Google Documents (GoogleDocs) is a great application to use, but just like files you have on your hard drive, the files you create in Google should be backed up. If Google goes down or there is a glitch, you may lose your files and it would be a shame if you didn’t have a back-up.
Here is the Operations Manual we created for our office with the steps to follow to do the back up.
Backing up Google Documents
Expected Time Expenditure: 10 minutes or less if all files export correctly
Frequency: 1x / week
Step 1: Create backup folder: If you haven’t done so, create a folder on your hard drive to download the files to, such as “GDocs Backup files”.
Step 2: Login: Login to GDocs. (Obviously, you put in your own log in info; I’m not sharing mine with article readers! HA!)
Step 3: Sort files: once in GDocs click on the “name” tab located above the list of files to sort the list by name.
Step 4: Select files: You can manually select the files by clicking on the boxes to the left of each file, or click on the check mark tab located at the top of the list right under “All Items” and selecting “all visible” .
Step 5: Export: Click on the “more actions” tab located at the top of the list and select “Export”, then click “download ‘” on the new screen. GDocs will open a new screen telling you it is zipping the files for download. The screen will also tell you how many files you are exporting and which format (Excel, Word, etc.).
Step 6: Download: After the zipping is complete select “click here to download” at the bottom of screen to start the download.
Step 7: Save: On the download screen, when prompted, select “save” and browse to the backup folder you created and select “save” again. You now have the GDocs in a zip folder on your hard drive. If you click on the zip folder all the files will be there.
Step 8: Check & Count files: One or two files may not have made it in the zip / download process. Who knows why this happens, but it does. So you will have to compare the number of files in the zip folder with the number of files in GDocs. You will have to manually count the files in the zip folder. On the GDocs screen the number of files is listed at the top on the right hand side above the files list. If there is a difference in the numbers then sort the zip folder by name and compare the files to the GDocs screen to find the missing file.
Step 9: Missing Files: If a file did not make it in the download you will have to manually export it to the zip folder. The steps are the same except you need to make sure you unselect all the files and then select the file you need to export. When the file is selected click on the “more actions” tab and click “export”. Download and save the file to the zip folder.
Step 10: Rename zip folder: You can rename the zip folder to better reflect what it is such as “GDocs backup files – date.zip”. Just remember to keep the “.zip” file extension at the end of the file name.
Step 11 : Email to _____ (whoever is keeping the master copy): Go into Outlook (or whatever email program you use) and create a new email. Select to attach a file and browse to the backup folder. Select the zip folder in its entirety, attach and email.
Believe me, if you use Google Docs, you are smart to back them up just like you back up your hard drive. You do back up your hard drive, don’t you?