Smartphones are fast becoming a necessity and almost everyone has one, but not everybody uses their phone to its full potential. When you go phone shopping, you’re often overwhelmed by salespeople listing hundreds of different features that you have no idea to use. Whilst this can be annoying, it’s possible to use your phone for more than just calling and texting and checking your social media; it could be used as a pocket-sized digital organiser. As much as yearly planners and diaries are nice to look at, they’re less functional than digital alternatives and let’s face it, they’re pretty outdated. If you’re finally ready to make the switch to digital organisation, here’s how to do it.
1. Download a To-Do List App
One of the main things everybody needs to stay organised is a good to-do list. However, many of us are still writing out the most important information on scraps of paper or post-it notes that we found in the bin. If you really want to get organised, it’s a good idea to download a to-do list app, that’s at your disposal, whenever the need strikes you. There are loads of great to-do list apps available across all platforms, and they’re usually free. Some of the most popular include Google Tasks, Todoist and Evernote.
2. Choose a Calendar App
Switching from a physical diary to a calendar app can be quite difficult, but once you’ve committed to the transition, you’ll probably find that you’re much more organised. Calander apps are often very intuitive and can link to other apps on your phone to help your days run more smoothly. For example, if you have a day full of meetings in different locations, you may find some calendar apps that can integrate with mapping apps and weather apps to help you to be prompt and on time for every meeting, and it may even warn you about weather conditions that could cost you time.
3. Re-Organize Your Alarm Clock
Getting out of bed in the morning is usually the hardest task of the day but with the help of your smartphone, you may be able to make it a little bit easier. The idea of using a smartphone as an alarm clock is certainly not foreign to most people, but disorganised alarm apps can cause you problems to your schedule. If you take a look at your alarm clock, you’ve probably got a lot of random presets that you won’t ever need to use. By deleting these you eliminate the risk of accidentally setting your alarm to the wrong time and being late. You should also check which days your daily alarm is set to sound so that you are prepared for all of your working days and you don’t get woken up at 6:30 on your day off.
4. Delete Unused Apps
Are you the kind of person that has hundreds of apps downloaded that you never actually use? You’re not the only one! However, having too many apps on your home screen can cause you to be less organised and lose precious seconds of your day looking for the app you need. If you want to be more organised, delete the apps that you don’t need and organise them so you see the apps that you use most regularly first. If you have any apps that you don’t often use but you really can’t part with, then stick them in a folder out of the way of your important apps like calendars, google docs and social media.
5. Clear Out Your Contacts
A simple email from a co-worker saying ‘Hi it’s Katy – give me a call’ can cause an organisational meltdown if you don’t cultivate your contact list regularly. Having duplicate contacts, not saving new numbers, or not specifying which Katy is which when you save numbers can be a nightmare. In order to avoid awkward interactions and spending time searching for the right person, clear out any contacts you don’t need any more and update your existing contacts to make it clear who they are and how you know them.
6. Link Your Email Accounts
Despite popular email providers like Gmail and outlook spending a ton of money on smartphone optimised apps, a lot of people never actually get round to linking their email accounts to their smartphone. Although it works, logging into your email via your phones web browser takes much longer than using an app, and it can be harder to read the emails and respond if you need to. Linking your account in the app can help you to keep a better track of your emails when you’re on the go and it only takes a few minutes.
7. Make Use of Voice-Activated Virtual Assistants
Whilst Siri and Cortana still have a way to go before they achieve the AI greatness we all expect from them, they are extremely useful when it comes to maximising your time and staying organised. Virtual assistants are great for setting reminders, answering questions fast and helping you to send texts and make calls hands free. Learning how to use virtual assistants and finding out what they can do could help to improve your productivity and stay organised.
8. Link your credit cards
Using your phone to pay for everyday purchases is becoming more popular and can help you to be more organised. Apps like Apple Pay allow you to scan your phone as opposed to credit cards when paying. As well as this spending tracking apps can help you to stay on top of your finances by logging what you spend via credit cards and receipt scanning. If saving money or keeping track of what you spend was one of your new year’s resolutions then linking your credit cards to your phone could help you