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6 Ways to Simplify Your Tech Life On Your Smartphone or Tablet

It’s probably no surprise that decluttering — your home, and your life in general — can really help keep stress levels at bay. Whether you go full KonMari on your closet or just purge your kids’ toy bins from time to time, being able to access what you need, when you need it, feels good and makes life as busy parents a whole lot easier.

Well, the same goes for your tech life, especially with your smartphone and tablet which can be just as cluttered as the rest of our lives.

This awesome app is one I’ve been enjoying for quite some time now, and it features all your favorite music and magazines, and soon, podcasts, ebooks, and videos, to truly help you streamline your and your family’s digital life.

All that in one app. Amazing!

With that in mind, I’m sharing 6 ways to help you simplify your tech life, which I hope save you time, energy, and hey, maybe even some money too.

 

1. Turn those notifications off.

There’s nothing like a bazillion different dings and pings on your phone to distract you from the stuff that really matters in your life, which is why we’re huge proponents of turning off notifications.

When you have them all set to “on,” every single thing gets an equal level of importance, whether it’s an Instagram like from a stranger, or an urgent text from your kid. And all those notifications can just pile up on your phone, which can get overwhelming, even if you’ve just put your phone down for a few minutes. (Let alone a few hours.)

So take a little time to go through your notifications and ditch most of them. You’ll be freeing up a whole lot of mental clutter, which is something I know I can personally use.

2. Inbox zero! For real. 

If your smartphone or tablet inbox is flooded with emails and you’ve got a gihugic number looming at the bottom (I’ve been over 130,000 before!), you need Liz’s awesome inbox zero trick. Don’t worry, you’re not actually deleting the emails. You’re just moving out of the inbox so you can deal with them later. Or never, in my case.

Still, just seeing that little red number on my phone’s home screen drop from 130,000 to zero makes me breathe a whole lot easier.

3. Back that thing up. Automatically.

I admit that I only recently set my devices to automatically back up to my iCloud storage — and, wow, it has saved a whole lot of space on my phone, helped me declutter, and taken off a load of stress.

Now I don’t have to worry about all my screenshots of images and text messages, which were crowding my photo gallery. (More on that below.) And having everything auto-saved in the cloud truly allows you to declutter your phone and tablet without saying goodbye to files or photos forever. Think of it as double peace of mind.

4. App folders are your friend.

I don’t know about you, but I am a total app hoarder, which can make finding what I need on my phone a bit of a challenge sometimes.

When you organize your apps into well-labeled folders and categories, you’ll amazed at how easy it is to find everything without even searching. I’ve got Kids and Travel and Finances and everything in between.

Some people don’t realize you can easily rename your categories so if Kids is getting unwieldy, break it up into Kids School and Kids Games. I may take a minute to get used to your new, more organized app system but that’s totally normal. And so worth it.

5. Condense and delete! 

You probably have a lot of apps with overlapping functionality. Do you need them all? Probably not. Time to delete and focus on the apps that multitask.

The WEYV app has made it possible for me to get rid of at least three other apps. And once the WEYV app adds podcasts, ebooks, and videos — crikey, that’s like five more apps I can say goodbye to, along with all those subscription fees. Whoo!

Look at your screen and ask yourself: Do you really need that app from the conference you attended two years ago? Are your grade-school kids pretty much done with that kindergarten ABC app? Can the language translation app go up into the cloud since you have no foreign trips planned right now?

If you get app deletion anxiety, remember that you continue to own any apps you’ve already purchased, and can download to your phone again any time without paying a second time.

6. Organize those photos. Finally.

I stopped at the drugstore last week to print out a few pictures, and the computer said, “Stand by as we upload your 8,000 photos.”

I nearly screamed.

Let’s just say photo organization is my nemesis. So auto-sync your photos to a storage service like Dropbox, so you can delete those 14 selfies you didn’t use in your Instagram post, even if you want them back later. (Just make sure your settings don’t delete from all devices!)

One of my other favorite simple tricks for decluttering my photos on iOS is the iPhoto “favorites” button. A quick tap on a photo, whether it’s the awesome one of my kid or a pic of the back of my insurance card, means I can always find it quickly.

And that means less clutter, less searching…more free time away from my phone. Amen to that.

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