As an aspiring photographer and mother to four, I know the benefit of backing up your photos especially when it comes to our digital memories. There is value in backing up our family’s precious memories. Today, you will learn the 3-2-1 Rule to easily backup your digital photos in 2020.
I use the 3-2-1 backup rule for all my personal/biz photos and video files.
Back up your images in at least three areas which could be two storage devices and one OFF site (like cloud storage) at a minimum!
3. Make THREE copies of your images – just copy the ENTIRE folder of your images on your computer and make two more copies.
2. Leave ONE copy on your desktop. Cut/paste ONE copy on your external hard drive and/or USB storage device.
1. Cut/paste ONE copy onto a cloud storage space such as Google Photos, Amazon Photos, Dropbox.
(PIN THIS IMAGE)
Step One: Prep your photos before you back up
Prior to backing up ALL your digital images, it would be a wise decision to go ahead and prep your albums with a thorough weeding out of images and a proper organization system.
1. Cull (weed through) your images
Ok, so you have captured at least 1000 images from your son’s first tee-ball game, another 500 from a day at the park, and 5000 from day-to-day activities. Your phone is screaming “CRITICAL STORAGE” issue.
If they matter to you then you should cull them THEN back them up! (You could also just backup today and CULL once a month or once a year.
Any professional photographer will immediately back up their images then CULL them which means they will sift through ALL the images deleting the worse and keeping the best. I am assuming most moms today have most of their images on a smartphone, therefore, culling them before backing up 3,000 images it will eliminate the 1,500 blurry selfies taken by your toddler.
By deleting the ones that were so-so or absolutely no good, will leave you with a much smaller and easier to manage photo album with the very best images.
2. Create a filing system for backing up your memories
You can easily lose images on your computer without a good storage filing system. Using folders and metadata will help you find images quicker and easier.
“A place for everything and everything in it’s place.”
If you are saving your photographs and video files all willy nilly then it will be a hard time finding that precious close up of your daughter from her ballet recital three years ago.
Here is a simple filing system utilizing folders within your file explorer (PC) on a computer.
First, create a BIG category and niche down to smaller categories. I like the use of years, months, days, and events.
Start with a folder labeled with the year the media was captured = 2020
Within the year folder create a NEW folder(s) with the individual months = 01.2020; 02.2020
Within the month folder create a NEW folder(s) for the day and event = 03.16.2020_Quarantine
Here is a sample filing system for your photo organization.
Once you have mastered using File Explorer and regularly organizing your photos from your smartphone, cameras, and smart devices then you can move to meta tags and attributes. You will be able to label images with “ocean”, “dog”, or “baseball” so they will be easier to search and find when you need an image fast.
Side Note:Cloud storage devices utilize very smart algorithms and artificial intelligence that immediately recognize specifics in your images so you can search them IMMEDIATELY. I think that is pretty cool and creepy. So make sure, if you utilize a cloud storage device that you don’t mind these images being indexed (i.e. “toilets” could bring up some interesting images if you captured a toddler’s potty training days).
Step Two: Copy/Paste your photos FILE FOLDER on TWO media devices
At this point, you have can back up your images to your computer’s, laptop’s or smartphone’s internal hard drive so they are safe on these devices – for now! Again, all it takes is one spilled coffee cup, one drop of the phone, or a hard drive CRASH to lose all the images saved on these devices.
Hopefully, you were able to create a wonderful filing system within your File Explorer therefore all you have to do is copy the BIG category file and save it to an external media storage device.
⇒ External Storage Devices:
Small and compact
Easy to use
Capacity has increased
Small and compact
Used in most cameras
Mini or Micro SD cards can be used in smartphones and cameras
Easy to store for safekeeping
CD or Blue Ray disc
People may have these already on hand
Slim and easy to store in fireproof safes
Small capacity but you can be very specific and label them clearly
External Hard Drive
“My personal favorite”
Capacity is wonderful and for most people, you only need one or two
Can be very slim but normally bulky like a small hardcover book
Perhaps you already know about Google Photos and you want to back up your RAW images and 4K footage. Google is now offering a new option of storage called Google One. Pricing starts at $1.99 a month for 100 GB.
