Nautilus, but nice
I create a huge amount of work on various projects in the course of a year - much of which I blog about here. And I often go back and revisit files numerous times. But to err is human and sometimes I mess things up or find that my new version wasn't the improvement I'd hoped. Therefore I tend to create large numbers of back-ups just in case.
Up until now I've been using an ad hoc system of either backup folders or appending version numbers to the end of file-names. However this is messy, wasteful on disc space and prone to error. That's where a version control system comes in.
Even though version control systems are usually seen as a collaboration tool, they are also a really good idea for personal projects.
I'd actually chosen the version control system I wanted to use a couple of years ago - it's the extremely elegant Bazaar (or BZR), a free software project started by Canonical. The Bazaar project not only encourages personal use of version control - they even provide instructions especially for personal users.
There were three big attractions of Bazaar for me. The first is that it has a single command - bzr. The second is that it puts everything in a single folder /.bzr. I don't need a database or a server or anything like that. And the third is that it takes five minutes to learn. I actually use it from the command line, but there are graphical front ends for it too.
As most of my work these days is either in Python or Inkscape - which are both based on text files - there was no excuse for not using a version control system earlier.