Some might consider it a life hack, but keeping photos in your phone can just be part of your usual routine, and you wouldn’t believe just how useful it can be! Having some important information stored on your phone for emergency situations will not only save you time from having to try to find everything you need, but also any stress or frustration.
Your phone’s gallery can end up being a place where you keep backups, and it can end up playing the role of a file cabinet, GPS locator, for eventual legal documents, and more! Just a word of caution: make sure your passwords are strong as most phone galleries can be connected to the cloud or shared with your other devices. You wouldn’t want others to have access to your information.
Otherwise, we have gathered the most important things you should have pictures of on your phone so you can keep a clear head in any emergency!
It’s always good to have a photo of your valid ID with you, no matter where you are. Since a lot of us tend to keep our IDs in our wallets, if we lose our wallets, or worse, if they get stolen, we have lost our way of identifying ourselves. When in a pinch, you can always rely on the photo you keep on your phone while you wait for your replacement to arrive.
Just keep in mind that a picture of a driver’s license is not going to do you any favors if you are stopped in traffic. The police officer will need a bit more than just a picture, so be careful not to drive if you lose your ID.
Finding your car
This may be the oldest trick in the book, but we can’t deny it is one of the most useful ones that was ever invented! After you park your car, you should take a picture of it so you can easily identify it.
Be it that it is a rental car, and you don’t want to accidentally lose it, or that you are parking in an unknown place, it is easiest to have a photo of it on your phone. Especially if you get the car in the frame or at the exact level and section of the parking lot.
Don’t let anyone saying this is an “old man’s trick” deter you from doing it. It’s always better to take a picture than to walk aimlessly in a huge parking lot because you forgot where the car was. It also brings a sense of comfort to know that you don’t have to worry about finding your car.
Individual photos of children or other family members
This one is also extremely important if you travel with a bigger group and happen to be in a crowd. You should have a photo of the people you are with on your phone, since getting lost in a crowd can end up being quite distressing.
Having such a picture with you will help you identify the people more easily if you get assistance from a security guard or from other people around you. After all, showing them a photo is ten times easier than trying to explain what a person looks like.
Printer model number
What’s worse than needing to print something and realizing that your printer has run out of ink? Going to Staples or any other hardware store and seeing about another 10 printers that look exactly the same. The horrible thing is that they all use different types of ink cartridges.
And rather than getting annoyed and frantically trying to find out what printer you have, it will be a million times easier to just check your phone’s gallery for the picture with your printer’s model number! So do yourself a favor and keep such a picture on your phone so you don’t get annoyed when you’re in a time crunch.
Auto Insurance Card
With how society has evolved, most of us never leave the house without our phones. It would have been unimaginable over ten years ago, but now it’s a staple in everyone’s eyes that it happens more often for you to forget your wallet than your phone. That’s why when it comes to insurance, you wouldn’t want to be caught without it in case of an accident!
And since you have your phone with you, you should consider having a photo of it in your gallery, even if you have the evidence in your car. You can never know if you have the latest, up-to-date version in the glove compartment, and having to scavenge through it for the papers when you’re distraught from the accident or eventual physical injuries is no fun! The photo will save you a lot of pain.
Bank routing and account numbers
Unfortunately, there are hundreds of identity thefts and billions of dollars lost due to bank fraud every year. And it can happen even if you are careful not to fall for any of those fake emergency telephone schemes. If you notice any unusual activity on your account, you should take a screenshot of your account and routing number so that you can freeze your accounts as soon as possible with your bank.
And it is useful even when we aren’t talking about any criminal activities! It’s so much easier to have the information to pay by phone when you don’t want to add to the bills you already have on your credit card. And, let’s be honest, most of us don’t know that information by heart.
Medical and dental insurance cards
It happens to even the most careful among us. You end up at the emergency room or at the dentist’s office with an emergency, and you don’t have your insurance cards with you. Or worse, they have expired. Not only is it embarrassing, but it is such a grueling process to find out what the mixup is or to explain to the person who will bill you that, no, you don’t owe them that money.
Save yourself the headache and always keep an updated picture of both your medical and dental insurance cards on your phone!
Have you ever rented a car and then ended up spending way more than any of us wanted to admit looking for that car? It happened to us more than once, and we are sure it happens to everyone who rents a car. A good course of action is to always take pictures of the car you rent, both after you have just rented it and before you return it.
This way, not only do you have photos of what the car looks like, but you can always prove that you left the car in one piece when you returned it. Let’s be honest, bumpers are commonly very scratched or even damaged, and none of us want to be the ones who has to pay for the repair when we’re not at fault.
The hotel or AirBnB you’re staying at
It’s beneficial to take these pictures in two ways. Not only will your location be geotagged because you’re using your phone to take the photo, but if you are in a non-English-speaking country, it’s way easier to just show the picture of the location to a cab driver. It’s going to make asking for directions way easier and less of a hassle. Plus, you won’t get lost on the streets.
VIN number and license plate
If you’re one of those lucky people that can memorize their license plate number, you might not need this picture. But for the rest of us who aren’t that good at memorizing it, having a picture of your license plate can be a life saver, especially when you’re at a pay station in a parking lot.
In a not-so-funny example, having a photo of your car when it goes missing, along with a VIN number, may just help you retrieve your car faster, since you get to notify the authorities quicker.
Computer serial number
Maybe you didn’t know, but each piece of hardware or software you have in your house comes with a special serial number, made out of letters and numbers. This is so that every component can be identified easily, especially if you need to check something about it. Think of it as a fingerprint, or even like a batch number for perishable items.
Having a picture of your computer’s serial number, especially if it is a laptop, will help you fill out the report for missing items faster. And in case there’s nothing criminal happening, if your device breaks, you might need to call technical support. It’s way easier to read the number off of a photo than try to make up the, at times, microscopical number printed on the device.
You should always make sure you have a picture of your passport on your phone, especially if you travel outside of the United States. Not only should you have photos of your passport, but you should also travel with another means of identifying yourself and a photocopy of your passport.
In the worst-case scenario, if you lose it or it gets stolen along with your bag, when you go to the embassy, you will need to be able to identify yourself in some way, to prove you are a U.S. citizen.
A new place that you fell in love
You don’t need to keep in mind every detail of every place you have been to that has left you wishing you could go back. No matter if it’s a small shop, a restaurant, a pub, or a city you happened to pass by, you can easily take a photo so you can have the memory stored forever on your phone.
What’s best about this is the fact that if you have your location turned on, your photos will be geotagged precisely. Be it in an app or in the data on the picture with coordinates, you will be able to find out the name of that amazing “local only” known pub.
Credit cards (as well as a customer service number)
If you lose a credit or ATM card, you can easily freeze or cancel it with a phone call or, more recently, through the apps. However, if you have multiple cards and you held them all in the wallet that just went missing, it will be a very stressful event.
Not only will you have lost all your cards, cash and potentially an ID card, but you will be stressed and emotional. You are bound to be annoyed. Having a picture with all of them on your phone will save you all the extra headaches associated with having to remember all your cards.
Since we’re talking about the things you should have on you at all times, read all about the items you should not keep in your wallet!