Photo by  bbbar

Losing data sucks.  Especially if you forget a copy of those photos you spent so much time editing on the airplane or at a coffee shop.  Here are two ideas to cut down on DLDF (data loss due to forgetfulness).

One of the reasons I love the Photofocus community is the chance to learn from each other. On our recent Google+ hangout… Levi Sim shared a great idea about putting velcro onto his hard drive.  He sticks it onto the back of his laptop or the airplane seat to prevent forgetting it in the seatback pocket.


I told Levi I thought this was a great idea.  And then I one-upped him.

I am constantly on the road.  I also fly a lot of redeye flights in order to get home faster to see my family.  4 am flights and snoring neighbors don’t always lead to the best decisions.

This is why I’ve made it easier to return my lost items.  With a simple label maker I’ve attached a standard label to all of my field drives.


  • My Name and Phone Number
  • Drive Name
  • Reward if Found

This is an easy fix… I use the pTouch from Brother to label most of my field gear.  My “seatback” items like hard drives and my noise canceling headset were the first to get labels.


Also, I can verify that this system works.  I forgot something on a Virgin America flight and they called me.  I hadn’t even realized I’d left it. When you make it easier to find you, honest people take action.  When you add incentive, even lazy, busy, or slightly dishonest people tend to decide to make the effort to get you your stuff back.

So let’s keep the learning going.  Do you have any road warrior ideas to keep your hard drives safe?  Add them to the comments of this article.


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Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. A good idea I read is to photograph your business card or simply a document with your name & contact info. each time you’ll be using a new media card in your camera. If the camera or card is lost at least you’ll have a chance to get it back

  2. Love this. I have something similar in the works. Will post photo when I get it in place.


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About Richard Harrington

Richard Harrington is the founder of RHED Pixel, a visual communications company based in Washington, D.C. He is the Publisher of Photofocus and Creative Cloud User as well as an author on Rich has authored several books including From Still to Motion, Understanding Photoshop, Professional Web Video, and Creating DSLR Video.