Storing documents etc. on a Mac

Yup - it would need a little effort to learn / get used to the Apple native equivalents to word and excel, but you can work entirely with them instead of bothering with Office and can open
Office documents and export to Office format easily

My main concern about Office is that we send spreadsheets to and fro to my WemsFest colleague - we need to download bank statements and then he categorises them and returns them so we can do the accounts for HMRC. Hardly rocket science and I imagine you could download into the numbers app and then save it in the Excel format. I guess I’ll have to try it.

Yes - you can do everything in numbers and then export the result to excel format to send out. In one sense it’s better than excel because numbers can read both excel and numbers files, but excel cannot read numbers files

Another vote of confidence for Samsung T5 from me. It’s a stunning thing which even works with the 2019 iPad Pro…

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Once you get your iCloud ID set up for purchases, if you want utter bargains for photo, publishing and vector graphic apps look at these, currently at 50% off:

Screen Shot 2021-05-23 at 20.22.44

Here’s another interesting image editor at 50% off currently:

I was unable to purchase (had more basic Pixelmator) on my 2012 Mini but managed to buy the Pro on my son’s Macbook where I have the admin account. Once current version purchased I got this on the Mini:

Screen Shot 2021-05-23 at 20.26.53

The AppStore is excellent.

Yep - I have both T5 and T7 - they are relatively tiny with 2tb capacity in my case and there is a range available from 256gb up to 2tb. Mine have been completely reliable for a number of years.


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I have a new M1 Mac mini 8GB /256GB SSD.
I have used Apache Open Office for many years and it has the same functionality as MS office without the cost implications.
I have a 500 GB ssd with a usb 3.1 gen2 interface attached to the mac for local storage, it is quick enough and is fit and forget.
Time machine is very efficient for back ups and I back up to my Synology NAS. It has not interfered with the music in any way and have been running with a mac and this NAS since 2017.

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Thank you. I think I’ll have to steel myself to add a backup folder to the nas. As I have it, it seems a bit silly not to use it. I’ve found a 2TB WD Elements in the drawer that I’d forgotten about, which I can use for storage as well. It’s not a fancy SSD but the main thing is that it’s free.


I’d suggest use a combination of local external storage for full system backups and online services for content/files backup.
I have a 2TB iCloud shared across a number of family members, that costs £6.99pm, the nice part of Mac OS is that it will automatically determine files that are best stored in iCloud that are used infrequently and only keep local copies on your Mac drive as necessary or where accessed frequently.
Mac OS also comes with a number of Apple applications that are equivalent to MS Office, Pages, Numbers and Keynote, if you’re only using these sort of apps occasionally that’s a free starting point to explore and see if it works for your needs.
I do regular local backups of the entire internal drive using Carbon Copy Cloner, the main benefit of that being that the backup is bootable from the external drive if required, Apple Time Machine backups aren’t bootable. Time Machine can be handy if you want to find files you previously deleted and wish to recover. You can have 2 external drives, one for Carbon Copy and one for Time Machine.
In my experience dealing with occasional failures over the years, Carbon Copy is a more robust solution for backups and the ability to boot from the backup means you can be back up and running very quickly if the worst happens or you need to use a spare machine whilst one is being repaired for example.
The new M1 iMac has a mix of USB4 and Thunderbolt 3 interfaces capable of supporting up to 40 Gb/s of data throughput.

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If you are a MS Office hard case user you can get a copy of LibreOffice (free) it is a MS Office clone. Documentation is available.

HH be aware that there is a couple of Apple User groups in your neighbourhood. They can be a useful resource of knowledge.

I’m with @Mr.M and use CCC rather than time machine as the latter has lost files over the years.
I recently purchased some more iCloud space for syncing iPad, iPhones and MacMini / MacBook Pro. Both the Pro and Mini are getting long in the tooth so waiting to justify a M1, but not sure whether to get iMac or another Mini.
I backup to an NAS, which used to be my music server, and I copy important files to another NAS, and further copies of music go onto redundant drives as and when I upgrade the NAS storage. Belt and braces I know, but I’ve learnt from loosing stuff in the past.
Perhaps the wiser folk on here can tell me whether it is redundant making separate partitions for music, photos, documents etc.?

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Hi HH,

If its a new Mac then it will have a USB 3.1 Type C hi speed connection, I would get an NVMe drive like a Samsung 970 EVO and a nice M2 case to put it in like an Elec Gear or similar quality case with good heat dissipation and use that for external storage for now. Once you outgrow it there are plenty of options for disk arrays as needed.

Then back that data up to the cloud.

I store on iCloud , transfers documents to your next machine, same docs on your iPad .

I had a 256 iBook and it stored in the cloud.

On the other hand I lost photos of lions in trees and a Great White attacking a cage when my back up failed.

Unless you buy computer games the memory should be fine .

Another CCC user here - apparently some issues with cloning Big Sur APFS discs which can end up bigger than the source due to file system oddities.

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I’d also throw Google Docs into the mix allowing many of the documents to be securely stored ‘in the cloud’. I used to be anal about backups and keeping one backup off-site of the important stuff (pictures, financial records). But with iCloud and Google in combination (plus of course time machine) I feel just as secure that stuff won’t get ‘lost’ without the need to manage an offsite backup.

I use the Time Machine backup as a way of recovery from recent errors, eg a key paragraph in the magnum opus I am writing has been accidentally deleted. I can recover the lost data very quickly with Time Machine. I also run Daily Carbon Copy Cloner back ups to external disk drives. I have two sets of external drives that I alternate each week (or so - less frequently if not much activity taking place on the machine - although that is a sloppy practice).
On my previous hardware I had a set of drives in the machine that I could back up to each day as well as the external drives that were rotated on a weekly basis.

This is an almost safe level of backing up. The non used backup of the data is kept in the shed about 100feet from the house. A lesson learnt from a relative who had a house fire that destroyed everything all pictures, documents letters.

Remember you can never have too many copies of your data.


Local storage is local storage. Though iCloud is great when using different (Apple) devices I want to store my data local. 256 GB might be sufficient for you. In my case the most storage is used by pictures. So I would put it on an external SSD. I prefer the ones from Samsung.

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Yes, I use CCC used for many years Its a great piece of software and never failed me. Version 6 of CCC is now compatible with Big Sur - according to Bombitch.


I have an iMac with 3TB fusion drive, but I keep at least 2 backup copies of anything important using an attached Lacie Thunderbolt drive (also use this for the Time Machine), and a couple of USB hard drives.
I also keep some Numbers and Pages files in iCloud, so that I can access them from my iPhone or iPad when away from home. Saves me from buying a DVD/CD/LP/Book I already own!

To make the backups easy I use a program called Chronosync - which does exactly what it says.

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