Thursday, February 23, 2012

Have Apps Made Your Life Easier?

With the number of iPhone app downloads nearing 25 Billion we have been asking ourselves if these handy little tools have made our lives easier or just more complicated.

With this question in mind I did some personal research and found that out of the 102 applications on my iPhone, this is how I used them (not counting the basic apps like Calendar, Phone, Texting, Music, Clock, and Email--these I use all the time):
  • Daily - Besides the basics already listed I probably only use 5 to 7 apps--Wunderlist (To do list), Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Hootsuite...
  • Weekly - Over the span of seven days my circle of apps more than doubled to around 15 (including the five already mentioned)--Instagram, HootSuite, Accounts (Banking and Checkbook), Evernote (Notes), Pinterest, Words with friends (Scrabble game), Flashlight, Calculator, Fandango...
  • Monthly - Surpisingly the total number of apps I used in a month only increased by a few to around 20...
This leaves us with two questions that need to be answered. (1) Have these 20 apps made my life easier? And (2) Why do I have 82 other apps I rarely use?

First, I do believe I am much more productive by having these 20 apps always in my pocket. Just the fact that I can refer to basic productivity tools like my calendar, email, notes, and to do list throughout the day is a major benefit to me. So, yes apps have made my life easier...

Now onto the second question. This is one is not so easy to answer. As I looked at the 82 apps I rarely even look at I realized that they fell into three groups--Games for the kids, research apps, and "Why the crap do I have you?" apps. So, I have decided to keep the first two group of apps (because they have a specific function), and to follow our own advice from a previous post when it comes to the last group...There Is Probably An App For That, But Do You Really Need It?

In that post we suggested you follow 4 actions to make your phone work for you instead of against you.

  1. If you haven't used an app for a month, DELETE it.
  2. If you feel guilty every time you open it, DELETE it.
  3. If you use it regularly, place it front and center (like your home screen or main app banner), or organize it into a folder.
  4. If you download a new app remember to follow steps 1, 2, and 3.
Maybe it's time you take a little inventory of your apps and decide if they are making your life easier or not. Remember, if you delete an app from your phone you can always get it back if your really miss it. So, go ahead and start the cleansing process. I promise it feels really good.

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