The key to this article is to motivate you to take your data seriously, specifically, your family photos and films. However, if this article has inspired you to take a proactive approach in protecting ALL your data. Here are some further resources.
WOW! We are in week ??? I can’t even remember! But definitely past 60 days in quarantine in Upstate NY. School for the academic year is canceled. We are moving into week six of distance learning. The warmth of summer is only just starting and the landscape is morphing into a beautiful, green, and lush scenery.
It has been a hard few weeks.
As a creative, I need to seek out the beauty. Let the LIGHT shine in the darkness all around me! Here is a glimpse into my heart, my work, and my ministry during quarantine.
Black and White Series
During these historical and unforeseen times, my eyes and heart have been drawn to capture the simplistic nature of black and white documentary photography. My desire is to capture the stark contrast of how we are all feeling. The light in the darkness. The darkness could overtake us with the fear and anxiety of not knowing when this pandemic will end. The darkness of losing all sense of our realities – what truly matters in the grand scheme of things? My Job? My health? My family? The vulnerable? Others? Self?
The darkness did not overtake the light. The light of hope. The light that we all should and can cling to in this darkness that this too shall pass. The light that we are doing our part in staying vigilant, disciplined, and obedient to ordinances put in place for the safety of ALL. The light that we have loved ones near and/or they are healthy (if we are lucky enough to still have our spouses and children home) for comfort and joy. The light that we have technology as a tool to unite us. The light of HIS word.
The start of the day without the rush of school dropoffs and packing backpacks has led to slower mornings that allow time to pause and enjoy one another. Allowing us time to enjoy the light of early sunshine. Watching the sunrise while holding a cup of coffee still wearing your pajamas. The kids ease into new routines and there is fewer issues. Fewer meltdowns, tantrums, chaos, and busyness.
I sit here this morning before the kids wake writing about hope while my heart aches for my children because they lost their first pet. Real darkness in their lives right now. Thankfully they will have time to mourn since this quarantine is yet ongoing providing time to pour light into their darkness.
Like many, during the first few weeks of the quarantine, it was a nice escape and relatively easy for us to continue doing activities we enjoyed previously. A challenge to stay active, engaged, and sharp. My goal was to continue reading my Bible daily but soon the hours and days started to mix and those habits are slowly fading away. The depression of being isolated and forced to stay inside coupled with cold weather during the summer months lays heavy on my heart. I am clinging to the truth in Psalms. HE is my stronghold and the refuge I need to run to with fear and anxiety. No matter the circumstances HE is my LIGHT.
At the beginning of March 2020, the idea of being home away from school was inviting – almost like summer vacation! Distance learning started like a game allowing the kids to pick and choose new educational outlets via mobile devices, printed worksheets from the internet, and art activities crafted by parents and YouTube. We were all-embracing to this new “normal” the best we could and expectant for a rapid end. Yet, in May 2020, we are still on a knife’s edge hoping and praying for this distance learning to end-and not become the new normal indefinitely.
Walking the aisles of supermarkets during the quarantine in March 2020. The documentation on doors, stickers on the floors, and new ‘protective’ gear around the essential workers made it very clear we were facing a new world. A world of darkness and fear that could overtake us if we didn’t let the light into our hearts and lives.
The sudden cough or sneeze made you weary or people immediately were apologizing for their allergies! Mothers with children were frantically trying to figure out how to go shopping with children with masks and stay six feet apart.
YET, I saw kindness and patience that wasn’t present before all of this. People were using manners in the aisles and not rushing about to get passed you and on their way. Even vehicles were at a slower pace on the road. Life had slowed down.
Finding the Light
Getting outside in the cold weather is hard for my southern roots. I welcome the warm even sweltering heat of the summer. Along with sunburns and sweat. Yet, here we are bundling ourselves up in coats, gloves, and hats in the month of MAY!
OH MY WORD!
