How to organize your smartphone
Practice a few simple steps to ensure you can find what you want when you want it.
Technology makes our lives easier in so many ways — but smart devices such as phones and tablets can quickly become disorganized and difficult to manage. Fortunately, a few simple steps can help you get more from your smartphone (and maybe more from your daily life, too). Here's what to do.
To organize your apps
- Eliminate free-floating apps. On average, people have more than 80 apps on their smartphone and use only about half of them every month. Instead of apps everywhere, put them in folders. Which brings us to our next step…
- Create your own folder system. What works for someone else may not work for you, which is why it's important to figure out how you want to structure your app access. Possibilities include social media, shopping, money and travel, to name just a few.
- Establish a folder hierarchy. Often-used folders should be kept on the first screen of your smartphone; others that you use less but want to keep can be put on a second or third swipe screen.
One caveat: If you use 20 or 25 apps every day, leave them on your first screen or in the drawer (the bottom area that's home to several apps), outside of folders, and put everything else in folders on those second and third screens.
- Ditch what you don't use. Haven't used an app in 6 months to a year? Get rid of it. You can always reinstall it if you need to.
To manage emails and texts
- Set up rules in your email. Create automatic organization by routing certain emails to certain folders, which you can review when you have time. In addition, unsubscribe to anything that seems out of date or unnecessary.
- Block spammers from texting you. Prevent numbers generated from the same robo-text contacts.
- Practice good organization. Investing a few minutes a day can help you keep on top of messages, texts, mail and even contacts.
- Be rigorous about notifications. Only get those that matter to you and your day.
- Automate what you can. Photo and video backups, automatic typing and setting do-not-disturb times are just a few of the options you can choose to take care of tasks that you previously had to do yourself.