Ever since I purchased my iPhone in October 2011, I have been fascinated by the applications in the Apple App Store. Unfortunately, I’ve been too enamored and have noticed the number of apps increasing on my phone.
I have three apps for recording lists and to-do items. I have two apps for opening Dropbox or Google Drive documents. I have applications that make me question where I have downloaded those apps. I was hoping I would find the right workflow to get my own work done. Unfortunately, all I did was completely confuse myself.
My friend Barrett Young from The Green Abacus calls this “data p***” (hint – the word rhymes with “corn”). We spend so much time downloading applications and other gadgets, and we forget we are supposed to use our applications. They are not supposed to use us.
At the start of September 2012, I made a pledge to reduce the number of apps on my phone by 50%. The only way I could do this would be to become extremely productive with my applications. I am following these steps to wean myself from the overload of applications.
- Determine WHY you want to be successful (affiliate link) – You will never follow through on being more productive if you have no reason why to do it. I wanted to spend more time with my family and find more time to exercise. Once I understood why I wanted to become more productive, I can look past challenges and obstacles.
- Draw your workflow on paper – There is magic in putting pen to paper and drawing your workflow. We become so dependent on computers and do not recognize the power of drawing our ideas. I used a piece of art sketch paper to draw my workflow. I started with idea capture and ended with the final output like a blog post or class idea.
- Identify your “go-to” app – Each of us must identify the one application we would use if we were forced to choose. For me, Evernote is my go-to app. I want as much of my reference items, content, checklists, and idea lists into Evernote. This meant I am choosing apps which integrate with Evernote. If an app does not easily integrate with Evernote, I likely will not use it.
- Pick the right tools to minimize additional work – I minimize additional work by using applications with Evernote. I decided to stop using an application which I loved because I had to manually enter data in this application as well as in Evernote. I also decided to move items like grocery lists from a dedicated app into Google Docs. My wife and I both use Google Docs, and it makes more sense to use one application for multiple items instead of using a dedicated app.
I am still working through my apps, but I want to reduce my work-related apps into a single folder on my phone. I will then save time and effort looking for my applications. I want to spend my time making my business happen, not searching through my library of apps and not working on my projects.
What can you do to reduce the number of applications you use? Share your thoughts below!