I need the warmth of the sunshine to make this darkness disappear. The seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter depression was never something that plagued me. Years of living in south Georgia followed by a small-time in West Africa didn’t lend itself to short days combined with the bitter cold that leads to trapping oneself inside for months at a time. AND NOW, we are forced inside on orders by the government.
We were coming up on week five in the quarantine and my spirit started to deflate. The pressure of managing the home, teaching slash not teaching through distance learning with my children, and staying hopeful was getting to me. My priorities were all over the place!
I am a creative that is super flexible. I am also an obliger and INTJ that morphed into an ENSF – motherhood has a way of changing your heart and attitudes (I love personality tests by the way).
ALL of those traits lead to a person who doesn’t fare well with self-motivation and sticktoitiveness. I thrive in an environment of external motivators! I need deadlines, meetings, and other people to help hold me accountable. So yeah, the darkness was trying to creep in….
So as the weather started to warm up and the sun peeked through the clouds I started to get outside of my head and outside of my house.
I started running.
I started working out.
I started calling my friends.
I started establishing OUTSIDE communication.
I started being purposefully in reading my Bible.
I needed the Lord to restore my heart, mind, and soul. We all travel to dark places at times yet do we allow the darkness to overtake us? Do we linger there? Do we stay wallowed up in that place of misery?
I used to. I have struggled with fear, anxiety, and depression.
It is in my past and I have been redeemed by my heavenly Father. It is through going to Him on a daily basis, praying through His Word, and applying the discipline of many of the scriptures into my daily life that has brought joy and peace.
My marriage, my parenting, and my own creativity is dependant on God’s power within and through me provided by the Holy Spirit. His face SHINES on me so that I may be saved.
The second series of documentary photography is in color – bright, cheery, rainbow-tastic colors of hope and joy. Capturing the light pouring into our lives at times we didn’t think was possible. The soaking rays of sunshine pouring into my house casting gorgeous light flares around my children and our lives. His light shining into our darkness.
The joy of spending quality time with my girls during this quarantine is something that I am thankful for.
I am no baker yet the simplistic nature of making a cake – even from a box – was a great way to teach life lessons, use up some time, and make memories with my girls. I remember baking with my mother as a child. I was too afraid of our gas stove!!!! And now, I wouldn’t cook on anything else.
The Light dwells with Me
Like I said before, I used to stay in those deep and hidden places of depression. It was easier to just let my emotions dig deeper into hate and anger vs trying to find hope in any situation. I felt unloved and abandoned….
GOD still dwelled in that dark place. HE was there with me every step of the way! He REVEALED what was truly lying in the darkness. He has been slowly molding me into a new creation with each disciplined step I take into full obedience to HIM. Each step is another step in serving HIM, my husband, my children, and my community.
and the light dwells with me.
As the quarantine comes to an end, hopefully, I want to build my town aka my life on a hill with a light shining so bright that all will see.
A beacon of hope pouring out a message of peace to all who are hurting and suffering.
I am not perfect and make mistakes. God is still revealing the things in the deep dark places of my heart and teaching strength, perseverance, and diligence.
WE ARE THE LIGHT of hope, joy, and eternal peace. Let your light shine!
Finding light in the darkness took much dedication.
FOR ME, as a creative I have turned to my craft of photography and graphic design.
Using this website as a place to express myself through design. I have redesigned this website countless times during isolation. I have picked up my camera almost weekly and used my smartphone camera almost daily.
Every image on this blog post was captured with my PHONE!
In the image above, you see our fourth child. He is small, young, and unafraid. He sits in one of the most beautiful spots of light in our home. As the late afternoon sun dips down it shines through our front door casting a rainbow of colors onto the wall and floor. He has been provided more freedoms as he matures and now that very step where he sits used to be a protective boundary. You can still see the faint line to his right where a gate sat for over a year protecting him from the danger of going up and down the stairs. He was safe and my mind was at ease knowing he couldn’t go up without supervision.
