When people think about organization, they usually think about their homes. But as you’ve begun organizing different aspects of your life, you may not have even considered how to organize your phone – and that might be just as important as organizing your house!
We use our phones a lot. Whether we like it or not, they have become an irreplaceable tool in our lives. From texting family members to checking the weather to reading the news, phones can be an important link to our families and communities. So if it’s cluttered and messy, we’ll feel that same frustration we do from a disorganized house.
Need more ideas? Check out 8 Easy Steps to Organize your Junk Drawer in 20 Minutes and 9 Simple Car Organization Tips Anyone Can Do!
Organizing your home leads to decreased stress, and I believe that extends to your phone as well. So here are a few ideas for how to organize your phone.
How to Organize Your Phone in 30 Minutes
Depending on how long it’s been since you’ve purged your phone of unwanted or unused things, the next few steps could take you longer than just a few minutes. But it’s an important part of the process and it’ll help your phone feel a lot lighter (figuratively, that is).
Delete any unused apps.
The first step to organizing your phone is to go through all of your apps and delete any that you don’t use. Decluttering isn’t just for your home! It’s for your phone too!
You know which apps you use frequently, so leave those ones alone for now. Depending on the type of phone you have, some apps will already be pre-loaded onto your phone. I know iPhones have quite a few (like stocks, tips, or a compass) that you may or not use. If you’ve never opened it before or didn’t even realize it was on your phone in the first place – just delete it.
The good thing about apps is that even if you delete them, you can always download them again from your app store if you want. Deleting unused apps will help save precious storage space on your phone and it will help prevent your phone from slowing down.
Go through your contacts.
I also suggest going through your contacts while you’re at it. It’s a good idea to go through your contact list every so often and delete the contacts you don’t use.
This might sound a bit cruel, but are you really going to text that mom of the kid from your son’s baseball team four years ago ever again? Probably not.
This step shouldn’t take too long, but if you’re finding that you have a lot of contacts and it’s taking you a while, then you can skip this step for now and revisit it later.
This step doesn’t affect the actual organization of the apps on your phone (which is why it’s okay to skip it), but I do suggest doing this in batches every so often. Start with “A” and just delete any contacts under that letter that you haven’t talked to in a few years and then work on “B” tomorrow or next week!
I also like doing this because sometimes I stumble across the name of an old friend I haven’t spoken to in a long time and end up reaching out to see what they are up to. So not only will help you with long, overwhelming contact lists, but it can also help you reconnect with a few old friends!
Organize your notes.
Do you use your notes app? I use it all the time. Most of them are reminders for myself, but putting in lots of reminders or random pieces of information with no context can result in an overflowing and confusing notes app.
I’ve seen a lot of different ideas and approaches to organizing the notes on your phone, but these are the two I like the best.
1. Categorize your notes with emojis.
What are the notes you usually write? Are they simple reminders for yourself? Maybe an item you’re out of that you need to add to your grocery list? A to-do list?
You may have separate apps (or paper versions) of grocery and to-do lists, but often our fleeting thoughts and reminders just get added to a new note on our phones.
So, if you find yourself using your notes app for lots of different ideas or reminders, categorize them! Choose an emoji for each category – like a sports ball for any game or practice reminders, a shopping cart or food for groceries, and a checkmark for to-do items. Then put the corresponding emoji at the very front of the title of your note.
It becomes really easy to find all of the notes you have about a particular subject when you organize them like this.
2. Keep a running list.
The second tip is to keep a long list you add to instead of creating new notes each time you have a new thought to jot down.
For example, if you usually keep a list of schedule reminders, just title your note “Reminders.” Then each time you have a new reminder, add it to the same note instead of starting a new one. I know I’m certainly guilty of just adding a quick new note each time I need to jot something down, but that’s how our notes get out of control.
When we add new reminders to an already-existing note, it’s also easier to see old reminders and delete them right away. Too many times I’ve noticed a reminder in my phone from a year ago. This method helps you stay on top of deleting those reminders you don’t need anymore.
