Earlier this week I read this article about a man who lost fourteen years of his blog, and an unfinished novel, after Google unceremoniously cancelled his account. My first reaction was scorn for someone who would entrust such important and personal works to the whims of a megacorporation who would, at the very least, would probably sit at the same table as evil these days. Once I got over myself, my more considered reaction was to remember that I do almost all of my writing using Google Docs and that I really didn’t fancy the idea of even a remote chance of having all that going up in a puff of ones and zeroes.

So read on to find out what I did about it.

For various reasons, probably chronicled elsewhere on this blog, I didn’t want to move away from Google Docs (not until the Scrivener iOS app is released in any case – which may be as soon as next week it seems!) so the strategy here was more to find a rock solid backup solution rather than an alternative platform. I could use the Google Drive app itself to sync to my PC, but turns out that only links to the online docs anyway and still doesn’t save me if Google decides to drop my account into a black hole somewhere.

Here’s what I did, and the best part is that none of it cost a penny:

  1. Set up an account on CloudHQ;
  2. Set up CloudHQ to automatically sync my Google Drive files to a new, dedicated folder in my OneDrive account (as a bonus CloudHQ also converts the Google files to Office compatible formats where possible);
  3. Made sure my OneDrive app was set up to sync the new folder to my PC;
  4. Used the free CrashPlan app to sync that OneDrive folder to my backup drive (as a bit of a belt and braces kinda deal)

And that’s it!

I now have my Google documents synced and converted into OneDrive for free, and then synced and backed up to two separate local folders as well. All for free. Doesn’t have to be OneDrive; you can use Dropbox if you prefer.

(For anyone looking to migrate away from Evernote, I was also able to use CloudHQ to export all of my content in Evernote to Google Drive – again, completely free).

Remember folks: always back up!