By Mary Motz, ProVirtual Solutions
Mary is a colleague of mine and we served together on the Delaware Valley Virtual Assistants Association Board of Directors, when Mary was our Chapter’s President. Mary started ProVirtual Solutions in 2002 and assists small business owners, non-profits, and solopreneurs with their web presence. She is a WordPress guru and has helped many with her technology know-how. She will also be speaking at the upcoming IVAA Live Summit in Portland. Since many of my clients are using Google Calendar, I wanted to share Mary’s experience with you all.
About two weeks ago, I got a frantic call from a client. “My Google Calendar is gone… really GONE!” This is an upsetting thing to hear about on the phone, let alone deal with personally.
Figuring that it HAD to be somewhere, I asked some basic questions – and talked about how we were syncing with Outlook – and well, it had to be there – someplace. Maybe it created a new PST file? Maybe it’s labeled differently, maybe it is backed up elsewhere – you DO have an external or online backup system, no?? Eh, no. After a remote support connection and a lot of searching, and chasing every straw I could grasp at, I came to the awful conclusion that her calendar was somehow, in fact, hosed.
I suggested helplessly that if she knows someone who really works with MS apps a lot, maybe they would have ideas. Well, she did just that. No ideas, but this contact shared that he had heard of several occasions that people have in fact occasionally LOST a Google Calendar (people that sync w/Outlook are susceptible for some reason). A quick search of the Google Calendar help section confirmed this. One thing I couldn’t find was a good explanation or fix. It can happen. It’s very rare, but it happens. Google offers their services for free, so there’s not a lot of incentive to spend resources to solve a problem that occurs so rarely.
Trouble is, so many people are like my client (and me!) and really depend on their Google calendars – a lot. So what would happen if all your cloud apps (online services) disappeared? Would you lose data? Family photos? Would it create a serious logistical problem for your business?
A few days later, while checking new apps in the Google Apps Marketplace, I happened upon Backupify. Backupify is a cloud account backup service that backs up Google services (Gmail, Calendar, etc), photo services (Flickr & Picasa) and even your social media profiles. There’s a free “personal” version that provides a weekly backup – but for as little as $5 per month, you can upgrade and backup your domain’s Google Apps account (including Mail and Docs) – as well as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Picasa, Flickr, Blogger and Zoho.
I signed up and within about 2 minutes connected my account. That was it. I checked in two days later, and sure enough, it backed up my GA account – all my calendars, my docs, my mail. As a test, I asked for a restore of the Calendar… and in about 2 hours, I was emailed all of my calendars in convenient ICS files. Worth $5 a month?? Hell, yeah.