The Design of a Storage Decision Tool

Recently, I consulted an expert – Ray Sidney-Smith – with a complaint. I needed to organize my digital storage and backup system but I couldn’t find the help I needed.

Sure, there are lots of blogs, articles, videos and podcasts on the topic. Probably even a few books. But the fact that they are all scattered and sometimes contradict each other meant that that I could spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to do and still not get very far. Some of the questions I had were:

  • should I use an external drive if I have cloud storage?
  • how much storage should I use?
  • which cloud storage companies should I pursue?
  • I have stuff on DVD’s and CD’s – keep or toss?
  • Is it wrong to keep around a box of KeepSakes.

Motivating these and other similar questions was my “Hard Drive Crash of January 2018.” I ended up losing only a little data when I replaced my 800Meg HDD with one that could hold 2Tb. But I lost a few audio files which I had worked on the day before. I resolved to create a system that was foolproof.

Add in the fact that new technology seemed to be changing so fast, I couldn’t keep up. I felt as if I needed a set of timeless principles to use now and in the future. It was enough to start to work.

Fast forward to the end…and we have a finished product – a Storage Decision Tool. It’s not fancy by any means and simply offers a useful prototype.

To help people understand how to use it, we also put together a short explainer video.

And finally, to help those who want to benefit from the process we followed, we recorded every minute of our conversations for the 2Time Labs Podcast. In three sessions, you can follow the flow of our conversation as we uncovered the ideas that would make their way into the foundation of the tool.