Let’s dive into six ways you can use your phone for productivity.
Written by: Rupin Kale
“In 20 or 30 years, you'll be able to hold in your hand as much computing knowledge as exists now in the whole city, or even the whole world.” - Douglas Engelbart
You’re most probably reading this blog on a device that’s less than seven inches long. This 1997 quote from Douglas Engelbart, one of the pioneers of the digital revolution, now feels like a Nostradamus prediction.
The world, in all its glory, is truly at our fingertips today. We can access every piece of information within seconds, connect with people living on the other side of the globe, and discover things we were not privy to just a few decades ago. The smartphone has become mankind’s best friend, taking us deep into a digital world that’s as magical as it’s terrifying.
Your phone can be your greatest asset or your biggest liability. Let’s dive into six ways you can turn it into the former.
#1: Organize Your Gallery
One of the messiest applications on a phone, the photo gallery can quickly spin out of control if you do not keep tabs on it.
A major reason behind the disorganization of this space is that it gets new content almost every day, with media from WhatsApp, important screenshots, regular photos and other pieces of information coming in.
If these are all jumbled together in a single folder, finding specific media as and when you need it becomes tedious. Moreover, if this growing content is not kept in check, it eats into the storage space of your phone, leading to frequent storage usage notifications. These can cause momentary anxiety.
It's clear why keeping your gallery organised is crucial. This might need a little effort early on, but will save you hours of ruffling through unnecessary fluff in the future. Here’s how to do it:
Divide pictures, videos in folders based on your preference. For example, there can be a folder for your vacation photos, one with your friends & relatives, a work folder and another one for your important documents.
You can get really creative with this, dividing content as much as you need. You can also make two main folders labelled ‘personal’ and ‘professional’, and add subsections as you go.
Note: A decision that has helped me tremendously is creating a ‘motivation’ folder, where I save inspiring quotes, videos and screenshots. I open it when I want to procrastinate, and the content therein motivates me to finish the job at hand more often than not. Give it a try – it really works!
#2: Download Productivity Apps
Applications like Evernote, Trello, Forest and Google Calendar can infuse efficiency in your workflow. They are compatible on desktops as well as smartphones, and automatically sync the data between those devices.
Evernote is a superb note-taking and to-do app, Trello helps you tackle big projects, Google Calendar is probably the best way to block your time and Forest/Noisli has nature sounds you can listen to while working.
The ‘notes’ app inbuilt in every phone can also be your best friend. Use it to jot down any important (or unimportant) thoughts you have.
Note: Try using the voice recorder feature for recording any new ideas that may get. This way, you won't have to type it out, but you can still keep a record of all your important ideas in one place.
#3: Follow The Right Accounts on Social Media
According to this splendid infographic from Fame Mass, 3.48 billion people use social media, out of which 60% are constantly connected. Digital platforms have spread far and wide in the world, becoming one of our primary forms of communication.
If you decide to completely block out social media, you might miss out on reaching out to people and learning new things. Hence, to maximise your social media output, it’s best to follow the right people.
Unfollow accounts that make you feel negative emotions like anger or envy. Instead, follow accounts with content that you personally connect with. Follow artists for inspiration, entrepreneurs for motivation, spiritual leaders for mental peace and experts for knowledge.
This will make the time taken in scrolling through your feed well-spent. You’ll move from comparisons and jealousy to ideas and inspiration.
Note: If for some reason you cannot unfollow a few accounts, muting is always a great option!
#4: Use Reminders Extensively
This one little step has transformed my career. To give you an example, I had set a reminder for writing this very blog post!
Do not expect your mind to remember everything. Add the smallest thing your reminders app, especially work-related tasks.
The worst that can happen is you remember it already when the reminder flashes on your screen – in which case can simply turn it off. That’s a lot better than not setting up a reminder and messing up a due date, isn’t it?
Note: Reminders can also be used for taking care of your health. I use them to take my supplements, plus I have eight ‘drink water’ reminders set through the day.
#5: Arrange Apps Tactfully
According to this study conducted by University of California, women who described their homes as ‘cluttered’ were more likely to be depressed.
The same logic applies to technology. If living in a space that is disorganised can cause distress, why will a cluttered phone not have the same effect? It’s a machine you stare into for hours in a day. Opening your phone to see a disorganized screen can cause unnecessary anxiety.
This is why it's important to organise your home screen. Here are a few ways you can sort your apps:
According to functionality
According to frequency of usage
According to preference
This might take a few minutes to execute and a few days to get used to, but it will change your life for the better.
Note: Be mindful of the apps that you add to your phone. Organizing them will help, but de-cluttering them with tact and mindfulness will way in many more ways!
#6: Podcasts & Audio Books
Podcasts and audiobooks apps are lifesavers, particularly in times when you don’t have access to the internet. Podcasts shows and audio books, if chosen wisely, can add substantial value to your life. You can listen to them during mundane tasks, like folding clothes or doing dishes.
What you hear, consciously or subconsciously, has a direct impact on your mind. When you listen to inspirational, informative or fact-based content, you expose yourself to the right words.
Podcasts on every niche topic are available on many platforms today. If you haven’t listened to one before, it’s about time you dive into this lovely world!
Note: Use Spotify for Podcasts. It's free to use and has all the best shows you could ever ask for! Also, consider Storytel for Audiobooks. It's affordable and allows you access to over 100,000 books per month!
Don't let your phone be the master of you. Take these small steps and see a big difference!
Let us know if you missed out on anything in the comments below. :)