Organize your smartphone, Pt. II

Back in 2013, I wrote an article about decluttering your smartphone. Today, I’m back with a follow-up that offers even more ideas and techniques to keep the tiny computer in your pocket as tidy and usable as possible.

Review your contacts

I don’t know how this happened, but I have several copies of the same contacts. My dad was listed three times, some colleagues had multiple entries, and more. I’m not sure how that happened, but I replaced that mess with definitive, accurate records.

Also, you might find records for former coworkers or others you haven’t communicated with for a very long time. If you can legitimately delete their information, do so.

Review bookmarks

I’ve gotten better at organizing bookmarks on my desktop computer, and now it’s time to do the same on my phone. Do like I did and take a few minutes to review the bookmarks on your phone’s browser and ditch those you don’t use anymore. This seems like a small step, but any progress leads to reduced clutter.

Go verb-based with your apps

When I wrote this article’s companion piece in 2013, I suggested organizing apps into folders like “Work,” “Travel,” etc. This time, consider combining apps together by action.

For example, create a folder labeled “Watch” for apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Now, and so on. Perhaps make another called “Listen” with your favorite music and podcasting apps. “Shop,” “Read,” and “Travel” are other viable options.

Make use of lock screen widgets

Both Android devices and Apple’s iOS let app developers create little widgets of information that can be used while your phone’s screen is locked. Both offer customizable information that is tremendously useful and quick. has a nice overview of what Apple calls its “Notification Center” while Android Authority has a good look from the other side of the aisle.

3 Comments for “Organize your smartphone, Pt. II”

  1. posted by Dingo on

    “My dad was listed three times, some colleagues had multiple entries, and more.”
    I got the same problem, turned out it was due to the sync between your phone and all the accounts that you associate it to. I logged in my yahoo, google, and icloud, and bam, I got duplicated contacts. Other issue would be the birthday somehow got shifted. Maybe they assume 2 guys with the same name is 1.

  2. posted by Vijay on

    If you use Chrome or Firefox, you can even synchronize your bookmarks between your desktop and laptop, if you are signed in using a Google account

  3. posted by Elaine on

    The easiest way to keep apps pared down is: As soon as your phone sends you a notification that apps need to be updated, go through the list they send you and decide then and there whether you need to keep them. I just got rid of several, including, Fandango Movie Clips, Tumblr and even Costco, since I only access them on a home computer and never on my phone. Nearly every app gets periodic updates, so you get to do this at least once a week in most cases.

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