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:

What's your Android keyboard of choice?

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SwiftKey is the big winner, with more users than the rest combined. We understand why, because that word prediction is so good it's scary!


Reader comments

This week's sidebar poll: Where do you store your contacts?


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?

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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. :)

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

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.

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.

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....

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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)

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.

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

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.

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.