Over time, we got relaxed in our home and his abilities but that didn’t stop him from growing, maturing, and testing boundaries. He seeked out opportunities to test his limits and quickly mastered the stairs with and without our supervision. And eventually, he wasn’t just crawling but walking up and down the stairs using the side rail as a helping hand – not mine!
The gate was removed and he confidently go up and down those stairs unassisted.
Does this mean the danger is gone? NO. Does this mean he will never fall? No. Does this mean I need to still hover and plan his steps? No.
The Lord is our gatekeeper. He is our shepherd. He guides us and nudges us back into the herd when we get out of line. Yet, he gives us room to grow. To have a teachable spirit that learns and matures by knowing His word. Applying His word.
Our son is young still and needs a guiding hand. I look to the Lord to keep nudging my heart through the spirit to stay alert and attentive to his needs. Though he may have mastered the stairs he still needs my guiding hand from time to time to do the most simple thing – walking.
He will do the same with your needs.
Walk in the light
The Lord used this time to reveal many different things to us all.
My spirit needed to be reminded of my responsibilities and how to prioritize my time. To slow down and enjoy my children at this tender age. That we are not meant to rush these years because danger still lies around each corner.
BUT, we are also not to let fear overtake us. Not let the darkness take us down into the deep.
Look to HIM and HIS Word to rescue us. We are safe in His arms.
In this time let HIS light shine into your hearts.
Before you go…
As a sweet reminder of HIS light, I have created three verse art images for you to print and enjoy around your home. They can be downloaded and printed using your home printer on regular 8.5×11 paper.
I hope you enjoyed these documentary photographs during COVID-19 along with the verses about light in the darkness. Drop a comment in the comment section below and tell me, what is the greatest light lesson that have you learned? 🙂Let’s start a discussion! Or better yet, bring this discussion to the Knitting Our Story Community!
The”Believing the Knitter” community is MORE than just a Christian Facebook group for women. It is a sisterhood of faith lovin’ women who JUST WANT to tear down the technological walls and talk shop – smartphones, cameras, smart home gadgets, bible topics, and parenting aka issues RELEVANT tomodern Christianmoms, grandmothers, and ministry-driven women today. Join in to participate in the open discussions we hold after a message with me 🙂 This is a place for the Christian woman who wants to be in a group that points them to Jesus — all while learning about their everyday tech (no question is too simple)!
Due to the recent school closings and endless time at home, here is a list of 50+ ways to use your Amazon Alexa smart speaker to break the boredom and introduce some fun into your day. Here are some resources to find inventive ways to interact with your Amazon Alexa:
The suggestion to play games led us down a path of interactive fun for 30 minutes. My children mostly enjoyed the “Animal Game” and Alexa guessed at least 10 different animals with my 8-year-old son before moving onto the next activity.
The “Chompers” podcast is a great way to get your children to brush their teeth while the “Kids Court” seems like it would be a humorous way to deal with meltdowns and disagreements between siblings but exercise caution – it is just a game.
Do not forget that Amazon is also a great resource for finding more “skills” and new games for the Smart Speaker or Home Assistant. You will also be able to disable and enable games or skills on your personal home assistant before you interact with it and your children. Also, you should download the Alexa App onto your smartphone to remotely operate your smart speaker to make calls, announcements, set timers, and make routines. It has been a great resource in our home since the #1 thing we use Alexa for is praise music blasting a solid volume 10 almost all day long.
How to use Google Slides to create a Children’s Chore Chart
Would you like to learn how to use Google Slides and create a beautiful children’s chore chart and responsibility chart for your family? Wouldn’t it be great to better understand Google Drive to demystify the technology so you can better utilize it?
Not only can you better understand Google Drive, but you can create amazing printables that will better serve you and your family, today! If you love technology and view it as a tool, not a hindrance then let’s dive into today’s post all about using, editing, and printing a PRINTABLE Google Slide Children’s Chore Chart (or any printable you truly need).
*This post contains affiliate links.
What is Google Slides?
