Tidy your Tech: Google Photos, Widgetsmith, & More
2 min read

Mar 23, 2022

 

Spring has officially sprung, and with the fresh air comes a fresh home that has undergone spring cleaning! However, we live in a very high-tech world, and many of us rely on our devices to achieve many tasks throughout our day. Sure, our homes may be clean in time for the spring season, but what if we took it a step further? Let’s clean our devices (inside and out)!

As we clean our devices, we can follow the same method we would use to clean a room in our house. First, it is crucial that we get rid of any unnecessary clutter, then we can organize. Delete is the key word, and there are many things that we can delete from our phones and devices to free up storage space.

Apps

When you open your phone, you have pages upon pages of applications on your home screen. Take a moment to go through and delete any applications that you no longer have use for. Those apps are taking up more storage than you think!

Once you’ve deleted apps that you don’t typically use, it’s time to organize the apps that you do use. Everyone has a different method to organize their home screen, but here are a few methods that you can use if you’re looking for inspiration:

 

  • Each page of your home screen can represent a different category (e.g. lifestyle, social media, shopping, games, etc.)
  • Color coordination for a more visually appealing look
  • Organize by usage frequency (the apps you use the most would be displayed first)

If you choose the visually appealing home screen, consider downloading the app Widgetsmith. This app offers a variety of widgets (as shown in the image to the left) that can be added to your home screen, and you can customize what is displayed. You can display pictures from your camera roll, the number of steps you take in a day, the time, the date, and even your calendar events.

Folders are also a great way to keep apps of a similar kind clustered together. If you like the idea of organizing by category, but you’d prefer to keep your home screen to 1-2 pages, drag and drop your apps into folders that separate them into categories. (See the photo on the left for more category inspiration!)

Emails and Messages

Now that your home screen is organized, let’s clean up our emails and text messages. Emails and text messages add up quickly, especially if we aren’t maintaining them consistently. Chances are, when our inbox is full, so is our storage. Keeping up with emails is crucial to a long-lasting storage life.

To clear out that inbox, unsubscribe from various email lists if you don’t want to receive further communication from them. Then, go through your inbox and delete irrelevant promotional emails and other junk mail that is no longer relevant to you.

Once you’ve done that, try to maintain your inbox by checking your email daily and deleting anything that is not important to you. Organize things that are important into folders to make them easy to locate.

Our text messages are also littered with old conversations and group chats (sometimes with people we haven’t spoken to in months). If that is the case, delete those messages and consider keeping only the conversations with the people you talk to most frequently.

While we’re at it, we can update our contact list by deleting old contacts.

Camera Roll
Finally, we can focus on cleaning up our camera rolls. To start, delete any duplicate photos and unnecessary screenshots. You can delete photos individually or use the ‘select’ feature to choose many pictures to delete at once.

Go through your camera roll and ‘favorite’ the pictures you love the most, so you’ll be sure to keep them. You can also create digital albums within your camera roll to help keep pictures organized from trips, holidays, events and more!

If you’re like me, your pictures mean a lot to you. Make sure all of your photos are backed up to a cloud to keep them safe. iPhone users can back up their information to iCloud, but I personally love to use Google Photos.

To sign up, download the Google Photos app, create a Google account (or log in with your existing credentials) and allow the app access to all photos from your camera roll.

Google Photos is free and user-friendly. It even creates fun memories, slide shows, and animated pictures for you to save!

As a general rule of thumb, delete any unnecessary information from the apps on your devices, and you should see a great improvement in your storage space. 

Now that the inside of your device is clean, let’s tackle the outside as well. According to the New York Post, your smartphone is 7 times dirtier than a toilet seat! Gross! Verizon Wireless suggests that the best way to clean your smartphone is by turning it all the way off and gently wiping down the outside of the phone and the screen with an anti-bacterial wipe. Just be sure to avoid getting any moisture in the phone’s ports.

Happy Spring Cleaning! Leave a comment with your favorite cleaning tips and tricks! Stay tuned for more Spring Cleaning blogs and content on social media! 

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