According to a 2017 study, the average smartphone user has more than 80 apps on their phone and uses more than 40 on a monthly basis. With thousands of apps available, they can quickly crowd our screens and become overwhelming. And if you’ve spent more than 30 seconds hunting for an app on your phone, you know how frustrating it can be.
Just like clutter in our home or office, clutter on our phone screen can cause stress and anxiety. But with a little organization, you can make things easier to find, save time, and reduce aggravation.
With just a few minutes out of your day, you can quickly solve this problem and create an organizational system that works for you. Note: on Apple devices, users can create folders to store their apps, while on Android devices, they can be sorted onto different screens–but the organizational methods I suggest will work either way.
Here are my favorite ways to easily organize your apps for a more orderly mobile device:
- Organize by functionality – This is the best, most popular (and most logical) option. Categories could be: Finance (bank apps, stock market apps, Venmo, Paypal, Square, Apple Wallet, etc.), Music (Spotify, iTunes, Pandora, etc.), Shopping (Amazon, Etsy, Target, Poshmark, etc.), Social (Facebook, Pinterest, Hootsuite, Mailchimp, etc.), Travel (Air B&B, Lyft/Uber, Southwest Airlines, etc.), Home (Alexa, Simplisafe, etc.)
- Organize alphabetically – As long as you always know the name of the app you’re searching for, you can easily find it in a list arranged by name. If you have folders of apps, you can arrange the folders alphabetically. If you’re like me, however, sometimes you’re just looking for ‘that app that edits photos,’ and in that case, this probably isn’t the greatest method (refer to “organize by functionality” tip above).
- Position apps based on color – Maybe your brain remembers visuals rather than words, and you know that you need ‘the app with the green icon’ or ‘the one with the red square.’ If this is the case, arranging apps based on color can be a winning solution. Warning: Apps update their icons and this can really mess you up if you are accustom to visually locating an app.
- Organize by frequency – Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, you can put your most frequently used apps on your home screen and lesser-used apps on subsequent pages. It’s best to limit your pages to no more than three, or it can become overwhelming. If necessary, you can organize apps on the second and third pages into folders, using the methods listed above.
- Don’t be afraid to eliminate! – For some reason, people seem to collect apps and hold onto them forever (we also do this with digital files, paper, emails…) – whether they use them or not. All of those unnecessary icons on your screen can lead to time lost and poor productivity. Take a quick look through your apps and eliminate anything that you haven’t used in the last 90 days. If it’s been more than three months, it’s likely you don’t need it anyway!
At the end of the day, organizing your apps is great, but despite the best classification of information, we can still forget where we put something – no matter how logical it seemed at the time. Learn to use the keyword search functionality on your phone – this is the best and easiest way to find what you’re looking for on your mobile device. If you don’t know how to do this, you can check out one of these tutorials for iPhone or Android users to teach yourself how.
Have you used any of these methods to organize your apps? Perhaps a different system? How did it work out for you?
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