Backing up my files under Linux

For the longest time I haven't been in control of backing up. I've done it, haphazardly, usually before I do something risky. Each time I have to relearn everything. Now I want to make it semi automatic.

1.) I went out and bought a nice big 1 TB external hard drive.
2.) I don't intend to keep the drive connected all the time. So the first thing I do when I want to backup is connect the drive. I'll do this by UUID since its a more reliable method. First I connect the drive. Next I type:

sudo vol_id /dev/sda1

and copy the volume ID of the drive. Then I issue:

sudo mount UUID=
/media/backup_drive/

and now the drive is available at the mount point. Now I can perform the backup by:

sudo rsync -avz /drive2/music --force --ignore-errors /backup

Next I copied the commands into a script so next time I can do them quickly and easily.

I don't know if this is the best way to handle this. There is more for me to investigate, for example can I do it without being root. How should I deal with error messages etc in such a long copy?