Backing up e-mail

Losing e-mail can cost executives/managers both in lost time and opportunity. That’s because most of them have valuable information stored in e-mail programs, addresses, contact information, appointments, and some of it can be difficult or impossible to replace.

Backing up an e-mail, therefore, is essential. And in many cases, it makes sense to maintain an e-mail back up routine that’s separate from any other overall data backup procedure executives/managers have in place. The reason: executives/managers may need or want to restore just their e-mail should a data catastrophe strike and executives/managers don’t want to have to locate and unearth just their e-mail data from a larger system backup. Doing so is both time-consuming and frustrating.

How executives/managers back up their e-mail will depend upon what type of e-mail they rely upon. There are many types in use today and here are the most popular ones.

Microsoft Outlook stores e-mail in a file with a “pst” extension. For a simple data backup, executives/managers can just locate any and all PST files on their hard drive and copy them to another location. To find the files, open the Windows Search utility, type *.pst, and copy the files that the utility finds.

But a pst file alone will not easily help executives/managers rebuild all of their e-mail accounts, stored addresses, and other conveniences that executives/managers probably want back immediately should they need to restore data. Therefore it makes sense to turn to a package that not only backs up their PST files for executives/managers but also any settings, address book entries, and other data they have entered into Outlook and do not want to lose.

Rinjasoft (http://World Wide makes an inexpensive little utility that fits the bill. Its EZ Backup Outlook program provides a one-click way to back up all of executives/managers Outlook e-mail and settings. The program can save the data to a compressed, executable file. When or if executives/managers need to restore the data, all users have to do is double click the executable file and follow the instructions. The original backup application itself does not even need to be installed.

AJ Systems (http://World Wide offers similar functionality in its OutBack Plus and Express Assist applications. These applications go beyond just e-mail backup and restore to include browser favorites and other system settings that most folks want to take with them along with e-mail.

Thanks to its ample storage space and effective spam filtering, Google’s free GMail has become a favorite e-mail provider around the world. With web-based e-mail accounts, however, come special challenges if executives/managers want to save or archive their messages before they are deleted automatically by the service. Most web-based e-mail services provide no convenient means for executives/managers to back up or archive old messages.

But with GMail, thankfully, executives/managers have several options for backing up their mail. The first and perhaps best way is simply to enable GMail’s POP forwarding capability, which allows executives/managers to receive and send the e-mail with Outlook Express, Outlook or another e-mail program. That way, executives/managers can use the standard backup procedure for for e-mail program of choice, and all of their GMail will be backed up as well.

To do this, log on to their GMail account, and under Settings, click Forwarding and POP. Select “forward a copy of incoming mail to,” and then type the e-mail address executives/managers use for their non Web-based e-mail program. Executives/managers can choose to leave a copy of the forwarded e-mail on the GMail servers to have access to the e-mail in both places. GMail also provides executives/managers with instructions for setting up standard e-mail programs such as Outlook and Windows Mail so that executives/managers can access GMail directly from their desktop.