Creating a Digital Minimalist Experience: Decluttering Your Smartphone for Focus

Creating a Digital Minimalist Experience: Decluttering Your Smartphone for Focus

Your phone is like a lifeline these days. It connects you, helps you find answers, and boosts your productivity. Right now, you’re probably even reading this post on your phone. But let’s take a look at your apps. Ever feel like you can’t find what you need? Is your phone a cluttered mess? Do you have apps you don’t even remember downloading? Let’s improve your digital experience and decluttering smartphone.

Decluttering Your Smartphone for Focus

#1 Delete Unused Apps

Apps can be deceiving. They might not be as useful as we think or once were. And sometimes, they outlive their purpose too. Just like cleaning out unnecessary things from our homes, purging unused apps from our phones keeps them running smoothly and without clutter. If you have an iPhone, you can check how much you’ve used an app in the past week by going to your battery settings. For Android users, you can install an app usage tracker called QualityTime and monitor your usage over a few weeks. Alternatively, most Android phones also provide app usage information in the settings.

#2 Focus Modes

You can use Apple’s Focus feature to manage your notifications. It allows you to customize “do not disturb” settings for different activities. By default, your device has preconfigured options that you can review and optimize to suit your needs.

To create a new custom Focus Mode, go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad and tap “Focus.” It’s located in the same subcategory as notifications. You can also create a new Focus mode from the Control Center by long pressing the “Do Not Disturb” icon and tapping “New Focus.”

#3 Garbage clearance

All sorts of garbage accumulate on your phone, mainly app data. Many of them are not needed by the user: cookies, cache, downloads, and the like. All this can be cleaned up with the cleaner app for iPhone in just a few clicks. With the Cleanup phone app, you can also remove duplicate files that are very difficult to manually find. Why do you need the same file, but one in the gallery and the second in the Telegram downloads folder? Use a phone cleaner to get rid of junk and organize your device.

#4 Organize Apps

You can organize folders by usage. Create folders for frequently used apps and less-used apps. Move the less-used folders to another screen, decluttering your phone and making it accessible. On your iPhone, organize folders using emojis. Use a runner emoji for health and fitness apps, a typewriter or pen for blogging apps, and a phone emoji for communication tools. Cute emojis make app filing more fun! If you don’t like folders, consider organizing apps alphabetically or by color. It’s a quick and appealing way to find apps if you’re a visual person and familiar with app icons.

#5 Use Cloud Storage

To save memory on your phone, back up information to the cloud. Evaluate your highest areas of memory usage. Usually, these include photos, documents, music, and video files. Store them in a cloud service instead of your phone.

Android users can try Dropbox, Amazon Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Google Drive. These apps might already be preloaded on your phone. iPhone users can use iCloud or OneDrive too. Google Drive for iOS and Dropbox are also available for iPhone. Some cloud services are free, but most require a monthly fee based on your file size. Luckily, the fees are minimal. If you use a cloud service for your computer, you can usually use the same service for your phone. It’s covered under your monthly plan.

Creating a Digital Minimalist Experience: Decluttering Your Smartphone for Focus

#6 Back up

Phone clutter caused by photos is a major issue. The number of photos taken in this digital age surpasses those taken in the entire 1800s in just a couple of minutes! It’s difficult to narrow down and delete photos, especially ones of our kids. We tend to keep every single moment, even if their eyes are closed or if they’re making adorable, but odd faces. However, having too many photos diminishes the importance of truly special ones. What you can do is narrow down your photos. Delete duplicates and bursts, and keep only the best shots. Consider moving your photos to a photo storage service like Google Photos, Snapfish, or Flickr. It’s better to back up your photos instead of storing them on your phone. If you prefer tangible pictures, you can use print services like Shutterfly, Walgreens, or Costco to create photo books as keepsakes.


Rubbish accumulates whether we like it or not. We are all distinguished only by whether we take it out or continue to keep it. If you want to breathe freely in any field, including digital, you need to clean your device. These tips will help you get your phone back to an enviably organized state.

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About the author



Tom is a gizmo-savvy guy, who has a tendency to get pulled into the nitty gritty details of technology. He attended UT Austin, where he studied Information Science. He’s married and has three kids, one dog and 2 cats. With a large family, he still finds time to share tips and tricks on phones, tablets, wearables and more. You won’t see Tom anywhere without his ANC headphones and the latest smartphone. Oh, and he happens to be an Android guy, who also has a deep appreciation for iOS.