Paper Cuts: Fixing the Roof Before It Leaks (and getting a new computer)

Do you ever put something important off until the last possible moment? Or put off fixing something until it actually breaks? When do you guys usually wait to get a new computer? Do you wait until it's beyond repair while you're stuck juggling design projects, deadlines, and clients? Or do you proactively plan for the transition from one computer to the next, trying to make it as bump-free as possible?

I always have good intentions, and try to be proactive in handling things, but then I procrastinate. For example, when I first opened my stationery business I planned on purchasing a cloud-based storage system to back up my files. I researched the heck out of it, knew exactly which system I wanted to use, but when it came time to click "purchase", I always had some sort of excuse to put it off another week. Which turned to weeks, and then to months. Then, during a very heavy rainstorm, my office window leaked, my computer wires ended up sitting in a puddle and POOF, my computer shut off. Luckily my computer wasn't severely damaged, but several hundred files were lost.

A designer only needs to have this happen to them once in order to learn their lesson. It was beyond stressful, and I vowed to never (intentionally) put myself in that situation again. The very next day I signed up for Dropbox and began to restore all of my files.

About a year ago. I was in the middle of working on a design when my computer crashed. After spending a long time on the phone with Apple, we discovered that my iMac had a virus. Yep, a virus. Luckily, everything was backed up and I didn't lose a single file (hooray!). Even though the machine was completely restored, it was just never the same. It was slower, certain programs were glitchy (I couldn't copy & paste from Word to Illustrator without the computer shutting itself off), and iPhoto was gone forever. A tiny seed was planted in my mind; I knew my time with my computer would be limited, and I knew I wanted to plan for the transition to a new computer, so that I wasn't caught off-guard, mid-project. *side note, the virus I got came from a font I downloaded from a free font website. I'm now a seasoned (and ethical) enough designer to know that nothing good comes of ripped off, free fonts. But maybe that's another post altogether*

So this past Monday my husband and I went to the Apple store and I got a shiny new iMac. Hooray! I'll be spending the next few days getting used to it, but I already feel like a huge weight has been lifted. I'm proud of myself for not waiting too long, and for having the foresight to make the transition before the craziness of holiday season. I'm actually kind of excited to see how much more work I'll be able to get done on a machine that doesn't take 3+ minutes to load a website!

Cheers to new computers, being proactive, and a less stressful holiday season!

Wednesdays here on the blog are all about sharing Paper Cuts - a behind-the-scenes, down to Earth business advice series. I hope you've enjoyed today's Paper Cuts topic, and look forward to having you back next time! To read past Paper Cut posts, click here.