Keeping track of the names and numbers can be quite the task. How do you tackle it?

Your contacts, and keeping the list of them safe and sound, is a pretty big deal for some of us. I've got a couple thousand, and that's after paring things down to just the people I might want to get in touch with one day. I'm sure a lot of you have even more. 

A smart phone is a convenient place and method to keep track of them all. And, just like everything else, there are several different places to store them. Most of us here will probably use Google to store the email addresses and phone numbers of the people we want to talk to, but that's certainly not a requirement. You can store all that data on your phone's memory, or even on your SIM card -- provided you keep the number reasonable.

So, we're curious. Tell us where you keep your contacts, and be sure to hit the comments to tell us why, or any interesting tales of woe that you may have. There's a poll over to the right, and you can also find it after the break. Let us know!

A quick look at last week's poll results:

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There are 81 comments

A895 says:

Starting to ween myself off of Google services. Use my SD card instead.

Shamrock says:

Don't do it! It's evil out there! :p

EeZeEpEe says:

What if it gets corrupted or your phone is lost/stolen?

A895 says:

Has not happened yet. Still have Verizon's contact backup.

mwara244 says:

I'd trust Google over Verizon anyday.

A895 says:

I'm not going to put all my eggs in one basket. See my comment below.

geoff5093 says:

You don't like being able to see your contacts online? Pull up a friends phone number from your work PC if you forget your phone at home?

Synycalwon says:

Don't forget your phone at home! ;) Seriously, not everyone can access their personal stuff at work. We block personal e-mail account access (a lot of other stuff too) for security reasons and HIPAA regulations (to protect PHI - personal health information). :D

l00natic71 says:

I'm going to have call BS on your statement. HIPPA does not mandate that you block external access. If you believe the government,

Synycalwon says:

No, it doesn't mandate that we block access to personal e-mail. But the HIPAA Security Rule requires us to: implement policies and procedures to restrict access to, protect the integrity of, and guard against unauthorized access to e-PHI.

Also see (Risk Analysis and Management topic):

A895 says:

Have no reason for that.

jscarano says:


the1m.polo says:

Um I use Google and all but you sound silly.... check verizon's customer privacy practices vs Google. ..

jhotmann says:

The way I see it, the more eggs I can put in Google's basket the better. Embrace the goog.

A895 says:

I'm weary of putting too much info in one company. I save pics and music in Drop box. Contacts with Verizon. And on Sky drive some other pictures.

A895 says:

And documents with Drive.

Ajanu says:

Why would you do this? Why not at least store docs and music with Drive, pictures and music with Box and docs and pictures with skydrive? If your going through the trouble of having many accounts, why not at least protect yourself against one of those services going down for a little while or permanently?

I get that people are afraid of being tracked, but really if you use plastic to pay for anything, have any rewards cards, look at anything online, you are being tracked. Stored documents that are not child porn, lists of drug deals or videos of you braking the law are the least of your worries.

A895 says:

Don't use Box, and don't use Drive for anything other than documents.

A895 says:

I still have local storage on my micro SD card slot so doing all that isn't that important.

Channan says:

I can understand being nervous about giving one company too much information, but why wouldn't you use Google Music for your music? Even if Google is recording the music you listen to, so what? And you get enough space for 20,000 non-Play Music songs. I still can't believe Google offers that for free.

A895 says:

I have no reason to use Google music. I download and play music locally off of my microSD card.

Channan says:

Then why are you saving them to Dropbox?

A895 says:

For backup just in case I lose my microsd card or something happens to it.

32str8 says:

You seem to be contradicting yourself. Either you trust your MicroSD card or you don't. If you do not backup the same data in more than one location then you will always suffer the single point of failure problem no matter how or who you store it with.

John-Smith says:

You can easily backup your music to google plays music service. It's 100% free and you can back up everything. Pretty simple, plus you can access your music whenever you're logged into your google account anywhere that has internet access.. You could also just not use the service and just leave your music there for backup.

richardsoper says:

You could set up your own cardDAV cloud server using owncloud :D Its pretty easy to do and its totally free. And NO THIS IS NOT AN ADVERTISEMENT!

cowboys2000 says:

On phone

Using VZW Backup


Redundancy is good!

djwyman says:

I do not miss the days when I had to transfer contacts when getting a new phone...Google contacts to me is a god send.

harryg27 says:

Yes absolutely. I don't understand why people wouldn't prefer this method!

Mikey47 says:

Everyone I see a Facebook post that says "got a new phone and lost all my contacts, text me your number" I laugh my butt off!!

I show my wife and kids how to do this as one of the first things when they got a new phone.

JEvoUser says:

LOL me too. Mine have been with Google since the old days on webOS :-)

Channan says:

Don't check Facebook much but I hate when I text somebody after a few months and they reply, "who is this?" Then, "oh, I got a new phone."

