Avoid running out of juice when you’re on the go

08/24/2014 8:00 PM

08/19/2014 11:41 PM

We’ve all been in a situation where it’s getting late in the day, and you glance at the battery level on your phone and realize your phone’s going to die soon.

So how can you keep the power on?

It takes some forethought.

First is to put your phone on the charger when you go to bed.

You always want to walk out of your house in the morning with a 100 percent charge.

I have an iHome clock radio on my nightstand that has a dock for my phone. The last thing I do before bed is make sure the phone is in the dock.

My car has a phone mount that has a charging cable so I can charge the phone as I drive. I don’t need to do this in the morning, but I make it a habit to put the phone in the mount whenever I’m driving, whether I plug in the charger or not.

The mount enables me to see maps or glance at who’s calling before I answer with my Bluetooth audio system.

So if I have a lunch meeting, I'll plug in to get even a 10 percent to 20 percent boost on the way to lunch.

I keep a phone dock on my desk at work, and I try to keep the phone in the dock when I’m at my desk.

So basically my phone has a charger available 24 hours a day, but I realize not everyone is like me.

If you’re not in your car or your office, you have to provide your own power.

If you regularly run down your phone’s battery during the day, there are two items you should buy.

The first is an external battery. I’ve seen external batteries in all sizes and shapes. Some are as small as a lipstick and some are as large as a paperback book.

They are rechargeable and are charged up with a USB cable or wall plug. The bigger the battery, the more power it will provide. Larger ones can charge your phone four or more times. Smaller ones might just let you get half a charge.

Of course, you'll need the right cable with the battery. I carry the Anker Astro 3 ($45.99 from Amazon) in my bag. It has a 12000mAh battery that will charge the average smartphone six times.

The second item you should buy is a battery case for your phone. I realize a battery case is not available for all phones, but companies like Mophie have cases for the most popular Apple, Samsung and HTC phones. The case has an extra battery inside that you turn on when your phone needs a charge.

Mophie’s Juice Packs run about $99.95 and can provide about one charge for your phone.

I keep a charged up Juice Pack in my car’s glove compartment.

If you can’t get a battery case for your phone, buy an external battery and keep it handy. Hopefully, you won’t run out of juice again.

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