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Mila Szolkowska / productivity  / Clean up phone
Clean up phone http://milaszolkowska.com/clean-up-phone/

Clean up phone

Lately I have figured out that there is something off with the way I am using my smart phone. Let’s say that I want to listen to some music when I am traveling. I unlock my screen, scroll through the apps to get to Spotify and then I find myself checking e-mails or looking at Instagram for the next 5-10 minutes instead of listening to the music. Sounds familiar?
I was thinking of cleaning up my phone for the couple of  last weeks but finally decided to do it today. And since I put some thoughts into how I am going to approach it, I thought that I might as well write about it here. Maybe there will be someone who could rescue a couple of minutes daily using the same technique.

Cleaning up started from realising what is wrong with my way of using the phone. In my case the reason was wasted time spent on the apps I initially did not want to open, general mess, and frustration with finding apps. To be clear I regularly download new apps and end up with a bunch of them not being touched for months.

I tried to declutter my phone before but it did not go so well. It fixed the problem temporarily, because at that point I was only thinking of grouping the most commonly used apps together. I could find the most used apps easier, but it did not solve the problem of ending with scrolling some feeds as well as the general clutter. You can see how my mobile looked like below.

Clean up phone http://milaszolkowska.com/clean-up-phone/

Today I will take it a few steps further. With the decluttering I have a couple of goals in mind:

  1. Remove unused apps
  2. All of the apps should go into folders
  3. All of the folders should fit in one panel (with my iPhone 5s it could be max. 20 folders)
  4. The unused apps that are not possible to delete are going to be in one folder in the next panel

Given the goals I created a step by step guideline, just in case you would like to try giving your phone a little treatment:

  1. Look through your apps and delete the ones that you do not use or which you cannot remember what they are for. Do not try starting apps, because you can easily be caught up with checking them out instead of simply removing hem. It can be tricky, especially with the ones you paid for, but what is the worst? You can simply download them again if you will really need them.
  2. Group the apps you cannot delete in one folder. And move it to the second panel.
  3. Look through all of the apps that are left and find common denominators. Come up with an individual list that fits your needs. It can be for example: Social media, Productivity, Finance, Shopping, etc. You can check out my folders below.
  4. Move your apps into those folders. Create folders for all of the apps, even if there is only one app in the category. Do not stop until all of the apps belongs in a folder.
  5. To protect your mobile from clutter in the future, after downloading an app, try it out and think for a moment if you find it useful. If not, delete it straight away, otherwise try putting new apps into designated folders. If you do not have one, create it right away.

Clean up phone http://milaszolkowska.com/clean-up-phone/

I am really happy with the changes I made. My phone looks very clear clear right now. While I was doing it, I found so many apps I did not use for a while, and I figured that I had two folders with the same name.

Clean up phone http://milaszolkowska.com/clean-up-phone/

Have you ever tried to declutter your phone? If so, what worked best for you? Do you have any suggestions what to do to keep it in this shape? I would love to hear about it!