Google Slides is Google’s version of the PowerPoint Presentation. What is PowerPoint? It is a great software tool that professionals and students have been using for the last 20 years to present eye-popping, sometimes gimmicky, presentations that have become the #1 standard for presenting anything today. So get on board or get left behind. You can read all about my love for Google and how I use it on a daily basis on this post.
How do I get Google Slides?
Set up a Google Account by setting up a Gmail account that will provide you with an email and access to Google Drive.
Within Google Drive, you will have an option to create a “+New” digital file.
After clicking the “+New” tab, you will select “Google Slides”
Another option, you can also download “Google Slides” to your mobile device and create items directly within the program without accessing Google Drive. (Google Drive is your Windows Explorer ONLINE or a cloud service that stores all these files in a place that won’t disappear and you can access anytime anywhere.)
Why should I create a Children’s Chore Chart?
As a mom to four little kids that are eight and under, I understand the importance of trying to create routines and schedules. I love drafting children’s chore charts and lists on regular paper but nothing beats a well designed, pretty, and evenly lined up chore chart slipped inside a page protector, or better yet, LAMINATED so my children can quickly and easily check off their achievements – #WINWIN situation!
*Post was written during the great Coronavirus quarantine so we were desperately looking for systems to stay productive.
FULL TRANSPARENCY! I am not a born organized person. I lose my keys on a daily basis and have mini piles all around the house! As a creative, I rise to the challenge of creating something beautiful and surrounding myself with beautiful things like clean and straight forward charts HELPS A TON!
What works for you? Leave a comment below with tips and tricks for staying organized as a creative.
How to use Google Slides to create a Children’s Chore Chart
You could create one from scratch OR just use the template that I have created for you 🙂
Use the link below to gain access to the template we will be using throughout the rest of this guide.
You have two options.
One, you can download the PDFs of the Chore and Responsibility Charts without any editing needed to print directly. All you have to do is write in the chores and duties the child[ren] will accomplish and Voila! You are done.
Two, Click the link provided to you via email to access the template. FIRST THING YOU MUST DO is create a COPY! If you do not have a Gmail account then the only option will be to download.
The edits available are located in the name, chore lines, and verse text at the bottom of the chart.
Click the first line in the table to start writing the duties and chores needed.
^^^DON’T WORRY about making a mistake. There is an easy to use “redo” button located at the top of the Google Slides page that will backup your edits.
You have entered all the data needed and am ready to download and/or print.
You could download as PDF or image file (.jpeg). A PDF would be used to PRINT and utilize on a fridge, etc. An image file could be used on your phone as a screensaver or perhaps inside an app that you can easily manipulate that way you save some paper.
The print preview and print option will provide you with more options to make sure the Chart fits onto your paper size.
You should select “advanced options” then “fit to printable area” so that the whole Chart will print on your paper size.
OH NO! My computer keeps saying it will no longer support Windows 7 by Microsoft after January 14, 2020. What does that mean for my personal computer?
The time has come for the End of Life (EOL) support for the Windows 7 operating system by Microsoft and for a lot of people this almost constant pop up window for the last year is more than concerning. If you own a personal computer, laptop or desktop PC, with the Windows 7 operating system but use it for nominal use like checking your email or social media, you may be scratching your head about what to do next.
*This post contains affiliate links which are marked with an *. This means I receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through one of my links. If you do, thank you for the support ♥
I started this article before the end of support date of Windows 7 and am now writing it to myself and the many others who may have a device older than five years that supports this beloved operating system.
Gone are the days when you could continue using outdated and unsupporeted programs like Winows Vista and those before it. Every time you tap the keys and connect to the internet you are putting your personal data at risk.
You are probably saying, “I know Holly but all of this is going over my head! I don’t know what to do next nor do I have any money to protect or upgrade my computer!”
Let’s discuss the options available to YOU! (Remember I am here to serve you and if your computer is at risk connect with me at holly [at] knittingourstory.com)
1 | WHY IS MICROSOFT ENDING SUPPORT FOR WINDOWS 7?
