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Categories: Technology

Smart Phones – What to do When Yours Isn’t

It is terrific to be able to survive if your smart phone stops being so smart. This article is part of a series of articles on what you should do if your technology fails. Previous articles have dealt with why you should use technology even though it fails and what to do if your computer dies.

Once upon a time, before telephones were wireless and had computers inside them that could almost  power a space shuttle launch, people had telephone books. These were actual paper bound books that were used to store telephone number, addresses and related information.  The books came in all shapes, sizes and colors.  There were special phone books called “little black books” that were used to keep truly special telephone numbers from being lost forever. Now we have smart phones that allow us to carry all our contact information in our pockets.

Today, our smart phones keep our phone numbers, calendars, email, notes, photographs and a myriad of other items. Unfortunately, these precious little wonders get lost, break, dropped into water and stop being smart for a variety of reasons. Therefore it is important that we take action in advance to prepare ourselves for the loss of our smart phones.  The first thing that we must do is back up our information on a regular basis. Start with the telephone numbers. If you use Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media, I am sure you have seen people write on various social media site, “Hey, I lost my phone, please inbox me your phone number.”  All of this  embarrassment and feeling ill at ease could have been avoided had the person only backed up the smart phone in advance.

Many smart phones have options that allow  you to back up your telephone numbers or to export the telephone numbers. It is a good practice to export all your contacts on a weekly basis. Similarly, you should back up your photographs, calendar and other telephone files on a regular basis.  Many smart phones have  micro SD card used for storage.  Set up your telephone so that all your data, phone numbers, photographs,  calendar etc. are saved on the micro SD card rather than on the telephone itself. Then once per week copy the micro SD’s  contents to your computer.  (A previous article  dealt with how and why to back up your computer.) When selecting a calendar program for your telephone, select one that syncs through the cloud with a calendar program. I use Cozi Family Organizer and Calengoo both of which sync in the cloud, with Google Calendar, and with Microsoft Outlook.

If you are backing up your smart phone when your computer is not working, email the exported contact files to yourself and save the email. I regularly back up my information and send the computer files to an email account I use only to store my files. When your computer is returned, consider printing out your contact information one every few months. Keep the hard copy in a safe place in case a need for it ever arises.

It is a reality of life that as smart as our smart phones are, they get lost, break and just plain die. As a result, you must have a plan for keeping your information safe. So, the question for you this terrific day is, what is your plan to prepare for the loss of  your smart phone?

Janeane Davis

View Comments

  • I admit that I do not back up my phone and computer files like I should--it's something that I really need to start doing. But I am good at keeping a hard copy of everything--I'm very old-school! lol

    • Everyone laughs at us :Old Schoolers" until the internet goes down, there is a power outage or some other emergency. Stay old school!

  • I backup my contacts with gmail, I use Google calendar so regardless of where I use it, phone, computer ...etc it's always there :-) I like the idea though of printing out a hard copy for safekeeping.

    • I know!!!! Google Calendar is an amazing tool. I just created a new calendar with it for my advertising work on my blog. I like having each area of life color coded to be readily identifiable.

  • Good tips! It sounds like common sense but we have come to rely way too heavily on technology these days. I can't remember the last time I backed up my phone. It's on my to-do list now.

    • Ms. Espi you are right, it is common sense, but we are all guilty of ignoring it and then crying when disasater strikes!

  • So relevant and needed reminder for us all. I do not do a weekly, but I do back up content at least twice a month. I incorporate using Dropbox into backing up photos, videos and docs from the phone.

    • I have used Dropbox but not for telephone back up. That is a great idea.

  • I don't have a plan for the loss of my smart phone. If something happens to it, I will simply cry. That's it. Tears. Seriously though, thanks for the reminder to back up my information. I need to get on that right away!

    • Of course you will cry, but then you have to do something! So good, get to the backing up!

  • I back up my phone to my computer about once every week or two. I've had my phone stolen before and hadn't backed it up months before...not a good place to be.

    • Christine, some of those lessons we learn the hard way, we really learn and do not forget!

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