Automate offline backups
Take the pain out of remembering to back up your most important data
Use tools that come with OS X to ensure you have a backup separate to Time Machine
Anyone can do it
IT WILL TAKE
OS X 10.4 or higher
We’re big fans of Time Machine, but it’s not the be-all and end-all when it comes to backing up your Mac. Every back‑up routine should have checks and fail-safes built in. Multiple backups in multiple locations is good, so that if any of them should corrupt or be lost you can always revert to another.
Traditionally, this meant manually copying data out of your apps one by one, but that’s no longer necessary. OS X’s Automator knows all about the other apps Apple provides, like Mail, Contacts and Calendar, and both how and where they store their data. That means it can rummage around inside their files and back things up on your behalf.
Don’t worry if you’ve never used Automator before, it doesn’t require any manual coding and doesn’t assume prior knowledge. Its functions are broken down into categories: all you need to do is drag them into the order in which you want them performed and the output of one will automatically be used as the input of the next.
Don’t worry if your Automator categories don’t exactly match ours as apps can add new abilities to it, so some may be missing on your Mac if you haven‘t got the same apps installed as us. In this tutorial we’ll only be using Automator actions that are included with OS X. Nik Rawlinson
Automator can rummage around inside apps’ files and perform the backups on your behalf
Delegating responsibility for backups to Automator and Calendar is safer than performing manual copies.