Windows 8 includes an excellent File History feature, which can regularly and automatically back up your file libraries, desktop, contacts and favourites to a second drive. Even a USB flash drive can be used.
Just connect the flash drive, and choose 'Configure this drive for backup using File History' from the menu.
To set this up, go to Control Panel > System and Security > File History.
Click Exclude Folders to help define what you're saving, Advanced Settings to choose the backup frequency, Change Drive to choose the backup destination, and Turn On to enable the feature with your settings.
And once it's been running for a while, you can check on the history for any file in Explorer by selecting it, choosing the Home tab and clicking History.
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