Storing your entire life in the cloud? Maybe not such a good idea.

We’ve gotten pretty lazy lately. There was a time when if you wanted your calendar and contacts kept safe, you literally had to make copies of them. Real paper copies. Like, you had a paper book of addresses and if you lost it you were up a creek. That’s why you had people who literally kept old address books in a drawer until they died.

Today you don’t have to worry about that stuff. If you have an Android or iOS phone, all your contacts and calendar data is backed up on massive servers and accessible from pretty much any device on the planet. You’d think you would never have to worry about having a backup, right?


What if you accidentally delete all your contacts? What if someone hacks your account and deletes them? What if there’s some really bizarre server problem and your stuff just disappears? It happens, really.

So don’t let it happen. No matter what you’re using, there’s a way to back it up. If you’re using Google Contacts, export them to CSV by going to on a PC or Mac. If you’re using iCloud, you can export to a VCF file using or if you’re on a Mac, using Mac OS Contacts. If you’re storing your contact information in Outlook, it;s very easy to export as well. Take that exported file, put it on a flash drive and put it away somewhere. Hopefully you’ll never need it, but if you do you’ll have it.

It’s also not a bad idea to do that whole export thing every 6 months or so, unless you’re locked up in a castle and haven’t made any new friends. This is the sort of thing that will really come back to save you because let’s be honest… you don’t know anyone’s email address or phone number, right? You know you don’t.

So take this tip and maybe you’ll think it’s a massive waste of time but then again… maybe just maybe it could be the most important thing you do today.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.