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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?