In the Q/A session of a workshop I did last month, a participant told me about a lawyer-friend who had lost control of their Gmail. This participant wanted to know how to backup their email in case the same happened to them.
Why? Because email is a critical component of most modern businesses. Businesses of all types (not just lawyers) should make sure they have backups of their emails.
What's at stake
We've written in more detail about why files in general need to be backed up (using tax documents as an example).
In addition, your email accounts may store many years of content. This is common. People then rely on their email as an archive of information and documents. Email is often where we search for documents we're looking for. Bank account routing numbers sent by a colleague, shared passwords from a spouse, or even medical appointment data－and such data of real importance may exist only in email.
Don't get locked out
Don't let the only copy of your emails be locked away from you. How does one make sure they have reliable access to their emails? Exported backups.
All major email service providers (think Gmail, Outlook, iCloud Mail) have a feature to export email. Use that feature to export a copy of all your emails.
Don't know where to start? As an example, we have a Step-by-step (Glossary: Step-by-step) instruction for our subscribers who use Gmail.
Email should be part of a backup checklist
Email is one of several tools small businesses rely on. Here's a handy Templated (Glossary: Templated) checklist of other things you should think about backing up. We use a version of this checklist ourselves.