HOWTO | sim­plify your bac kups

Mac Format - - IMPROVE -

1 Au­to­mate your work­flow

Open Au­toma­tor and se­lect Cal­en­dar Alarm as the type of doc­u­ment you want to cre­ate. A doc­u­ment of this type will be trig­gered by events in your cal­en­dar, which means you can set it to run at spec­i­fied in­ter­vals with­out any man­ual in­ter­ven­tion on your part.

2 Fil­ter your con­tacts

First, choose View > Ar­range Ac­tions by > Ap­pli­ca­tion. Click Con­tacts in the leftmost col­umn and drag Find Con­tacts Items into the right pane. This spec­i­fies what to back up. We want ev­ery con­tact, so leave the first two op­tions as ‘peo­ple’ and ‘All’, se­lect ‘Name’ and ‘is not’ for the oth­ers, and en­ter ‘zzz’.

3 Test the re­sults

Click Run on the main tool­bar. If it works you’ll see a green tick at the bot­tom of the win­dow with the words ‘Work­flow com­pleted’ next to it. Click Re­sults, im­me­di­ately be­low the pop-up menus on the Find Con­tacts Items ac­tion, to check the ac­tion has se­lected all of your con­tacts.

4 Ex­port your con­tacts

If that worked, drag in the ‘Ex­port vCards’ ac­tion so that it sits be­low the first one in your work­flow. Leave its first op­tion set to ‘one vCard’ to save all records in a bun­dle, and se­lect a des­ti­na­tion from the sec­ond pop-up; we rec­om­mend a net­work drive to store the backup away from the orig­i­nals.

5 Save and ac­ti­vate your work­flow

Choose File > Save and name your alarm. Au­toma­tor adds it as an event at the cur­rent time, in a cal­en­dar called Au­toma­tor. Open the Cal­en­dar app and dou­ble-click the new event to cus­tomise it. Set it to re­peat weekly (or daily) at a set time to pro­vide a reg­u­lar backup of your con­tacts.

6 Copy your con­tent

You can take a more di­rect route to back­ing up by copy­ing whole fold­ers that can be re­in­stated on a new sys­tem. Ap­ple pub­lishes a list of lo­ca­tions that you should back up at https://sup­port.ap­ple.com/kb/PH13985, which is a good start­ing point for an Au­toma­tor work­flow.

7 Re­veal the hid­den li­brary

In Fin­der, click Go while hold­ing å to re­veal Li­brary – click it to open the hid­den folder. In Au­toma­tor, cre­ate a new Cal­en­dar Alarm, se­lect Fin­der in the left col­umn, drag the Get Spec­i­fied Fin­der Items ac­tion into the work­flow, and drag the Cal­en­dars folder from the Fin­der win­dow into the ac­tion.

8 Du­pli­cate your data

Add the Copy Fin­der Items ac­tion and use its pop-up menu to choose a backup des­ti­na­tion. If none of the de­fault op­tions suit, pick ‘Other…’ (choose a NAS – see Jar­gon Buster – if you have one). Check the box be­side ‘Re­place ex­ist­ing items’, then save the work­flow to add it to your cal­en­dar.

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