Cleaning Day, iPhone Edition

January 28, 2019 5:34pm
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How many apps do you have on your phone right now?

Apparently I have over 130 apps, and honestly when I started going through my list, there were some that I haven’t used in years. And some that don’t even work with the version of iOS I’m on anymore.

And also a lot that I do still use, but not nearly enough to be where they were in my seven pages of apps.

So I decided to do a little digital housekeeping!

I did this with a few goals in mind…

  • To reprioritize my social media apps to make them less distracting.
  • To reorganize my apps so the ones I use more are closer to the front.
  • To finally delete stuff that I either never use or I can’t use anymore.

Step 1 – Inventory My Current Apps
The first thing I did was simply type up a list of every app I had on my phone. I did mine in a spreadsheet and grouped them by page so I could better visualize where I was and where I wanted to be. It was a little tedious to type everything out by hand, but the benefit was that afterwards I had a list that I could easily copy & paste from to shuffle apps around as I designed my new layout.

Step 2 – DELETE THE CLUTTER!!!
Now this is a pet peeve of mine because there are a handful of games and apps that I’ve downloaded over the ages where the developers either didn’t keep up with newer versions of iOS or just flat out went out of business altogether, so now I’m stuck with all of these games that I paid money for that are absolute garbage.

This was the time to finally let ’em go, I switched my auto insurance along with other apps that I’ll never use. Case in point – the other day , so no need to keep the old company’s app anymore.

Step 3 – What do I use the most???
This is how I determined my dock apps. You only get four, so make ’em good!

I ended up only making one change here – previously I had Phone, Mail, Safari, and Twitter, so in an effort to curtail my social media time I swapped out Todoist for Twitter.

Step 4 – What do I use on a regular basis?
This is where I determined my home page, or pages, really, because I had more than one page of apps that fell into this category.

My criteria for these pages was first and foremost general purpose apps – think Calendar, Contacts, Camera, Weather, Calculator. I also put my music apps here because they’re my go-to in the car. And then WordPress, Notes, and Analytics from a writing perspective.

My overflow home page then got other research apps like Wikipedia and Dictionary, the app and music stores, Settings, the My Disney Experience app for visit the theme parks along with its companion shopping app, and lastly, a couple of apps I’ve been using for meditation.

Step 5 – Where does everything else fall?!
To be honest, by the time I had the first two pages done, I knew what I wanted to do with the rest anyways. First I created pages for each of the major categories of apps that I had, then I sorted them into those categories (a lot of my apps were already sorted this way, so this was about 50/50 clean-up vs reorganization), and then lastly I sorted the pages themselves based again on what types of apps I use the most.

I ended up with something like this…

  • Home Page
  • Overflow Home Page
  • Social Media
  • Kids Stuff
  • Banks & Restaurants
  • Quick Games
  • Long Games
  • Miscellaneous

I honestly don’t play games much on my phone, so those went at the back, second only to those seldom used apps that I didn’t want to delete like FlightAware for tracking incoming flights or Speedtest for testing Internet connections or my web host’s app that I use to remotely reboot this server if I see that it’s having problems when I’m away from a computer.

I made a new page of just apps that I have for my kids to use … in hopes that maybe they’ll stay out of the rest of my stuff! 😉

And then the others are pretty self explanatory.

BEFORE

AFTER

One sort of tip that I can offer is that it is technically possible to move multiple apps from one page to another … the reason for my hesitation is that at least for me, it was really touchy and sometimes more of a pain than it was worth. I’d find myself with a few apps selected, then drop them all trying to get the next one, or there would be a few that I couldn’t select at all. Still, you can give it a try and see how it works for you…

Cleaning up my phone has been something that I’ve been putting off for a long time, but honestly it took maybe an hour once I finally sat down and just did it. don’t recommend skipping the list and just trying to reorganize right on the phone, namely because if you don’t plan out precisely how many pages you need, it’s easy to find yourself doing a lot of extra shuffling when you realize that you’re a page short in the very middle of your layout!

Here’s to hoping that this will make my phone a little less distracting and once again more of a useful tool in my effort to try and actually get things done this year!!!

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