The average iPhone user has 60 to 90 apps installed according to App Annie. I have 19 apps on my smartphone. Here they are in no particular order:
- Apple Wallet
- Mental Math
- A Password App
- App Store
- Find My Friends
- Standard Notes
- Firefox Focus
- Google Maps*
- Apple Phone Call App
If you exclude apps required for basic iPhone functionality, I have 10 discretionary apps installed (bolded above).
(*I don’t count Google Maps since it’s a replacement for Apple Maps because Apple Maps is terrible.)
I think our productivity is inversely proportional to the number of apps we have on our smartphones.
More apps = more distractions. More apps also = less meaningful work.
Cal Newport, author of the book Digital Minimalism, encourages us to do a 30-day “digital declutter”. The general idea is to get rid of all non-essential technology for 30 days, then add back only what adds true value (is in alignment with what you want out of life) after the declutter period ends.
I’ve been pretty good about limiting the number of apps on my phone for a while. But, I took it a step further with this process.
What did I add back after my 30-day digital declutter?
Kindle: I have some reference books, such as the Convict Conditioning bodyweight workout book, I use often so I reinstalled the Kindle app.
Audible: I like listening to audiobooks on long drives.
Standard Notes: It’s a more secure note taking app and occasionally I want to take a note while not at home.
Uber: Mainly for UberEats.
Spotify: To listen to music while working out, driving, or on the airplane while I’m reading to block people talking and small children losing their minds.
If the 100 websites, apps, plugins, and online services you feel compelled to check everyday get in the way of your mental peace and what matters most to you, I encourage you to get rid of all non-essential technology for 30 days. Avoid impulsive app checking for that period. Once the 30 days are over, add back only the technology services you feel are necessary.