I’ve been thinking about life before apps. (I know. Strange thing to ponder.)
How did we ever get anything done without our smartphones and apps?
I mean, just think: some of us remember a time when we were able to find a new restaurant without GPS and to top it off we went to the restaurant simply because someone told us it was good; not because we read a good review on Yelp.
It’s so easy to forget what it was like before we had cool timesaving tools like apps. But….. you can also get into “app overwhelm” with so many apps on your phone taking up space and cluttering up your mind.
So I’ve got a great project for you…
Declutter those apps! Plus I’m going to give you my list of must-have apps to live an organized life.
Let’s dig in.
Step 1: Delete any unused apps.
Go through all your apps and see what you don’t use and simply delete them. You can always add them back if you decide you really do need them. (For iPhone users you can use the “Offload Apps” feature – see Step 4.)
- Tap and hold any app icon until all the icons start wiggling.
- You’ll notice that many, if not most of them, have a little X at the top left corner, which you can then click the x to delete.
- And don’t worry – you can quickly add the app again if you find you need it. (This will NOT recover any documents or data so consider using the Offload App feature in Step 4.)
- Open your device’s Settings app
- Tap “Apps and Notifications”
- Tap the app you want to uninstall
- Tap Uninstall
What about those annoying apps that came installed on your phone and you don’t want to see them but can’t seem to get rid of them? You most likely won’t be able to delete them but there is a workaround.
For iPhone: You can create a folder for those apps you don’t use but can’t install. Simply drag one of the apps into another and you’ll be prompted to name the folder. I call mine “Xtras”. This way they are there if you need them later.
For Android: You can’t delete some system apps that came pre-installed on your Android device. But you can turn them off so that they won’t show on the list of apps on your device. Follow the same instructions above but if you don’t see the app be sure and tap either See All Apps or App Info.
Step 2: Create folders/groups to organize your apps.
This is super important if you have a lot of apps. You can create folders or groups and organize them by function.
For example, you could put all your social media apps into one folder and all your financial related apps into another folder. Here are some more examples:
- A folder for travel and meals to store apps like Expedia or Yelp.
- A folder for your business for apps like time tracking programs and expense report management, or your banking app.
- If you do a lot of photo editing you could organize all those apps into one folder.
- I have a spiritual/personal growth folder where I keep affirmation apps and some oracle card apps I enjoy.
- To make a folder, drag an app onto another app.
- If you want to rename the folder, tap the name field and then enter the new name.
- Now that you have a folder, you can drag apps into it.
- Folders can have more than one page.
- Touch and hold an app or shortcut.
- Drag that app or shortcut on top of another.
- To add more, drag each one on top of the group.
- To name the group, tap the group and enter the name.
Step 3: Organize your apps into pages (home screens for Android).
I love using different pages on my iPhone. For example, my first page includes the apps I use regularly – almost daily – like messages, calendar, contacts, Evernote, Chrome, Trello, and Gmail.
My second page is all business related and my third page is all my personal apps. I love separating business and personal on to different pages. It’s a great way to keep some balance and have a personal life.
- You start with one page of apps. To make a new page, drag an app to the right edge of the screen. You might need to wait a second for the new page to appear.
- To delete a page, consolidate all your apps to another Home screen. When there are no apps present the page will delete.
- When you have more than one page, a bright dot in a row of dots above the Dock shows you which page you’re on.
- You can move an app to a different page and create new pages.
- To add a home screen: Touch and hold an app, shortcut, or group. Slide it to the right until you see a blank Home screen. Lift your finger.
- To move a home screen: On the Home screen that you want to move, touch and hold an empty space. Lift your finger. Touch and hold the image of that Home screen. Slide the image of that Home screen right or left.
- To remove home screen: Move your apps, shortcuts, widgets, and groups off the Home screen. After the last one is removed, the Home screen will be removed.
Step 4: Check your storage space availability and see what apps are eating up your phone storage.
You’ll want to check and see how much space you have on your phone because it’s no fun to be in a hurry to download something and realize you can’t because you’re out of space. So check the space and remove any apps that are taking up a lot of that precious space. If your photos are taking up a lot of space you may need to move them off your phone and onto the Cloud or your computer if you need more space.
- Go to Settings, General, Storage (or iPhone/iPad storage).
- You’ll see an Offload Unused Apps area to enable if you want to offload apps you don’t use often. This is great because they’re not deleted. It saves your documents and data. Keep in mind though that you will still see the icon on your iPhone. When you click the icon it will re-activate it.
- Scroll down and see what space all your apps are taking and you can decide to remove any.
- To see what’s using storage: Open your device’s Settings app, tap storage, tap a category.
- To free up storage: Open your device’s Settings app, tap Storage, tap Free Up Space.
- To pick something to delete, tap the empty box on the right. (If nothing is listed, tap Review recent items.) To delete the selected items, at the bottom, tap Free Up.
- Learn more here: https://support.google.com/android/answer/7431795?hl=en-GB
Step 5: Turn off those annoying push notifications.
Do you really want to be notified of everything that happens or get reminded that you need to go visit a store because you happen to have their app? I suggest turning off most notifications from apps you have installed.
I currently only have notifications turned on for:
- Text messages that come in
- Banking/credit cards as I want to get notified of unusual activity
- Calendar notifications as I want to be reminded of appointments
- Marco Polo as I use it for client communications so I want to get notified of any new messages.
- And that’s it.
Did you notice I didn’t say I had notifications turned for new emails? That’s right. I HIGHLY suggest you turn off email notifications and only check emails 1-3 times a day. You will be more productive if you do this.
- Go to Settings
- Tap Notifications
- Select the app and you can turn off “Allow Notifications” by sliding to off
- Go to Settings
- Tap Apps & Notifications
- Tap Notifications
- App Notifications
- Tap an app
- Turn notifications off
My Must-Have Apps
So now that you have a plan to get your apps all organized I’d like to share my list of my must-have apps to help you get and stay organized.
For task management: Trello
To store all my data and allow me to find everything easily: Evernote
I love Evernote and use it to store most all my information and data. And I love being able to access it on my phone. You can even use it to record and take pictures! Learn more here.
To save paper files to Evernote/my computer: Scannable
Scannable is a free app from Evernote that captures the paper in your life quickly and beautifully, transforming it into high-quality scans ready to save or share. (It’s way better than just taking a picture!) Get it here.
To store all of my passwords: 1Password
The motto of 1Password is “Go ahead. Forget your passwords. 1Password remembers them all for you. Save your passwords and log in to sites with a single click. It’s that simple.” And it is very simple. Anywhere I go all I have to remember is one password and that opens 1Password to all my passwords from anywhere I am. (I just used this app the other day as I was at an ATM trying to withdraw cash from an account I hardly use and I couldn’t remember my password. I simply opened up the 1Password app, entered my password and could see all my info, including my ATM code.) Learn more here.
For communication with clients, family, and friends: Marco Polo
I must admit I was reluctant to try the Marco Polo app. I didn’t want another app but this free app is super useful. It’s like a walkie-talkie and I LOVED walkie-talkies as a child! It’s face-to-face messaging for one-to-one and group conversations. I use this mostly for client messaging. Some coaches are even using it or Voxer for coaching sessions.
Organize your apps and determine if there are any new ones you may want to try out.