Any business person has documents s/he uses over and over again. As a result we tend to have clean templates of those documents that we use to save time. Generally, if the template is well-designed it will have specific words that are meant to be searched and replaced so adjustments are easily done. Also, templates are good because if you always start with a fresh document that has never been filled in, you don’t have to worry about metadata (a post for another day, but essentially – hidden stuff in a document that can reveal changes and other potentially confidential information.)
Anyway, I have this habit of destroying my templates. Normally this happens when I forget to do a “save as” immediately upon working with a template. Well, today I decided to do this with my most important, most frequently used template. The a-1 use it every day, don’t want it to have metadata, must be correct template. I was tired, had a busy day, and needed to get a simple document done quickly. The sad part is I really just wanted the letterhead from the top of the template, not the entire document. So this, of course meant I deleted everything from the template and pasted in the new text. As I was doing this I said to myself, remember, don’t hit control-s. If you don’t use the key shortcuts in Word you still probably have no trouble guessing that the s stands for save.
Of course, you know what happened. I hit control-s. I hit control-s so often you would think it is a nervous tick. I don’t want to risk losing my work. Of course, in this case, it cost me one of my templates.
Already tired, the last thing I wanted to do, as I thought OH EXPLETIVE, was to recreate my template. But I figured ok, just go into a document you created using the template and recreate it, no big deal. And remove the metadata. And then I remembered something. I just installed a new cloud-based backup system. And a feature of that cloud-based backup system is that it not only saves my documents automatically as I change them, it keeps all versions of the documents I make. YES! I felt a glimmer of hope. But then I wondered, does it actually work?
I had not yet used this feature, but sure enough, I logged in online, found the right document, clicked on it, and lo and behold, several different versions of the document were listed. I downloaded the second to most recent, held my breath, opened it up, and there it was. My template. In pristine condition!
It is nice to see that some things work the way they are supposed to. And it is really nice to know that I have a solution for my obsession with saving my documents every few minutes. Or seconds. Or milliseconds.
By the way, my backup solution is called SpiderOak. Your mileage may vary.