We need somewhere to store our ideas. An ideal scenario is to have access wherever we are, whether home, vacation, or work (we never know when an idea will strike). Or the toilet. Some smart phones are even waterproof so that we can work in the pool, a hot tub, or underwater! Depending on location, we have different devices we’re likely to have with us, such as a phone, tablet, or laptop. And there’s the old-fashioned pen and paper. There’s no solution that will work for everyone so here we’re just going to look at some options; this is not intended to be comprehensive but guidance on what to consider.
Only some of us make maps, and the programs that allow this usually require installation and a larger screen than a phone provides. Game designers may want to draw creatures that are best done in full-fledged apps as well. World builders are mostly concerned with text, including possibly a few spreadsheets for quick access to information about many places at once; this is what we’re examining here. With all tools, we should consider that we may use it for months to years before changing our mind; will we be able to easily move to another working methodology?
We can store our files on a computer hard drive. This will mean always bringing that device with us if we want to work, or taking a copy of files to another computer, which will need any app we use installed. Long ago, I used to bring mine on a writeable CD, then DVD, and finally a thumb drive as technologies changed; some of these carried a significant risk of being lost, which inspired attempts to encrypt them (another hassle). Today I bring nothing because I use Office 365, which we’ll discuss later in this chapter.
ince hard drives can fail, it’s wise to back up our contents to another device. We once needed a portable drive attached directly to our computer, but there are network accessible ones, some very robust. We can get one with a mirrored drive in a RAID configuration, which means it has two drives and content copied to one is automatically copied to the other. If one fails, our backup is still safe. One scenario this doesn’t guard against is our home burning to the ground, destroying both backup drives and our laptop, for example. Due to this, it’s wise to store files in two locations, such as a relative’s house (if they can be trusted not to snoop, should we care) or a safety deposit box.
Hard drives offer few advantages other than a file system that can be backed up with a dragged folder. As we’ll see, this can be done with other options. We can also store all types of files, not just world building ones.