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How to backup your cellphone

June 13, 2006 12:21 IST

Most of us, today, store more that just phone numbers on our cell phones. Images, Mp3s, e-mails, text messages are all stored on this device.

In Don't trust your PC! Create a backup, we explained how one can create a backup to protect data. Ever thought you might need to do the same with your cell phone? No? Then maybe you should think what life would be like if you lost your cell phone or it got stolen.

Delhi based Seema Middya, director, Training Alternatives Pvt Ltd, says losing a cell phone is a terrible experience. "It was like losing a part of my brain because I did not have my essential phone numbers stored anywhere else," she says.

Here's how to create a backup.

i. Address book in e-mail

It's fairly simple: Once you log into your e-mail account, go to the 'Contacts' section of the menu and store the e-mail address, snail mail address and phone numbers. You can even upload a favourite picture of the person.

Gmail is a great e-mail option as you can create groups for your contacts ie: Office contacts, friends, batch mates etc. You can store about 4,000 phone numbers and addresses in a contact book.



ii. Electronic/ digital diary

Digital diaries can usually store about 32-256 KB of data, which is sufficient to store all your telephone numbers and contact details. You can even use this tool as an organiser and schedule appointments.

Casio, Sharp and Videocon are the popular brands in this category. A 128 KB diary from Casio is available for Rs 1,200 and can store up to Rs 3,000 phone numbers, with names and addresses.



iii. Excel sheet

How about creating a basic Excel sheet to store the contact information of important people? This is one of the most simple and underrated methods.

"My background in risk management teaches me that simplicity is a key factor while planning for contingency. I find Excel sheets really useful," says Delhi based Avikal Dicxit, a director with Insurance Intelligence.

1. Create separate worksheets and name the sheet based on groups like: office contacts, friends, business partners, clients, etc.

2. Create special filters on each worksheet to look up important numbers. Select a row on which you want to create filters. Choose the 'Data' option from the menu list at the top. Select 'Filter' and then click on 'Auto Filter'. You can now choose selective information from a list of contacts.

3. Use the CTRL F (Press the Control & F keys together on the keyboard) to search any number or contact.



iv. Mobile phone software

Most cell phone providers offer software such as PC synchronisation, which will enable you to transfer your cell phone contact list back to a computer and create a backup. You can read the brochure or contact the cell phone manufacturer for details regarding the additional software you will need to be able to do this.

The Nokia PC suite is one popular option you can download. It allows you to manage your contact list, music and messages and you can transfer data between your phone and PC. The PC suite works on all Bluetooth enabled models of Nokia, like the 6310.

You can even download Float's mobile agent. It currently supports only Sony Ericsson phones. But a newer version which will be launched in the future will support Nokia, Samsung and some other brands too.



Cell phone don'ts

  • Do not take out your SIM card from the phone and put it back again and again. It may get damaged and the phone book may get deleted.
  • Never operate the phone during a virus infection or it may enter and damage your SIM and you will lose your phonebook entries and whatever else you have stored on your SIM card. If this happens, you will have to get a duplicate SIM from your operator. This does not come free. Airtel, for instance, charges about Rs 245 for a duplicate SIM.
  • Never accept incoming connections or files unless you are expecting them.

Do you have any ideas/tips/shortcuts on how to create a backup? Why don't you share it with us.

Part I: Don't trust your PC? Create a backup

Sunder works as a trainer with a leading global BPO and can be reached at

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Sunder Ramachandran