It's bad enough when someone loses their phone and don't have their contacts backed up, but when you just buy a new phone and don't even try to transfer your contacts, that's just stupid.

movielover76 says:

Me either, I switch hardware frequently, often have more than 1 phone, as well as tablets etc, It would be a nightmare to manage my contacts without Google contacts. I don't know why anyone would use anything else, especially not storing them on a the phone itself and storing them on the sim is only marginally better.

I don't spend a lot of time worrying about google knowing everything about me, Big Data is here to stay, get used to it lol.

Yup! back then, I thought Bitpim was awesome ... to be able to sync contacts, pictures,wallpapers, put in custom ringtones and sync yahoo calendar...

318sugarhill says:

Exactly. THAT was the worst. Especially with the Moto Razr. (the original one) The only option was to let the store do it, and that was never a trustworthy option, and they would keep your phone for like 3 hours to do it!

I don't care what google does with it. It two seconds all my numbers are there. AND I can get them from a computer if I'm really in a pinch.

Synycalwon says:

Phone storage. I'm just not comfortable having them in the cloud. As to backing them up or transferring between devices I'll export them (typically a vcf file) and/or use MyBackup Pro, both saved to SD card.

Wow. Lotta work for 2013.

Synycalwon says:

It's a little extra effort, but allows me to keep certain information directly within MY control and not out there floating in the cloud somewhere. Security and convenience tend to be inversely proportional; I tend to lean heavily toward security and am willing to accept the subsequent inconvenience of doing so. It works for me. But to each their own. :)

PTzero says:

Google Contacts for me, with that backs everything up and also syncs across my Google Apps and Gmail accounts.

DWR_31 says:

Google and Lookout Security.

Find my phone, make it scream, and save my life.

lion7718 says:

Same with me...Google & Lookout. I also keep a backup on my SD Card.

Don't use Google man. They're trying to take over the world!


derek5l says:

Um.. Yeah that's already happened... And it's lovely.

benXdeath says:

I store my contacts in a little plastic case with screw-on lids, although I rarely "store" them at all. I typically wear them for roughly a month and then just throw them away and pop in a fresh pair. No storing involved.

1LoudLS says:

this is so full of win!

thargic says:

ikeep mine in a case with the disinfecting solution

Google is your friend. I used Android for over a year before I exported my phone contacts and imported them into Google. Now I would not doit any other way.

FreudSlipped says:


I keep a copy on the phone, Google,, Yahoo, on the PC and an external backup drive.

brendilon says:

Primary: Google for personal, Outlook for work.
But I cross backup to both.

LavallavaL says:

Saved to both SIM and SD card. Google is evil, even if they have the best mobile OS and Search engine.

The whole cloud is evil. imagine what will happen if a bunch of fanatical religious conservatives ever get elected and decide to go on a witch hunt... Gay people, un-married couples, people of different faiths will not only become targets, but they will all have conveniently pre-admitted to the newly prohibited behaviors, exposing themselves to the wrath of fanatics. They will be known, and will have no choice but to run on their own, for all their contacts and social klinks will already be known and....

Scuse me, I have to go and put my tinfoil hat now....

Robbzilla says:

It's cute that you attribute evil intentions only to "fanatical religious conservatives". What happens if your precious fanatical atheistic liberals decide to do the same thing, for different reasons? Fanatics are on both sides, and quite frankly, you're foolish to think otherwise. Me? I'm a libertarian. Let the market work itself out and keep out of my business. I'll happily keep out of yours.

318sugarhill says:

We already have fanaticals elected going on witch hunts.....but google is a private company, not a government organization with the data, so you only have to worry about how they are making money with that data. Keep your tinfoil hat on, as I'm sure the government has already collected far more data on you.

And I'll take the liberal fanatics over the religious ones. At least their beliefs are tangible and not an all knowing fairy in the sky require no proof or taxes.

Cybojenix says:

To google! Cyanogenmod doesn't support sim contacts.... Yet ;)

FriendlyPear says: (so voted 'Other') - that allows me to synchronize both contacts and calendars across devices and Windows desktop.

eahinrichsen says:

How do you like I haven't used MS mail in years, but just poking around a bit, I like the interface, and from a completely superficial perspective, I like the domain a lot more than

Weishaupt says:

I use Google Contacts. I really hope for CardDAV and CalDAV to be integrated natively into the next Android Version, so I can use OwnCloud on my own Server.

crabbz says:

Android really should have native support for CardDAV and CalDAV, but in the mean time I'm using CardDAV-sync and CalDAV-sync with a davical server and they are working great. So there is really no need to wait for Android to catch up.

hd2brick says:

Sim card is 250 contacts max, and no ability to personalize contacts, plus do you know how many corrupted Sim cards I've seen.

Phone storage... No.

There's this thing called the cloud, and Google does it very well.

