12/04/12 21:40:00

How to Uninstall Apps, Remove Subscriptions and Get Your Desk Cleaned

Again a “how to have less (annoying) stuff in your life”-article. Recently I had the feeling I had too many apps on my phone. Frankly I don’t have many compared to the 200+ of some colleagues, but I still like to keep my phone clean(er-ish). Sometimes I just can’t get rid of an app for whatever reason. The following method works for more stuff than just “apps”. I found it to be equally good for subscribed news feeds, OmniFocus projects, Mac/iPhone/iPad apps, even “things to keep on my desk” , too.



The technique is done relatively easy. You get your spouse sitting next to you. Now go you through all your apps/subscriptions/whathaveyou individually. Your task is to describe each one and why you want to keep it. “This is the thing I’m using to ….” Your friend listens and tells you which ones to keep.

By describing each item and “defending” them, it becomes much easier to identify those that are a burden. Sometimes you can just delete an item right away without explanation.

You: “This is the app I bought so that it becomes easier to write blog articles on my iPad.”
You’re spouse: “What happened? I didn’t see you writing more often.”
You: “I guess i didn’t keep that promise. Guess I don’t need it then.”

This is really easy to do in 15 to 30 minutes.

With this trick I was able to identify those things that I once thought were interesting, but actually never cared about. I’m down from 130 to 102 apps again on my phone and from 183 to 126 subscriptions in Google Reader. Very little energy, high impact.

photo credit: Phillie Casablanca via photopin cc