Digital Declutter Day 11: The Home Screen

The Digital Decluttter

It’s Day 11 of the Digital Declutter Challenge, and I hope you are enjoying bringing order to your digital life. In the past two days we’ve decluttered apps from your phone, and updated the apps you decided to keep. Today’s task is to arrange your apps in a way that makes them easy to find and use.

ordering apps

The first step is to consider all of your apps and decide which ones you use most frequently. A simple approach is to make three categories on a sheet of paper: “High Use,” “Medium Use,” and “Low Use.” Now pick up your phone, scroll through your screens and assign each app to one of the three categories.

If you have a lot of apps, go one step further and group similar ones together. For example, you may have travel apps such as Waze, GoogleMaps, and Flight Aware. Or perhaps you have multiple social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook that you would like to group together. Indicate on your paper which apps you would like to group together in a folder.

The next step is to transfer your decisions into your phone. The goal is to put the apps you use most frequently on your home screen (the screen that pops up when you turn your phone on), and move the other apps to secondary screens in order of decreasing use.

Begin by assigning the apps you use the most to the space along the bottom of your home screen. Usually the apps in this spot remain static as you scroll through various screens. Phones arrive with these icons pre-set, but they can be changed. Common apps to leave here are the phone, a mail icon, music and an internet browser, but you can put anything you like here.

The second step is to make sure all of your “High Use” apps are on your home screen. The secret to moving apps on most phones is simply to put your finger on the app and “long hold” it there. Phones models react slightly differently, but in general, once you “long hold” an icon, you can drag it by sliding your finger. You can rearrange items within a page, or slide them off to the side of the screen, which moves them to a different page.

Continue moving apps around on your phone so that your “Medium Use” apps are next, and your “Low Use” apps are on the last screen. Some apps cannot easily be removed even if you never use them, so simply move these to your last screen.

If you have decided to group like-icons together into folders, go ahead and do this now. The method for making a folder differs by phone and model number. Newer models make this easy. Simply “long hold” an app icon and slide it onto the app with which you would like it to share a folder. Then you can name the folder anything you want, and add as many apps as you wish.

Since there are many phones and various versions out there, here are a couple of videos you can watch to understand how to move apps on your device. If these videos do not match your phone, try going to YouTube and search for a video with the specifics of your phone’s make and version. Or, you can contact your manufacturer.

Android

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klz-WFpOhkc

Apple

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52xYYjVtUps

If you’ve gone through the process of organizing apps in the past, take a few moments today to make sure you are still happy with your system. Sometimes our app preferences change, so refreshing your system every year or so is a worthwhile project. Once you finish with your phone, organize the apps on all of your mobile devices in a similar fashion.

*****

Organizing the app icons on your phone will make it easier to find what you want, when you want it. Have you already organized your app icons? Which app has to be on your home screen?

New Signature