5 Quick Tips to Digitally Declutter Your Mobile Device
Simplifying your entire digital world is no easy feat, so I picked my top five tips to help you get there.
1. Get a password manager.
I’ve been using 1Password, a subscription-based password manager, for the past two years and can’t believe I ever managed without it. Now I no longer have to recite or struggle to recall a password, and I rest easy at night knowing my accounts are secure. 1Password generates and saves unique and complex encrypted passwords that I can easily copy & paste on my phone or in a web browser. The service syncs across all my devices, so my passwords are at my fingertips no matter where I’m at, and even warns me if I have weak or compromised passwords. There are several companies providing this type of service, and you can find a chart comparing them here.
2. Uninstall rarely used apps.
If you’re an iPhone user, iOS11 has done half the work for you by offloading apps that are infrequently used so go ahead and delete any grayed out icon. If you’re hesitant to say goodbye, remind yourself you know where you can access the app(s) again.
A good rule of thumb regardless of which operating system you use is to remove any app you haven’t opened in the last 3 months.
Companies are getting really good at designing sites that are mobile friendly so often times there’s no need to keep the app on your phone, just access their site via browser.
3. Pay attention to your photos.
Upload your photos to iCloud, Google Photos, Dropbox or OneDrive and save some major storage. Set a reminder to do this monthly or quarterly, depending on how frequently you take photos.
Something to keep in mind while scrolling through your camera roll is to delete any image that doesn’t have value (e.g. its blurry, its a duplicate or that screenshot is no longer needed). Not only will this help your storage usage but it’ll make it far easier to find the important pictures that you want to show friends and family!
4. Minimize digital distractions.
Turn off any push notifications that distract you from doing your work and living your best life! The only notifications I leave enabled are phone calls and messages as well as display emails in my notification center. Since turning off the majority of my notifications, my screen time has decreased 40%!
At any rate, each of us lead very different lives, so witness which apps are interfering with your daily responsibilities, then practice a little discipline and disable notifications from your biggest distractors. It’s often easier to disable all notifications first, and then re-enable them for apps you find yourself wanting on.
*For an extra productivity boost set your phone on Do Not Disturb as much as possible. Your family, friends and inner genius will thank you.
5. Organize your apps.
Organize as many apps as possible into folders using a method that makes sense to you. Moving the folders off your home screen can bring a sense of mobile clarity and the realization that your phone is first and foremost a tool to enrich your life, not control it. When there is an overabundance of apps on your home page, they act as visual cues to unconsciously click apps even if we have just refreshed their feeds a moment ago.
Consider, color-coding, alphabetizing, or relevancy. Think “like with like,” such as travel, transportation, social, lifestyle, utilities, business, finance, games, etc.
BONUS TIP I: Unsubscribe!
I’m willing to assume majority of the emails you receive are spam. Make it a daily habit when you check your inbox to unsubscribe from mailing lists.
BONUS TIP II: Unfollow!
Consider this your permission slip to unfollow any social account that doesn’t serve you, delivers content that is no longer relevant or is negative. If the account represents someone you know personally, consider it practice for establishing healthy boundaries.