They’re often free or cheap, and can be downloaded in an instant. And if you have a need, there’s probably one for it. However, what began as a fun discovery when you first got your smartphone, may now have resulted in your device being cluttered with too many apps. It may not appear to be a problem, but too many apps can overtake your phone’s memory and make it difficult to find the app that you need when you need it. Scrolling and searching takes time, so why waste it trying to locate an app you want to use?
Clear The Clutter – You downloaded the app because your best friend said you had to have it. Or, you thought you needed the Alarm Clock app, even though you have one built into your phone already. Go through your phone and delete the apps you never use, or used once and never again. Not to worry, they won’t go away permanently as you can always download them again if you really miss them.
Get Rid of the Time Sucks – I love games like, Words With Friends or Draw Something, but they can be distracting and at times addicting. If you can’t control how often or when you play, perhaps deleting the app will get rid of your urge and let you focus on the real work you need to get done.
Create Folders – Folders reduce the number of screens your apps occupy and thus reduce the amount of screen scrolling you need to do to find an app. Look through your installed apps to determine what categories most of them fall into, then create a folder structure around those categories. Common folders include; “Productivity”, “Games”, “Social Networking”, “Travel”, “Food/Entertainment”, and “News”. One caveat to using folders– if there is an app you use constantly, like your calendar or notes, keep it out of your folder structure for easy access from your home screen.
Respect Limits & Stop Downloading – Iphone folders are limited to 12 apps (Android has a limit of 16) and each screen can hold 20 apps or folders. Given that some apps cannot be deleted, you potentially have room for slightly over 200 apps on one screen (Android users can have over 300). Do you really need more than one screen or over 200 apps on your smartphone? Once you have more than a screen’s worth of folders and apps, adopt the “one in-one out” philosophy. If you decide you want a new productivity or game app, you’ll need to delete an old one from its respective folder.
I love my smartphone and there are many apps I could not live without. However, having too many apps simply results in clutter, and clutter is distracting! Organize your apps and enjoy the time saving and peace of mind that comes with the process. Share your story of app overload at www.facebook.com/moretimeforyou.