The number of times we’ve parked at a flea market or festival and gotten completely lost looking for our cars at the end of the day are countless. And how often have you forgot your ID when heading out to the bar? Sure you can email yourself all sorts of info (and then spend 10 minutes searching your inbox on your phone), you can write things down and type notes, but some pieces of crucial information are just better recorded as photos.
Because a lot of this information is incredibly sensitive to your identity, it’s absolutely crucial to activate the passcode feature on your phone. And be sure to create a separate photo album for these snapshots so it’s super easy to get to whenever you need it!
1. Driver’s License: This is an obvious one. Always keep a shot of your license so you can prove yourself! But really, this is super handy for filling out forms and if you forget your ID at a bar.
2. Parking: Take a snapshot of your car that shows either the parking lot info or a street corner in the background. If you can’t get a good shot like that, drop a pin in Google Maps and take a screenshot.
3. Insurance Cards: Yes, you could type all of this info into Notes but that would take more time than you’ve got, and you never know what numbers and codes are actually needed. Take a shot of the front and back of your insurance cards and you’ll always have what you need. Doctor’s offices will sometimes even let you email a photo of your card to them if you forgot to bring it.
4. Prescriptions & Medications: Make sure to take a photo that shows the names, dosages, expiration date, doctor’s phone number, etc.
5. License Plate & Car Stickers: Get up from your desk, go out to the garage, and do this right now! Even if you think you know your license plate, it’s good to have a photo on hand. Also grab photos of your VIN, car registration, car insurance, etc.
6. Rental Car Condition: This is definitely a travel pro tip. Whenever you rent a car, be sure to take snapshots of every imperfection or ding you see. Typically, your rental place will write these things down but it’s good to have photographic proof. Also take a photo of the mileage and gas gauge.
7. Passport: Always good to have a backup of this, and also helpful for having your passport number and expiration date on hand when booking future travel.
8. Frequent Flyer Numbers: Speaking of travel, it’s good practice to keep snapshots of your frequent flyer cards and those that belong to your significant other. You could also keep these in Notes or Evernote but photos can be easier to navigate while on the phone.
9. Photos of Yourself from the ’90s: We specifically recommend a shot in a flannel and overalls (yes, that happened at Medieval Times) and one in a Minnie Mouse costume. We promise, you’ll find yourself MMSing these to friends way more often than you might think.
10. Baggage Claim + Coat Check Tickets: If you’re checking your coat, you might not have anywhere to keep the tag that goes with it. Take a snapshot! Same goes for baggage claim, especially if you’ve got a lot of connections ahead of you. Too much paper can get annoying and it’s always good to have a backup if your bags get lost.
11. Tech Serial Numbers: Every time you get a new piece of tech, snap a photo of the box with the serial number showing. This will prove super helpful when you need repairs and means you don’t have to hang on to the box. If it’s not on the box, shoot a photo of the serial number on the actual device.
12. Tech Cable Locations: If you’ve got a complex audio video setup that your older brother’s set up for you many moons ago, be sure to take a photo of it. Also add little grocery tags with labels so you can keep track of everything.
13. Paint Lids & Cans: Whenever you paint a new room in your house, be sure to snap a photo of the paint lid so you get the exact name, make, and number of the color you used. Great to have on hand when you’re at the hardware store, and helpful for updating decor.
14. DIY & Design Inspiration: If you’re a frequent shopper at Anthropologie, Restoration Hardware, or any number of local design stores, you likely find yourself thinking “I should make that” quite often. Snap photos of DIY inspiration so you remember what certain things looked like, as well as interior design ideas for your home.
15. Shipment Tracking Numbers: Every time you ship a package, snap a photo of the tracking number. Yes, it’s on your receipt but it’s likely that will end up crumpled up in the bottom of your purse.
16. Board Game Positions: Got a serious weekend of gaming with the folks ahead of you? Snap a photo of everyone’s position on the board if you’re doing a marathon Monopoly session.
17. Beauty Products at the Salon: If there are products you love when you get your hair cut, makeup done, or nails did, snap a photo of the exact products your stylist uses. That way you can buy them online on Amazon or Sephora for a fraction of the salon price. And if it’s makeup, snap a photo of yourself wearing said products as well.
18. Wines + Wine Bottles: If you’re like us, you almost always forget what types of wine you like. You go to wine tastings and then have no idea which ones you liked. Snap photos of wine with the appropriate bottle so you can remember what to buy next time you’re at the liquor store. Same goes for beers and cocktails (get a shot of the ingredient list).
What snapshots do you keep in your phone’s photo library at all times? Let us know your tips and tricks below or say hi on Twitter.