Lessons learned from Tuesday night's laptop drive failure:
(Note: haven't used a desktop as a primary system for years, so a laptop is my primary computing.)
* Using Dropbox for active files allowed me to switch to the backup laptop with barely a break in content access: some things I was missing, some of which I'm considering moving into Dropbox because of that. I could have done much of that work through my phone, even. Note: If using Dropbox, you really should use two-factor authentication.
* Apple Time Machine and Time Capsule have been a painless full restore from backup solution for me. If you're doing a manual backup and have discipline, that's great, but most people who use manual backup strategies are like most people who intend to go to the gym: they don't as often as they should. For me, automatic backups are one less thing to worry about.
* Things would have gone faster for me if I'd had a replacement hard disk in storage. Drives are cheap so when I bought the replacement drive yesterday I bought a spare.
(The logical extension of this is to have a full spare laptop that routinely syncs from system A's backup. As hard drives have been the most common single point of failure in my experience this is an improvement with minimal cost.)
* Web browser sync of bookmarks in cloud would have been one more thing to not have to catch up or clean up afterward.
* Lacking: offsite backups.
* New project: look into making or buying a degaussing coil for disposal of the old hard disk: as what failed was the controller for the heads I have to assume the data on that platter is still recoverable. Have sledge hammer, lack furnace.
Other useful ideas and strategies, add yours.