Let’s face it. Microsoft is a tech giant and software is a hot business. Over time, they have learned that to keep up with their competitors they have to keep raising the bar with their software packages. It is ultimately their choice to continue or NOT continue to support a product they developed.
The wave of smartphone technology and the minimalismus categorical design of software is overtaking technology.
Ever use Netflix? Or have a Roku TV? The cards or blocks with vivid imagery is an easy and visually appealing way to convey information quickly. You can easily select your choice without having to read any information. And that approach has been utilized across almost ALL consumer technology. INSTANT GRATIFICATION with no time wasted on having to sort through useless information.
What are the differences between Windows 7 vs 10?
01 | Account Integration
Microsoft has now introduced Account Integration which requires the user to link an account to their device for any type of functionality.
HUH? If you own an Apple iPhone then you are already familiar with inputting your Apple ID to open your phone or download any new apps. It is a way to create a seamless user experience over multiple devices and allows access to some feartures offered by Microsoft.
02 | Start Menu
The Start menu has a new icon, and unlike Windows 8, Windows 10 brought back some of the things that Windows 7 users love.
The menu has items listed in Alphabetical order and different icons so do not assume a program is gone because you do not see it’s normal image associated with it because the new design is the biggest learning curve. You still have access to the normal functions like Shut Down, settings, and control panel.
TIP: If you need it larger, you can bring your mouse to the edge of the window and ENLARGE it.
03 | Tiles (Apps)
You will notice an area to the right of your long list of programs on the Start Menu that Mircosoft calls the “tiles”. Each tile can either be a shortcut to program you use regularly, a webpage shortchut, or an application. For example, You have an option to use the “Facebook” app or just log onto the internet using your explorer (such as Edge, Google Chrome, or FireFox). If this all seems a bit much and you dislike the functionality, right click the tile and disable it.
04 | Cortana
Your personal assistant via Mircosoft which functions just like the Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri.
Ask it to jot down notes, make an alarm, find a document, etc. A new feature that I haven’t full utlized but something you should be aware of since it pops up pretty often unless you disable it which you can!
05 | Accessibility (Control Panel, Settings, and Edge)
Mircosoft really changed up their design and flow to offer a more streamlined experince for their user but if you like continuity and maybe a little resistant to change then serarching for these areas may not come easily.
The control panel can be accessed by holding down the Windows Key + X to access the nitty gritty areas of your computer, while the all encompassing Gear Icon, which has become the universal Settings icon on everything, is where you access your settings for design, WiFi, devices, etc. The design is pleasing and straight forward but still a learning curve from Windows 7.
ALSO, you have a new Windows Internet Explorer! Edge is the new and imporved windows explorer so don’t get frustrated when you cannot find your old icons.
2 | WHAT TO DO IF MY COMPUTER IS STILL RUNNING WINDOWS 7?
You need to know that each day pass January 14, 2020, the more at risk you are making yourself and your precious data on the computer or laptop.
01 | Outdated Software
The functionality of your computer will slowly depreciate. The more programs added and files downloaded the more it will slow down your computer. Like any device, it requires regular maintenance and cleaning. Yet, the lack of security and updates on your computer will make it more at risk of crashing or being hacked.
The outdated software means that your computer data could be lost if it ins’t back up!
Back it up!
Get an external harddrive and save all your documents, photos, videos, and music. This is just regular legacy maintenance but MOST DEFINITELY important if your hardware (computer/laptop/smartphone) is over five years old. Gone are the days when you could keep something for a lifetime with regular care.
Since you do not have Mircosoft providing security through Windows Defender, you need to have an alternative security system to keep your device afloat.
I recommend using Malwarebytes, it is a wonderful program that is available for FREE with limited security while a full license will provide full security at a reasonable price. Considering you are choosing to continue with Windows 7 against their approval I would recommend this or any other type of third party security software to protect your personal data shared online.
UPDATE: 2/29/2020 I used the above link and it worked! I did find however that one must have already downloaded it previously and chose to revert. When Windows 10 first debut, I did use it but chose to revert because there were too many bugs.
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