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Start The Year Right, Clear Out Your Apps And Tidy Up Your Files

We’ve just started the new year and it’s a great time to do a review of everything you are doing and set a course for the year. Of course, a lot of people set resoultions and get off course during the year. 25% of people who set a resolution give up within the first week, 45% by the end of the first month and only 8% by the end of the year [click here for more New Years statistics]. However, there is one very easy task you can do at the start of the year that will help you for the rest of the year.

Clear out your Apps and organise your files.

Clear Out Your Apps

I’m sure you have some of those apps that you downloaded once to try out or show off to people but just never removed, or a game that was fun for a while but you stopped playing several months ago. Yet, they still sit there on your device unused and unloved but taking valuable space. It might not seem significant now but after a couple of years they can really clog up your device.

Even if you are frugal with your apps, it’s a lot simpler to navigate when you have fewer apps and fewer homescreens too. So start the year right, open up your storage space and do a review of your apps. Try to group them into

  • Apps you use daily
  • Apps you use weekly
  • Apps you have used in the last month
  • All other apps

Then it’s time to bring out the surgeons knife. I’m not going to tell you to completely remove every apps from the “all other apps” group but you need a seriously good reason to keep it (after all, couldn’t you just download it again if you need it so rarely?). On the other end of the spectrum, just because you use an app daily doesn’t mean that you should keep it.

Instead be critical and think if you can use another app to do the same function that you use this app for. What are the reasons that you use it so often. Is there a good reason to have a separate app that does one thing really well or an app that does several things well.

Organise your files

This is an area that many blog posts have been written about and many more could and should be written about. However, I like using an adapted the gride reference from President Esienhour for my storage.

I have two axisis, Frequency of use, and importance. This groups files into four different groups that help me know where to keep my files.
image

  • If something is important and I need to use it a lot, then I keep it on my dropbox storage and download it into my computer to use as well as having a hardcopy on my external hard drive.
  • If it is something I don’t use a lot but is important, then I keep it on my dropbox account and my External Hard drive.
  • If it is not very important but I use it a lot then I keep it on my device as well as I will use it a lot but it’s not vital to have a back up copy.
  • If it is something I rarely use and isn’t important then I keep it on my external hard drive and move it onto my device as and when I need it.

There are a few exceptions as I try to keep a backup copy of all but the least important things on my external hard drive and I keep a lot of plain text documents in Evernote instead of dropbox but this is a good rule of thumb for images, music etc.

After that It’s a system of folders with topics and time related or project related organising.

Get to it, organise your files today.

About Chris Wilson

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2 Replies

  1. Great advice. I regularly purge apps I don’t use or that only serve to distract. Trying to keep iPhone as a productivity device rather than entertainment.

    1. Chris Wilson

      I love that perspective “a productivity device not an entertainment device.” However, one thing I’ve become aware of this year is that switching off is a really good for productivity. I think I even coined a phrase “eureka moments come in the bath not the work desk.” (I’m fairly sure I haven’t stolen it but as the bible says “there’s nothing new under the sun.”

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