Are You Backing Up Your Outlook?

So this post isn’t about real estate in general, but it does concern saving my real estate data. See, I use Microsoft Outlook for email and when I started using it a few years back, I assumed that all the emails and data inside Outlook backed up each and every time I backed up my computer to an external hard drive. Boy, was I ever wrong!

By chance one day I read on another blog post that Outlook is not backed up with computer data. So at that time, I had a years worth of emails, attachments, etc, and realized that if my computer crashed, I would lose everything. Being a real estate agent, emails are constantly going back and forth between clients, other agents, and prospects. I organize them into folders and set rules for email addresses for these folders. Saving this data is crutial because it keeps a paper trail of communications. So for instance if a client, or angry agent, tries to say something I know to be false, I simply pull up the proof via my saved emails.

Two years ago I found that Microsoft has an Outlook Backup download for personal files, including calendars and contacts. From this you are able to save the data as a .pst file, which then is saved to your harddrive, or any place you wish to save the data. Once installed, I set it up to save each time I exit Outlook.

Let me tell you, this simple download has saved me TWICE in less than two years. A year ago August, my HP Pavilion laptop had a mother board failure and the laptop was totaled. Thankfully, my hard drive was still intact, and via the .pst file, I was able to retrieve all my Outlook data and import it onto my new laptop. However I soon realized that I had not gone far enough. If my hard drive had failed, then I would have lost that Outlook file. When I bought my new laptop, I also bought a new external hard drive, which saves a second copy of all my data.

Two months ago, my “new” laptop’s cooling fan decided to die on me. I had to send it by mail to a repair shop in Texas, via the exteneded warranty program. Unfortunately, they wiped the hard drive while repairing my computer. Thankfully, I had all my data backed up on the external, and once again, was able to retrieve my Outlook data file.

Lesson learned, twice. Make sure you don’t have to learn the hard way – Back Up Your Outlook!


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