How many notifications are on your phone usually at a given time?
How many emails are sitting in your inbox, unread, unnoticed, and just maybe they are useful to you!
How many red dots are on your application icons or even worse, a red circle with a number of unread notifications?
Yup. That’s me screaming inside my head. Honestly, even DIGITAL clutter is still CLUTTER! So let’s work together and declutter our smartphones. Let’s make a pact to make our phones work FOR US (not the other way around – we are NOT smartphone zombies anymore).
A few things I’ve done to simplify my smartphone and reduce unnecessary clutter:
1. Remove any applications that are not servicing you anymore (and silence them!)
This could be old mobile games you haven’t played in a century (I mean, if you haven’t played the game in a century, should it be on your phone?) How about duplicate apps you may have? I’m sure you have multiple apps that service the same function (e.g., list making, meal planning or calorie counting, note-taking, etc.) — remove ones you do not use anymore or haven’t used in a while.
As well, go into your settings and set your push notifications to be only the applications you seriously use. Otherwise you are constantly bombarded with notifications that are not servicing your needs (and it gets a bit overwhelming).
Also, you can turn off notification icons/alerts if you wish to just have a simple and clean home screen. I’ve done that and actually go into my apps to see if there’s any updates/new messages, etc.
2. Keep only your GO-TO applications on a SINGLE home screen.
This premise bothers a lot of people but honestly, why would I always want to slide ways scroll to find the app I truly want to use. I created a 3×3 grid on my homepage, which a dock bar of only 4 applications, that I use all the time!
These are the apps that I use (pretty close to) daily:
- my banking app
- my inbox app (via google)
- my wordpress and instagram apps
- my SBY app (www.sarahbethyoga.com)
- my ebook reading app (libby primarily)
- my camera
- the play store
- and a tarot card app (golden thread tarot)
On my dock: messenger, phone, spotify and android auto.
3. Put a search bar on the top of your screen!
Holy moly, does this ever help! Instead of going through a browser app, you can type in the search bar (via chrome search widget) for any apps on your phone, contacts, files, and then even use it as a search engine for the web! And honestly, since I’ve swtiched over to a more minimalist and clean android launcher (Evie), I have loved the simplicity and clarity of the interface and the way it organizes applications. Plus, putting in the search widgit has just amplified my experience with the launcher – it really does make it easier to navigate.
Those are the three main things I did to reduce the amount of clutter and noise using my smartphone, and I’m sure there are other strategies I could utilize as well. But I find those three things have seriously helped me control my phone (and not have it control me).
If you have any other suggestions on simplifying your smartphone, I’d love to hear them! And if you’re interested in more info about some of the applications I make use of, comment below! I’d be happy to share.