Backing Up

Every so often--actually too often--we receive an e-mail from customers who tell us that their hard drives crashed and that they hadn't backed up their LifeJournal files. They frequently tell me that they they've learned their lesson and that they are going to back up from now on! Here's a heads up so you can avoid this fate.

First, let's review the way LifeJournal backs up data automatically. Every time you close the program there is an automatic backup that occurs in the same directory as your original LJ files. Your data files are saved (by default) C:\My Documents\LifeJournal[YourName]. Nested within that directory is your backup directory called C:\My Documents\LifeJournal[YourName]\Backup. Please don't move these files--I'm just giving you background information. We have this automatic backup to give you another chance to save your files in case of hard drive difficulties.

However, we STRONGLY recommend that you back up to a removable media--most easily to a USB Flash drive. USB flash drives are small storage hardware that some people call key chain drives, thumb drives, or memory sticks. They are relatively inexpensive and you can buy one for under $20.

Here's how to back up your LifeJournal files to a USB Flash Drive:

  1. Insert the USB flash drive into the USB port of your computer.
  2. Open your LifeJournal program and go to File menu>Back up Journal Data and a dialog box appears.
  3. Click the Browse button and browse to your USB flash drive. Click OK.

The files that you should find on your USB flash drive are [YourName].ljd and [YourName].lja. If you click on these files to open them directly, they won't open. These files are encrypted so that (1) you can't open them without the LifeJournal program, and (2) you need the password.

If you want to check that you have successfully backed up the files, compare the file sizes of the [YourName].ljd and [YourName].lja on your computer and on the USB flash drives.