From ID to COVID-19 vaccination card, 9 photos to keep on your phone.
Your phone’s photo library is useful for more than selfies and food photos for Instagram.
Most of us have enough screenshots, memes, and other unwanted stuff that clogs things up that it’s hard to even see the photos that we need to access quickly. I’ve put together an easy guide to cleaning up the mess. Tap or click here for the simple trick I use to clean up my photos.
I have a shortcut below for keeping track of your most important photos, but there’s another easy way to find, for example, that beautiful photo you took at the beach in Hawaii three years ago. Tap or click for the photo search tip everyone should know.
Your life will be better organized with these images at your fingertips:
Your COVID-19 vaccination record
It’s helpful to have it on hand in case you need to show it to a healthcare provider, restaurant, or travel purposes. It’s also safer than keeping it in your wallet, where it can crumble or get damaged.
Don’t want your card to get lost in a sea of ââimages? Follow the steps below:
If you are using an iPhone, open Remarks and press the Camera icon > Scan a document. Your phone’s camera will open. Take a photo of your card. When you’re happy with your photo, tap the three dots in the corner and select Pin. That way he’s always at the front of the stack.
Did you know that you also lock your notes with a password? I would suggest doing this for anything you don’t want others to get their hands on. Tap or click to password protect a note. (Scroll to number 6.)
It’s that easy on Android. Open the Google Drive app and tap Add, so To analyse. Take your photo, then tap the three dots to add it to Tracked documents.
This well-rated Android app, Private Notepad, is another smart way to protect your private information.
Your driver’s license and other identity documents
For most people, a driver’s license or state ID is their primary form of identification. It fits easily in a wallet or purse and should always be with you. But there may be times when you do not have it with you, for example when you are hiking.
That’s why it’s a good idea to store them on your phone. Make sure to use the above steps to lock it with a password.
Your state may offer an application for your driver’s license or ID. Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming are among the states that offer digital licensing options or pilot programs. Check official state government websites for more information on how to apply.
Your car’s license plate, VIN number and car insurance card
Picture this: you are shopping and when you return to where you know you parked your car is gone. In the panic, you won’t remember details like your license plate number. Instead of going through documents when you get home, go outside now and take a few photos.
It’s smart information to have on hand before you need it. Don’t forget your auto insurance card. If you step into a fender bender, you can retrieve the physical card from your glovebox, but that might not always be possible.
Your medical and dental insurance cards
True story: A few times a year my son would call me and ask me to send him a copy of his insurance card to avoid the compulsory health insurance costs of the university. I understand, it’s a pain to keep them with you, and you might not always have the physical copy with you.
My son’s requests stopped once I told him to save the photo to his camera roll and “favor” it. Now he can go to his photo gallery. It’s faster than waiting for me.
Your phone is always with you, but your wallet may not be. I like that I don’t have to dig through fragile paper cards to retrieve my insurance information when filling out forms.
GET INTELLIGENT HEALTH: Free online tools that reveal if you’re overpaying for medical care or hospital bills
Your rental car before and after
If you are traveling to a city where a car is essential, you are renting. Your very first step once you get to the car, before you even turn it on, is to take pictures.
Remember that the rental company will inspect the vehicle from top to bottom after you return it. If it finds any stains, scratches, or dents, you may be responsible for paying for the repair. You always want a record of the condition of the car before you drive a mile. Also take a photo of the odometer.
Take photos once you are in the parking lot and then drop it off. Lucky for you, digital photos contain metadata with the date and time you took the photos. All the evidence you need is there if anything should happen.
Soon the road?Here are five smart travel tips to keep you safe. Say it with me: don’t connect to public Wi-Fi.
Your Airbnb or other rental property
Just like with a rental car, you are most likely responsible for damage to an Airbnb, VRBO, or other rental property. After collecting my bags inside, I take a photo in each room of my rental. You can zoom in on the damage, like a large mark on the wall, for extra backup.
Be sure to take a selfie while standing in front of the rental. When you take a photo with your smartphone, it is geotagged. This means it’s easy to get directions using the Map app on your phone or showing the address to your Uber or Lyft driver.
No need to display the rental property list in your email or in an app every time you go out.
Bonus Tip: Tech Refresh is my fun and fast-paced podcast on all things tech.
Check out my “Tech Refresh” podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or your favorite podcast player.
Every week, I sit down with my smart and tech savvy friends Allie and Ben to talk about the latest tech news, goofy stories online and more. We’re trying to crash into fake news headlines, and Ben always has a stellar product review. It’s like sitting in the kitchen with your friends.
Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for “Tech Refresh”. You’ll love it!
Check out all the latest tech on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s biggest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.
The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.