The essential smartphone lost and found

Photo of a smartphone in a purple case, held by a woman in a white shirt
Essential smartphone: indispensible tool for communication, location and administration

So I had a busy morning. So did my smartphone, getting its pretty little self lost and found.

  1. 6:30 walk and swim at Freyberg Beach with our local Wednesday swim group. (Delicious.)
  2. Took out the essential smartphone to show someone a photo as we dried ourselves
  3. put the essential smartphone on a picnic table instead of putting it back into my daypack
  4. walked home with the group
  5. unpacked the day pack: no smartphone
  6. had a think
  7. emailed friend in the swim group
  8. checked the Find My Phone app on my computer and saw that the phone was still in Oriental Bay (awesome tool!)
  9. ate some toast (needed energy)
  10. walked back to Freyberg Beach, no phone there (of course), checked with the ice cream place (no phone but someone had reported it and returned it to the Freyberg Gym)
  11. walked into the gym without scanning the QR or showing my vaccine pass (because no phone)
  12. asked the manager, who delivered the phone saying with astonishment, “How on earth did you lose THAT?”
  13. walked home, bought a coffee on the way to celebrate, home by 9 am
  14. had a shower, tidied up, decided to record the momentous event as a blog post.
photo of woman showing the interior of a smartphone case holding cards, money, etc.
What do you lose if you lose the essential smartphone?

What gets lost with the essential smartphone and case?

What’s in the case? More vital items for managing my life.

  • Gold card, credit card and cash card
  • vaccination pass
  • a little cash
  • business card (hastily added a few minutes ago)
  • supermarket discount card and Snapper transport card

My smartphone is essential for communication, location and administration:

  • primary communication tools: texts, phone, email
  • contacts
  • time, date, calendar
  • microphone and recordings of interviews
  • camera
  • connection with watch and hearing aids
  • books, music, radio, and similar fancy things that I can manage without (for a while)

To check on leaving the apartment

Life is trickier for everyone at present than it used to be: the pandemic and all that. What’s more, it gets trickier as you get older. If I feel hustled or rushed, that’s dangerous. So on leaving the apartment I routinely check that I have all these items:

  1. for ears: hearing aids
  2. for eyes: glasses
  3. for nose: tissues
  4. for mouth (and nose): mask
  5. for brain: the essential smartphone
  6. for peace of mind: stove off, heater off, door locked


Finally I let myself step out of the apartment and go on my merry way.

Only to leave my beloved smartphone on a picnic bench by a city beach.

How to reduce the danger now

Another list? Well, what do you reckon?

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18 thoughts on “The essential smartphone lost and found

  1. Ally Bean says:

    I’ve never heard of an essential smartphone, but I can see it’s nifty. What a great way to stay organized, except when you lose it of course. Glad it’s back with you where it belongs.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      It’s a worry when your data wanders off.

  2. Keys. Don’t forget the keys!

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      Na. Just a number code…

      1. Then don’t forget the number!!!!!

  3. My goodness! I’m so glad you got the phone back.

  4. Cathy Cade says:

    We used to have a little mantra before leaving the house for a weekend or longer – ‘keys, money, mobile, eyes, teeth, ears… In time we added pills and paperwork. These days I have a printed list.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      That makes sense, Cathy. And masks…

      1. Cathy Cade says:

        Oh this was well before masks… I was well onto lists before masks came into the picture

  5. Alan Ralph says:

    That was very fortunate that someone did the right thing and handed it in to someplace where it would be safe until you could collect it! Especially with your credit and debit cards and ID in there too, very tempting for thieves as those could be used to conduct fraud or even identity theft.

    I managed to lose my mobile phone years ago, it slipped out of my pocket on the train on the commute home, and I didn’t realise until I got home. Luckily someone else on the train saw me leave without it, picked it up – it was one of the old Nokia candy-bar phones – found and dialled my home number and left a message. I called them back, gave them my address and a few days later it turned up in the mail. I never got to thank them in person, alas.

    These days I get a bit paranoid about making sure I have my keys, wallet and my phone with me before I go out, and have them secured and out of sight. I also sometime double-check that doors are locked and windows shut. I don’t keep my phone and cards / ID together in the same case, partly out of concern they could be stolen together, and I do like to keep some notes and coins with me just in case so a wallet is a must.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      We all seem to have methods of leaving the house safely. And in the past so casual about all that! Cash card and keys and away we went

  6. Mr. Wapojif says:

    I have quite anxious OCD so if I leave the flat (which is rare these days, huzzah for solitude) I check my keys (at least 5 times), then lock the door. Then I become convinced I didn’t lock the door, so I make sure the door is locked many times. Then I think the door probably is still unlocked, but I revisit and the door is still there. Then I check my keys. Then I wonder where my wallet is.

    I did a review on the Temple Grandin film recently. That is me.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      I feel for you. I became far more neurotic over stove and locks after burning out a kettle twice in a British consulate and almost losing my job.

      1. Mr. Wapojif says:

        Oh, blast! I must say, I don’t particularly like using kettles. It always seems like they’ll explode.

      2. Rachel McAlpine says:

        Nowadays they kindly switch themselves off.

      3. Mr. Wapojif says:

        Politeness is always the way forward.

  7. cedar51 says:

    I’ve a system – but definitely no list – most of the time it works! Except when I change outing bags!!!

    Good to hear some nice Samaritan took it somewhere safe…

    I’ve that little folded card affair as a back up with my registered V/Pass thing, read somewhere if your battery has died in your phone, the pass won’t open.

    1. Rachel McAlpine says:

      A system, a Samaritan, and a backup slip of cardboard.

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