Digital Hoarding and the iPhone

Posted: March 30, 2010 in Apple, iphone, organization
Tags: , ,

I feel a bit like Fred Sanford at times when i look at all the stuff collecting on my Mac and even more so lately, my iPhone.   I try once in a while to go thru my applications folder on my Mac (for windows machines the best way is to use the uninstall programs in Control Panel) and weed out the stuff i haven’t used in a long time, or sometimes ever.   Lots of test or beta programs get installed that never see the light of day again, and there they sit taking up valuable space on my hard drives. (Yes drives, plural)  Not only is all that digital junk taking up room on my internal drive, it’s also all backed up onto an external drive – but you all do that too, right?  If you are not backing up all your files and info by now, stop reading this and go do it now.  As they say, there are those that have had hard drives failures and those that soon will.

Getting back to my original point, the amount of stuff that accumulates on my iPhone is in some ways even worse than my Mac.  Free Apps are so plentiful and easy to install that i have a tendency to try out way more of them on my iPhone than i would normally on my Mac.  One of the things i’ve noticed is that too many apps can slow you down depending upon how you organize your pages of apps, if you do organize at all that is.  If you are like most people, the new ones just fill in where the old ones were removed and its a constantly changing landscape so to speak.  Sorta like Fred Sanford and his junkyard  i mentioned.  You know hidden amongst all those apps are a few gems, but sometimes its tough to find them amidst the clutter and I don’t have a son Lamont to send out looking for it.  Thankfully the uninstall is just as easy as the install.   It’s just a simple case of holding the icon on the iPhone screen until it does that wiggly-sexy edit-mode-thing and then click the “x” on the corner, or delete them in iTunes applications library, but the edit mode thing just looks so much cooler. Shake it little app icons, shake it.

I try to take time every spring to clean out and clean up my computers and now my iphone too. Check them over, take them apart if you can to clean them out, run those apps like TechTool, Disk Utility, or even just SmartReporter to make sure your hard drives are in good shape.  Don’t forget your backup drives too – its not a good idea to just assume since you have a backup that you are safe, sometimes backups fail too, so verify them, test them, replace them every few years.  Much like your car, your motorcycle, or your bike, the things you rely on in your daily life need to be maintained, and what better time to do it than when everything is getting that fresh revived and reborn feeling and shaking off old man winter.

I don’t think there is a way to change the way I use my iPhone so I’ll just have to set aside the time once in a while to clear out the clutter and delete the apps I rarely or never use.  I went from 8 pages of apps down to six without a second thought, i could probably get rid of a few more if i really thought about it.   Too bad there isn’t a way to keep track of which apps haven’t been used in a while so you can get rid of the deadwood. Maybe there’s an app for that?  I’m gonna go look.


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