Backing up EmailsGreat tip, Lisa! I archive a lot of the e-mails I receive but hadn't considered backing up the important ones I send. I bet it's really neat reading through those old thoughts and feelings.
I'm too lazy to keep a journal, but I do have people I email regularly, sharing what I've been up to. With my writing friends, I often brainstorm book ideas in these emails. Several years ago I realized they were a valuable resource, so I started archiving them. Each month I save them to Word, creating a document with a name that makes it easy to find later. (ex: Aug 2010) I save the emails I receive in separate documents from the ones I send. By backing things up this way, it's easy to find things later by doing a word search. If I know, for example, that I discussed ideas for a particular character last summer, I open the appropriate document and do a search for that character's name.
While this is useful for archiving story ideas, it's also a nice substitute for a journal. Sometimes it's fun to take a trip down memory lane to see what was so important to you a year or two ago.
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