This week, we’ve talked about how to create copies of your work so that the actual loss of a file or even a computer doesn’t derail your whole career. But what about other acts of stupidity, like accidentally deleting a big section of text from your work in progress without noticing it? What if you decide that you liked something you wrote and deleted a month ago better than you like what you replaced it with?

FileHamster is a free version control system that runs on Windows and automatically saves a new copy of your file every time you save. What this means is that the history of every document you create is saved and can be recalled at any time.

FileHamster runs in the system tray of your computer and watches any file you tell it to watch. Whenever a new file is created in a watched folder, it will create a backup, and as you change and re-save the file, it will create new subsidiary backups. Double-clicking the FileHamster logo in the system tray will bring up a list of all the files it has saved, allowing you to view the history of any document at any point in its history. You can open any file from the chain of revisions and use it as any other file.

To be honest, I don’t use FileHamster that much — it just sits in the background, quietly doing its thing, without me even being aware of it most of the time. But, as with any backup strategy, it’s good to know I could access my past revisions, if I needed them — and I never know when in the future I just might.

FileHamster (Windows-only; Free)

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