How to Organize Your Phone Apps
Now that we’ve covered the basics of cleaning out unused data and apps from your phone, let’s talk about organizing. Everyone has a way that works best for them, but here are a few different suggestions to help you get started.
Organize your phone with folders.
If you have a lot of apps (or even if you don’t have too many but you just don’t want a busy-looking home screen) then organize your apps in different folders.
Categorize your apps by similarities and give your folder a self-explanatory title like “Finances,” so you know exactly what it’s for. Or, if you prefer images to words, you could always use a money emoji for the folder title instead. Whatever works for you!
Here’s the home screen of a friend of mine. She loves organizing her apps by folders and created several different categories for her apps.
She has an “Entertainment” folder for any streaming apps she uses and some social media apps. She also has another for shopping or store apps, and another for any messenger or video apps she uses under the label “Chat.”
Using folders makes phone organization really easy and helps your screen look less cluttered. I highly recommend sorting your apps into categories and creating folders for them if you can.
Keep your most-used apps easily accessible.
That being said, don’t think that you have to put all of your apps in folders!
To use my friend’s phone as an example again, she keeps her most-used apps outside of folders. Even though it doesn’t take long to access an app within a folder, it’s nice to save yourself that extra click with the apps you use regularly.
As you can see above, she keeps her favorite social media apps and the ones she uses the most (like email, texting, photos, and notes) in a place she can get to quickly.
Another good tip is to keep your most-used apps close to the bottom of the screen. I’m usually holding my phone with one hand and using my thumb to hit the app, so it’s easier and quicker to reach apps that are closer to the bottom. Consider organizing your apps from least frequently used (at the bottom) to most frequently used (at the top).
Put folders onto a second page.
Most phones have several “pages” you can scroll through for several different home screens. If you don’t like the look of a crowded screen, this is a great tip for you.
I’m using the photos of my friend’s home screens again because it’s a great example of this idea. As you can tell, my friend doesn’t like the look of a full screen – she said it makes her phone feel too cluttered and causes some stress.
If you don’t like the extra space she has on her screen, then you can just put everything on the same page on your phone. But if you’ve found that having a screen full of apps feels too busy or stressful, then separate your most-used apps onto one page and folders or less-used apps onto another.
Organize your phone by color or alphabetical order.
If you prefer a more aesthetically pleasing style of organization, organizing your apps by color is pretty popular. Or you can organize them in alphabetical order as well. Obviously, this will take a bit more time, but it can have a really fun result!
If you’re sorting alphabetically, you’ll know right where each app is, but you can’t separate by category that way, so keep that in mind if you like to keep similar apps together.
If you’re sorting by color, you’ll get a beautiful result, but it might be tricky to find your apps quickly since you’ll need to remember what the color is of each app.
So both ways have some downsides, but if it sounds fun then try it out! You can get an interesting and colorful result by organizing your apps this way.
How to Personalize Your Phone
Personalizing your phone can really help you to not only keep your phone organized but to also give it your own personal touch.
I created my own personal phone wallpaper using a bright, colorful, watercolor background and added a couple of pictures of my family on one of our favorite vacations! It was super easy to do using Canva.
I also decided that I wanted custom colored app icons so I found an awesome seller on Etsy whose listing comes with over 70,000 app icons for you to use in TONS of different color schemes. They also include backgrounds that you can download that coordinate with their app icon themes. Easy to customize and just look at how incredible my icons look! Super nice and organized (by color, of course)!
Now you know how to organize your phone in 30 minutes!
While organizing your phone might not seem like a big deal, I strongly recommend setting aside a bit of time to do it. You can even organize your phone while you’re watching Netflix before bed! It’s doesn’t take very long, and it’s not frustrating or hard. When it’s all done, operating your phone will be much easier and a lot less stressful.
How do you organize your phone? I’d love to hear your ideas too!