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How Do I Recover a File I Accidentally “Saved Over”?

Jordan Lee Couch, Nerino Joseph Petro Jr, and Wells Howard Anderson


  • Learn how to recover a file you accidentally “saved over.”
  • How do you fix a typo on your smartphone without positioning the cursor with your finger?
  • There is an easy way to schedule phone calls if you don’t have an assistant.
How Do I Recover a File I Accidentally “Saved Over”?
Jan Hakan Dahlstrom via Getty Images

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Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly Q&A column, where a panel of experts answers your questions about using technology in your law practice.

This month we answer readers’ questions about how to recover a file you accidentally “saved over,” how to fix a typo on your smartphone without positioning the cursor with your finger, and the easiest way to schedule phone calls if you don’t have an assistant.

Q: Is there a way to recover a file that I accidentally “saved over”?

A: I remember 20 years ago being scolded by my typing teacher when my computer crashed and I lost almost a full class’s worth of work. I’d like to say I never did it again, but even as I developed a habit of obsessively saving my work, I occasionally forgot, and the consequences were often dire. Times have changed, and I can now say I haven’t suffered that fate in almost a decade. While I’d love to take credit for that herculean feat, the truth is technology has made that almost impossible. Whether you’re on Microsoft Word or Google Docs, auto-save is a standard feature that can be easily enabled in settings.

But what if you accidentally saved over a document, and you need the prior version? This particular problem has led to some mild panic among a few members of my office. No worries, Google and Microsoft have solved this problem, too. In Google Docs, it’s as simple as going to File/Version History. From there, you can see any previous version of a document, restore previous versions, and even give different names to various versions. In a Microsoft Word document, you can right-click then click “restore previous versions” to access a menu of all previous versions of that document and restore any version you want.

Techie: Jordan L. Couch, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor, Palace Law, [email protected].

Q: Is there an easier way to fix a typo on my smartphone other than trying to position the cursor with my finger?

A: We’ve all experienced typing something on our phone only to realize we have a typo or want to change something. Usually, this entails trying to position the cursor by moving it with your finger. For those of us with fingers that resemble dry-board markers, not fine-tip pens, to say that this task can be frustrating is an understatement.

The good news is that there is a better way that is extremely simple: place your finger on the space bar and then slide your finger left or right. Your cursor moves along with your finger. This works for both Android and Apple iOS 13 devices. If you are using a non-standard keyboard app, your mileage may vary. Also, new shortcuts and ways to work are introduced with each new version of an operating system, so be on the lookout for this information. For example, in iOS 13, tap the blinking text entry cursor and then move it around with your finger—you no longer have to touch and hold it to get it to move.

Techie: Nerino J. Petro Jr., GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor, Erickson Group, [email protected].

Q: I don’t have an assistant, and I’m spending too much time trying to schedule phone calls. How can I avoid phone tag and e-mail ping-pong?

A: Change your approach to setting phone calls and meetings with an app such as Appointlet or Calendly.

It takes 8.02 e-mails to schedule a meeting! Stop the madness! Get a scheduling app and connect it to your calendar on your computer and phone.

First, you need to overcome some mental blocks:

  • I don’t want to expose my calendar to others—it’s private!
  • People looking at my busy/free times will think I’m not busy enough.
  • I don’t want to give up control of my time to others.
  • My calendar will fill up with calls and meetings if I let others set them.

These are legitimate concerns. The illusion of control is a powerful force, as is a desire for privacy.

Relax. Your new scheduling app can deal with each of your concerns. And you’ll have the option to schedule calls the old-fashioned way if you want to.

You can start out carefully. E-mail a link to your own e-mail address to practice and then send one to a friend you’d like to talk to. Get comfortable with the program.

Each of us works a bit differently. We have our own specific preferences. Good news! There are a zillion scheduling apps with all sorts of options. With a little trial and error, you can find one that you like.

Here are some characteristics of most scheduling apps:

  • The pricing is consistent across apps: Most have a good, free option and a paid plan at $10 per month ($8 per month annually).
  • Apps sync to your calendars: Outlook, Google Calendar, Office 365, and phone calendars.
  • They can show busy/free times without exposing descriptions and details.
  • E-mail confirmations and reminders can be sent automatically.

My personal favorite is the Appointlet free account. It does all of the above. It has a simple, clean aesthetic. It makes it easy for others to choose a time when you are available and set a call or meeting.

The free version of Appointlet puts an unobtrusive branding message on the last screen: “Get your own Appointlet page for free.” That screen confirms the selection of an appointment date, time, and length.

Some attractive alternative scheduling apps are:

Calendly: The market leader for letting others schedule time with you. Powerful features for big meetings as well as individual scheduling.

Doodle: Popular app for letting multiple people find a mutually convenient time.

Other apps include Arrangr, ScheduleOnce, Setmore,, Square Appointments, and

Want to see what it’s like to schedule a call with me? Click here:

You are welcome to talk with me. But if you don’t really want to, cancel on the last screen or use the Cancellation/Reschedule link in the confirmation e-mail.

Techie: Wells H. Anderson, JD, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor, SecureMyFirm, 952/922-1120,, and Active Practice LLC, 952/922-1727,, Time Matters Blog:

What’s YOUR Question?

If you have a technology question, please forward it to Managing Editor Rob Salkin ([email protected]) at your earliest convenience. Our response team selects the questions for response and publication. Our regular response team includes Jeffrey Allen, Wells H. Anderson, Jordan L. Couch, Ashley Hallene, Al Harrison, and Patrick Palace. We publish submitted questions anonymously, just in case you do not want someone else to know you asked the question.

Please send in your questions today!