"I personally save my contacts on my nexus 4 to the SD card because I'm scared" said no one ever

You guys are stupid

Channan says:

Haha yeah. You have a much better chance of losing your contacts by losing or damaging your phone and than Google losing your contacts.

medo94 says:

I scan it with google, fast and safe :)

Definitely use Google. I know too many idiots who have Android phones but don't even have their contacts synced with Google. I mean how easy is it to just sign into your account and have all your contacts restored. I flash to many roms to do it any other way. Even if you use another method it can't hurt to back them up with Google also.

tigeryee says:

My mom carries around a phone book that she writes in. After 6 months or so she re writes it on another notepad that she puts in her purse. Drives me insane, I know her phone is crappy flip phone, but she should at least embrace the SIM that I set for her.

ioo says:

Your friend's mom is really get her moneys worth out of that webcam eh?

A895 says:

I shouldn't be surprised how many people put their trust in one company but I can honestly say I cant. Especially I don't like to rely on cloud services, no streaming music, no Google music, rarely touch cloud storage, if only for backups. I use local music off the SD and connect to data service when I need it. Otherwise I stay offline for my battery and for the fact I don't get the best service during school hours.

TheDu9du says:

I have a Nexus 4. I don't think it gave me an option. It was just sincking them all to Google and there was nothing I could do. It was devastating. After all the years fighting the machine. The machine took over my contacts. I'm sure they are in a better place now. They tell me they're in the cloud and I can reach them from pretty much anywhere. I also think it doubled some of them but I haven't got the time or energy to fix that on the desktop browser. I just merged them up on the phone and went with it.

brendilon says:

You can save them to another account if it's linked (i.e. my work account) or to the phone.

SkinsFan1987 says:

I have mine on Google, plus T-Mobile has a backup of its own that it does. So, I'm good either way.

TheDu9du says:

Jerry, you do realize people could vote more than once for this polls? And also that it's not necessary to have a log in for mobile nations for voting. Also, more than likely after one day the poll is done. That last one is just for reference to the last poll. I haven't monitored previous polls.
I do suggest limiting the poll to one per logged in user. It may even help increase the number of registered users.

Saneless says:

Edit: I replied to a completely different post, not sure why this site put it under this article.

jwbekens says:

I store contacts with work Lotus Notes by way of Commontime mNotes on my work computer. It sets up an encrypted MS exchange server that syncs Lotus Notes email, tasks, calendar, contacts, and notes with any smart phone or tablet, including my HP Touchpad.

MarkSeven says:

Google all day.

cooperaaaron says:

Google gets ALL of my info....and I am a happy camper!

c0ldburn3r says:

SIM Card and SD Card... wth are stuck in 1998 or something?

Google all the way.

Ajanu says:

I use google, have done since the first time I bought a phone that wouldn't sync contacts over bluetooth (stupid HTC Hero!).

I have friends who don't even use a google account on their phones, and some who do and have not sync'd their contacts. Is there an easy way to sync every contact on the phone with google? I'm looking for one solution, probably app based that will just dump everything to google regardless of the phone so they don't loose their contacts anymore.

graffixnyc says:

I actually keep my contacts in a 2nd Google account because I don't like that all of my G+ contacts are in my main account to be in my contacts (over 3000 of them) So I have a 2nd account where I only sync contacts (and disable contact syncing in my main account)

Brandonfl86 says:

I use Google primarily because my work building doesn't allow cell phone signals, so I do all of my texting online using Google Voice. It makes it easy to send and receive texts and see who is texting, same for receiving voicemails. Plus I would just much rather have the data stored outside of the device just in case something happens with the device.

rap1 says:

Google. Having them available/synced and editable on the desktop is the most important feature to me. I haven't found anything that handles that well

Arsalan Aly says:

google really secure my contact .... i lost my 2 android in 6 months... but luckily got my contact backup ...

tkong says:

Google. I had a horrible experience once where an old phone freaked out and erased everything (contacts, calendars) so I started using Google for everything (contacts, calendar, gmail) and it makes switching phones easy. Haven't looked back or had any regrets.

intouchapp says:

The problem with Google contacts is that it only syncs contacts stored in that account. On your phone, you see aggregated content from all your contact sources + phone device + SIM. Check out IntouchApp - the new kid on the block for contact management across mobile platforms (Android, iOS, BB, BB10, etc.). . Just install the app and securely backup / sync all your contacts to the cloud. Install IntouchApp on any other devices and login to get synced contacts to the new device in minutes! Plus, get auto-updating contact details of your friends on your phone - Say bye bye to manually managing your contacts.

EricKronthal says:

Another way to keep your list of email contacts safe is to use a hardware-based encryption product like TrustChip. This type of product will protect your Android phone from IP Spoofing as well as other types of attacks. If you are interested, you can read more about protection from host file hijacking here: