An AM's best friend: the 1 TB drive

April 21, 2014

An AM's Best Friend: the 1 TB Drive, AM-Insider article by Sarah Ritchie

What I am about to tell you is a little bit subversive, a little bit sneaky, extremely simple to execute and a total bacon saver.

How is the state of your agency's file archive system? How long does it take for you to retrieve files for a job? How often have you tried to retrieve files only to be told that a disk has "corrupted" or been "accidentally wiped"? Unfortunately, if this last scenario happens just once, it is once too often, and can be extremely costly.

I have worked in agencies long enough to know that there are chinks in the armour of every file archive system, and, if something goes wrong, Account Manager's Law says it will happen on your job. The answer? Take archive matters into your own hands.

The solution is a simple two-step process:

1  Ask your company to buy you a 1 Terabyte (or larger) external hard drive.

2  Keep a duplicate copy of every single one of your completed jobs on this drive.

This will - in no way - compromise your company's existing archive system. The powers-that-be are able to archive exactly as they would normally. All you are doing (prior to the archive taking place) is transferring a copy of the job folder onto your external drive.

Earlier this year I requested the retrieval of a 100+ page annual report that had been completed two years prior and archived. We were going to use that report as a template to create the annual report for this year when I was given the devastating news that the tape the job had been archived onto was corrupt, and the files unretrievable.

After an unbearable period of wondering how many thousands of dollars (and designer-hours) it would cost my agency to rebuild the file from scratch, one of my colleagues suggested I ask the report's original designer if he still had a copy of the files. Little did I know, this designer had learned the secret of the external hard drive, and was keeping his own copies of the work that he had completed at our agency. This designer's "personal archive" was the saving grace of an a potentially expensive and damaging situation.

An external hard drive will enable to you to:

  • Have all your clients' completed work at your fingertips. You can use the files for your own reference, or quickly access the files should the project require an update (or be required to reference another job).
  • Create a backup of the backup. Should there be any issue with the agency archive system, all will not be lost.



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