What's On My Phone (and What's Not)

Here on today's episode of 'things no one asked for but I'm sharing anyway' is all about what's on my phone. But I have reasons for sharing it - it's another spot to simplify that people don't think about. Digital clutter tends to be the last thing people concern themselves with but it can be mentally stressing you out more than you realize. My hope in showing you my phone is that you'll be inspired to delete a few things off yours today.

I have the iPhone 12 mini and I love it. I am so, so happy to finally be back to a small phone! The only started getting bigger after the 5 and I always hated that it took two hands to operate so I was thrilled when small sizes came back around. I drop it less often, it fits better in my wallet, and it's overall easier to do everything on it that I use a phone for.

What's on my minimalist phone?

The usual and most used suspects. Messages, phone, camera, photos, clock, weather, mail, calendar (which you can see I took screen shots two weeks ago but nothing has changed!), internet browser. And of course, anything that can't be deleted.

Important info apps. Which are Reminders and Evernote. Reminders is still my chosen way of making lists, like my grocery list. There's a lot of app options but reminders has always worked well for me, so I keep it. And I keep longer term important info in Evernote, like Christmas gift ideas, account log in information, and my cleaning routine checklist.

Smart home apps. This includes our security system, camera system, and Nest thermostat. I love being able to set the alarm and lock the door from my phone, and adjust the temperature when we aren't there (or, you know, from the bed.)

Health related apps. Besides just the Apple Health app (which I use mainly for cycle tracking and steps), I also have the DietBet app since Megan and I are doing bets through June that require monthly weigh ins, plus the WW app (Weight Watchers) which I'm sticking with until I hit my goal weight. After that I get it free if I go weigh in every month in a studio but that seems like a lot of effort I'm not willing to put forth. So I'm looking forward to the day I can delete both of those because it means I'm at my goal! Why are the last 20 lbs so stubborn? Oh and I have the FitTrack app, which is our smart scale.

Podcast related apps. Anchor is what I actually record the podcast on, but there are related apps that I wouldn't have or access from my phone at all if I didn't run the podcast and related online store. These include Instagram, Discord, and my printer app.

Entertainment apps. YouTube and Spotify. I only use the free version of Spotify when working out (but I use YouTube more), but keep it for the occasionally music we play during happy hour. And YouTube is my main way of consuming entertainment value content.

Bank app. I don't use it often but it's important to have to keep tabs on balances and to make sure nothing fishy is going on.

What's NOT on my phone?

Food delivery apps. It was one of our main goals this year, to order less food delivery. John still does it sometimes but I've stayed firm - the few times I've had food I didn't cook myself this year, I've gotten my ass out of the house to go get it myself. I mean, the Chipotle by me is a drive thru so it's not like I made a crazy amount of effort but still, saved on delivery fees and tips. The apps, especially with the credit card information saved, make it way too easy to have an unhealthy binge on the way before your brain even realizes what you're doing. I'm not anti-restaurant food, I just believe it needs to be a conscious choice.

Games. I know people who play phone games as part of their relax time. I am not those people. I see no value in these things, as they don't really entertain me that much but they also don't give my brain/self the break I'm really looking for when I think 'I need to take a few minutes for me.' There is value in both 'productive' break time, where you break from brain focused work to do something physical like a load of laundry, as well as 'mindless' break time, which would include games like candy crush. I just prefer different mindless activities. I never played any form of gaming system games either though, or computer games, so I think it's just not in my nature. But I think these are things that can easily suck way more time than you think they do, so you might want to consider deleting them or at least putting a time limit on them, after which your phone locks you out until tomorrow!

Contact info for everyone I've ever met. Deleting contacts is my favorite thing, I only have 30 in there now. Listen - I just do not need my old boss's cell phone number or that of the one acquaintance I only ever see and talk to once a year at a street fest. And neither do you. (a) If they're a friend, THEY will contact YOU and then you can reassess putting them back in your phone and (b) if you by chance find you suddenly really need to contact your old boss on his cell phone, I guarantee you will find a way to find that number.

Most social media. I just have Instagram. No Facebook, Pinterest, SnapChat, TikTok... however many other ones I'm missing. I don't even know all the popular ones right now, it's just not my thing. 

Photo filter and editing apps. The camera on these is supposed to be really good so you're seeing what I'm seeing. I don't feel the need to use tons of filters and edits. Sometimes I brighten photos, which you can do right in the regular photos app. That's about it, I'm not spending all this time playing around with colors to make my Instagram feed 'match'. We get what we get and we don't throw a fit.

Do you have any particular time sucks on your phone that have to go?

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