This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

The danger of relying too much on email

I had a nasty shock this past week when my new computer had difficulties with my email. I don’t like doing computer troubleshooting, but it’s part of the cost of doing business for me, so I settled into try to figure out what was wrong. Apparently the settings for outgoing email weren’t working correctly, and after fiddling with it for quite a while I figured the easiest thing would be to delete the old settings and update them.

What I found out, to my surprise, is that if I deleted the old settings I would actually be deleting all of my old emails. That is, the emails on my computer, and on my backup disc, aren’t files at all. Not in the way that we think of files as safe and sound once they’re backed up. They rely on the settings in your email program. If you scratch your settings, you delete all of your old emails, permanently. I didn’t want to do that. I rely on my old emails to make me look like I remember everything. I keep folders for all of my clients there (I’m a Graphic Designer). I suddenly realized how important my email was for my business.

So I went to get professional help, and the nice people at MacMedia have my computer now and are doing a process of exporting the old emails, storing them, and then they will bring them back into the new settings. At least I hope so. They’ve had my computer since Monday and it’s now Thursday. Hopefully everything is working OK.

Of course, if you’re not using email for business, it’s not a worry. Most people use email the same way that they text - just quick notes back and forth, and after a few days it doesn’t matter. I was surprised to find that I was running my business on email, and didn’t realize how fragile that was!

Getting my emails updated and restored is going to cost me. Not only am I paying to have it done, I’ve been “out of business” for a week. Well, not really - I can get to my email directly through my server, but I have no access to my old emails, which is what I rely on.

Once I get this resolved, I will need to create a system that isn’t as fragile as email, possibly a backup of important information as text files, or something. If you’re leaning as heavily on email as I was, take care!