Organize Your Phone
If you love using planners, color coding, and organization, you're in the right place. There is something extremely calming about sitting down and organizing various things in my life. So much of what happens throughout the world is beyond our control, but not this. This is something we can manage no matter what is happening. I'm holding on to that little bit of control and leaning on it to get me through the toughest days of quarantine.
I am that person that has my apps in folders based on their file type or what I use them for. You're either like "yes, my kinda person. I get it" or you think I'm a psychopath. I have over 100 apps on my phone at this moment. I need them to be organized.
Over the last few weeks, I've gotten a little lax with my organization so today I made it a point to sit down and fix that. I also realized that there are probably some apps I can get rid of, so like any other Type A personality I started with a list.
Make a List of Your Apps
I did this using Microsoft Excel and then made a second column that listed the category of the app. Converted these columns into a table and used the sorting option to group the apps loosely by their categories.
Declutter the Junk
My next step was to delete all the apps I no longer have use for. I do a lot with photo/video editing because of my work in social. New apps are coming out daily and I don't always delete old apps as I find one that is more effective. There's also old games on my phone that I haven't played in months, I got rid of those too.
Create Folders Based on Your Categories
Group your apps together in folders based on the main categories you put together in the first step. If you don't have too many apps, this might be as far as you need to go with organizing your phone. Some of you may need to branch off into creating additional categories that either act as sub-categories or blend categories together based on functionality. For example, because I work in social media, I have a lot of apps directing at managing social. I have a folder for social media, as well as a business folder. In my business folder, I also keep my business expense apps, a mileage tracker, and my web chat manager.
Some of your apps will not fit into categories and are best suited floating free on your screen. I keep my Messages, Contacts, Calendar, BAND, and Podcast apps free, with Safari, Music, E-mail, and Phone pinned to the bottom of my screen.
📷 - anything that captures photos/videos
Social - personal social media apps
Business - expense apps, mileage tracker, page managers, social scheduling apps, etc.
Editing - photo/video editing
Documents - cloud storage programs, PDF scanner, and other office stuff
🏈 & 🎵- fantasy sports, team, and ticket apps
💰- banking, stocks, and credit cards
Food - delivery and mobile ordering
Games - distractions folder
Health & Fitness - workout and activity trackers
Travel - maps, ride share, airline, and cruising
Shopping - stores and discounts
Utilities - my miscellaneous folder
I also like to keep my home screen clutter-free - big shock there, I bet! I keep Messages, Contacts, 📷folder, and my calendar on the home screen. Everything else is booted to the next screen. My theory here is: Why would I bother picking a cute home screen if I never see the actual picture? I rest my case there.
Additional Ways to Organize Your Phone
Manage Your Notifications/Permissions
Sometimes when we download apps, we just click yes to everything so we can use the app as quick as possible without restrictions. Later, when we're getting a billion notifications or our batteries are dying because we have every permission under the sun open for every app, we regret that. Use this organizational kick to review which apps you're accepting notifications for, which apps have access to your camera/audio, and which apps you have location services on for.
There are certain apps I have to keep all of my notifications on for. Every social app, for instance. Because I work in social, I'm never fully off the clock. If someone has a question or is heated up about a recent experience and they reach out via social, it's typically time sensitive to get a response back to them. People utilize platforms at all times of the day, not just during your typical 9-5. Those notifications help me manage my work accounts better. There are other apps, that I don't need notifications on for. A notification every time a sale drops, for instance. While I love a good sale, I'm most likely getting this same information from an e-mail. Some apps, I temporarily turn off notifications for. My fantasy football apps do me no good in the middle of Spring, so those stay turned off until it's time to edit my lineup again.
The majority of my apps are either not permitted to use my location or are permitted only while using the app. The only application I have permitted to use my location at all times is MileIQ because I forget to open the app most of the time and need to track my mileage as part of my tax write off. The other option you have is to set your apps up to ask you if it can track your location.
Declutter Your Notes/Reminders
I have a bad habit of creating duplicate notes on my phone without even realizing it. Every Instagram caption I post on Recon Brewing's page starts in my notes. Why? Because it is easier to get the format I'm looking for and then I don't have to type out the 6-7 hashtags I put on every post. Somehow, no matter what I do, I end up with 2-3 notes that have this same set up waiting for me. I'm not sure if I just forget that I have one already or just get too lazy to find it or what. If you're like me, get rid of your duplicates! The old grocery list you have saved from three weeks ago can probably go too. Kudos to you for going into the store with a game plan instead of wandering around buying whatever sounds good. But you don't need that old list... probably.
Declutter Your Camera Roll
I screenshot things left and right throughout my day. Ideas for social media posts, things that I giggle about and send to my friends, and sometimes I just don't know how to use my phone apparently and randomly screenshot my home screen. Look for saved photos like this that you no longer have use for and delete them. Same with videos. Are you going to rewatch the entire Jonas Brothers concert that you recorded? If the answer is no, go ahead and delete it. This will free up space on your phone.
I shoot a lot of video in 4k, especially know that I have the newer iPhone with wide mode. I record bits of practices and competitions in order to use them as film and to make videos for the kids. Most of this editing I do on my computer, so I transfer most of these over to my ext
external hard drive. In order to continue shooting videos in this quality, I have to remember to delete them off my phone or my storage will fill up fast. Decluttering my camera roll is a big part of keeping my life running as efficient as possible. I need that space for new content. I can't shoot new content on my phone if my storage is full. Simple as that.
Clear Out Old Messages/Phone Calls
If you haven't texted someone in months and still have their text thread on your phone, it's simply just taking up space. Some old messages have sentimental value but most do not. I used to just keep every text thread ever, but now I try to review my texts once a month and clear old messages. Same with voicemails and calls. If it's older than a month and there's no sentimental value, it's gone. That data is taking up storage on your phone. When storage space is a concern of yours, you find every way possible to maximize space for the things you want.
Our phones are our connection to the world. We depend on them for so many things. Now that your phone is organized and ready to tackle life, are you?
Til next time,