December 11, 2018 at 8:04 PM by Dr. Drang
This morning I got an email from one of my business partners. She’s out of town on a job and needed our FedEx number sent to another lab so they can ship some samples to us. No problem, I thought, I’m sure I have it on my phone. But no, that was one of those things I always meant to save on my phone but never got around to. My partner thought she had it on her phone, too.
Here are the things I have gotten around to saving to my phone:1
- Social security numbers for myself (which is kind of silly—I never need to look it up) and my family. This includes my mother and father, both of whom are now dead.
- Driver’s license numbers for myself and my family. Also photos of the front and back of my license.
- Make, model, year, license, and registration numbers for our cars. Also images of the registration documents.
- Bank account, routing, and other numbers and codes for personal and business accounts.
- FEINs for businesses.
- My TSA Precheck code.
- The number, expiration date, and a photo of my passport.
Some of these may seem silly, but I’ve made use of almost all of them at one time or another. A couple of years ago, when my mom moved to a nursing home and I needed to close out certain services at her house, I learned that the phone service was still in my dad’s name. She’d never changed it when he died ten years earlier. So I used his SSN (along with my grandmother’s maiden name, which wasn’t saved to my phone but didn’t need to be) to impersonate him with the phone company and get the account closed. That was a little weird.
(I have since learned that friends my age commonly pretend to be their aging parents to deal with customer service reps. I am, however, the only one I know who pretended to be a dead parent.)
As I look through the list, I see that I still haven’t added things I’ve always meant to. In particular, apart from the FedEx number, I should be keeping the account numbers for various insurance policies.
Up until recently, I’ve had (or intended to have) all of this stuff in secure notes in 1Password. As part of my shift to a more iCloud-based system, I’ve copied them over to locked notes in the Notes app. There have been advantages and disadvantages to the change.
- Secure notes in iOS 1Password won’t accept images. When I wanted to add a photo to a secure note, I had to be at my Mac to do so. Given that all the photos I wanted to add—typically cards or documents scanned with Readdle’s Scanner Pro—came from my phone, this was annoying bit of back-and-forth. On the positive side, once the image was in the secure note, I could see it on my phone or iPad.
- Unlocking Notes on iOS can can have its own back-and-forth annoyance. Sometimes the app is perfectly happy to unlock after looking at my face or scanning my fingerprint. But sometimes, it wants me to enter the iCloud Keychain password I’ve associated with Notes. Which means I have to unlock the Keychain and select the password to fill into the text field. Often, the just-unlocked note still won’t show itself to me until I go back to the list of notes and select it again. I’m sure there’s some logic behind this, but I have no idea what it is.
And iPad and Macs, but it’s mostly when I’m out with just my phone that I need them. ↩