I do understand the difference between simply copying files to another drive and using a backup program that can be set up to do what amounts to an incremental backup (just changed files) and can be preconfigured to back up certain files and directories. For what toothandnail describes, something like grsync is far preferable to just copying files.
However, for my purposes it's overkill. My primary backup method is redundancy. I have three computers with Linux and Windows partitions. *ALL* my data is on all three computers. I never turn off a computer unless whatever data I added or changed gets copied over my network to at least one of the other computers. If I don't have another computer turned on, I copy the changed data to a thumb drive and when I turn on another computer, the data gets moved to it from the thumb drive. From time to time I check to make sure all the data is on all the computers. Once in a while I burn data to DVDs that can be stored offsite as well as in the house.
I make image files of partitions where my Windows system files live. The data drives are simply copied. The image software (the version of Acronis True Image that comes with Seagate drives) can also make images of reiserfs and ext 2 and 3 Linux partitions. In case of a system meltdown, I can restore the latest image rather than having to start from scratch. When I replaced a 100-gig internal drive with a 1 terabyte drive a few months ago, I used the image file from the Seagate version of True Image, which worked exactly as expected and made the whole process easy (needless to say, I had multiple backups of those partitions created with various programs because it would have been a disaster if I hadn't been able to restore the whole drive exactly as it was, just bigger). A cyber friend gave me a tar line that will copy everything that should be copied from a Linux partition to an external drive and I use that from time to time to make Linux backups. To restore, I reformat the drive and use another tar variant to copy the files back to the original partition.
I am not good at remembering command syntax, but I can copy and make slight modifications if someone shows me what to do. I also do not create scripts. A lot of Linux backup options are too geeky for me. I once looked at a GUI Linux backup program but I couldn't fathom it. I don't have the cron daemon running because I can't comprehend it, either, and I'm not fond of things running behind my back, so to speak. I usually turn my computer(s) off when I'm finished with them.
Getting both Windows and Linux partitions on an external drive can be a bit tricky, but I've managed to do it three or four times. I don't remember the steps I took.