but I’m gonna have a look at Dropbox: it sounds very interesting. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  9. Bela August 26, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Céline, I couldn’t thank you enough for telling us about Dropbox. I’ve now downloaded it onto my PC and laptop. It works like a charm. It’s definitely going to make my life easier. 🙂

  10. céline August 26, 2009 at 2:37 pm

    I know exactly how you feel, it made a HUGE difference to my daily work too, that’s why I thought I’d share.

  11. Jerónimo August 28, 2009 at 9:09 pm

    Very interesting post, thanks Céline. Just wondering: Imagine that the file you’re working on (or worse still, an entire folder, or the whole hard drive) gets corrupted or accidentally deleted. Does that corruption or deletion affect the other files that you have syncronised? If the answer is yes, how do you avoid this problem? Thanks!

  12. Bela August 29, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    If I may… it would only affect the relevant files stored on the Dropbox server. The files saved on your other computer, although not up-to-date any longer, wouldn’t be affected. The trick would be, I think, to not log on the Internet with the ‘safe’ computer until you had sorted out/deleted the corrupted files on Dropbox.

  13. céline August 30, 2009 at 10:21 am

    I’ve emailed the technical support at Dropbox to ask them whether they would address A S Marland and Jerómimo’s concerns, hopefully they will.

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