Posted in Blogging

How I Use My Phone in 2021

Whenever I get a new phone at the end of an existing contract, I find that there’s a new sense of excitement in the air; a chance for a new beginning.

I’m going to treat this phone right, I say. I’m going to organise myself with it, keep it as clean as I can, and I’m going to run my life off this magical little device but at the same time not sit there wasting loads of time on it.

A couple of weeks later, you’ll probably find me sitting here aimlessly playing games or watching videos on YouTube, completely forgetting about that sense of optimism I once had.

So what have I done with my phone since, including up to present day? Have I kept up the laziness and procrastination or have I used it to my advantage?

I’ve seen this idea on a couple of Pinterest posts (because I actually go on those now) and at first, I thought it was such a pointless idea. However, sometimes pointless ideas turn out to be quite fun. So here we go, an insight into how I’m using my phone in the year 2021….



For the first time ever, I’ve actually taken the time to sort all of my apps into categories, which in itself is far more organised than I’ve ever been before. Here’s a look at some of the things I look at on a daily basis, alongside some of the things I barely pay any attention to.

News

Simple and effective. BBC News and BBC Sport; all the information I need basically telling me how the country is getting on with the pandemic and how many goals my football team lost by. I don’t trust a lot of other news outlets, although all my Facebook page seems to be now is “news” too.

Banking

My own bank’s rather good app alongside the one for my credit card. Not much more I can say on the matter as it’s pretty self explanatory.

Music & Games

Now, in the past, this section might have been littered with games I’d downloaded; these games were ones that I would become slightly addicted to but then delete them once I realised how much time I was spending on them. Then I’d get them back because I missed them, and as such a vicious circle was born.

Not anymore though. I have my paid-for Spotify app which I need as it helps get me through every day and a game of Noughts and Crosses as my little one likes to play it with me. That’s my lot. Well done me.

Blogging

I’m really happy to have this section as it means I’ve kept a blog going for longer than I ever had before. Smashing.

This section comprises of WordPress (crucially) and Hootsuite (a scheduling tool which has become more crucial in recent months, especially when planning content for Blogmas). I’ve also added my Outlook icon for my blogging email address, Canva Pro because it’s again vital for images etc. and something called Lightroom which apparently touches up your photos although I’m terrible at taking pictures and even worse at touching them up.

I probably could have worded that last sentence a little better.

Shopping

Ah, here we go. If you want to see the section of my phone with the cobwebs hanging off it, you’ve come to the correct place.

Amazon, PayPal, Etsy; they’re probably the ones I use the most within this section and I’ll say I probably used them about 5 times in the year 2020…..combined.

The rest? Clearpay and Uber Eats have never been used, I’ll probably only use MoonPig for a birthday card once a year and it feels like I haven’t used the handy Wetherspoons app in ages (in reality the last time would have been July).

TV

Now I’ve got 7 apps within this section, but in all honesty I hardly ever watch any telly on my phone. However, it’s always handy to have them there just in case….

Netflix, BT Sport, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, Disney+, Prime Video and the Sky Go access that I stole off my parents? You can all stay.

Social Media

Forget the games section I mentioned earlier, this is the area where I find myself spending most of my time.

Got 5 minutes? I’ll just pick up my phone and scroll through Facebook for absolutely no reason whatsoever. I don’t have conversations via its annoying little mate, Messenger, and I don’t really intend to.

Alongside that though, some good does come of it. I enjoy posting about my blog on Twitter, I don’t mind the occasional flick through Instagram and I’m slowly warming to Pinterest, day by day.

I also downloaded this thing called Planoly, but I can’t make head nor tail of it….so it’ll probably just sit there for a bit until my next app cleanse.

School

Necessary for any parent of school-age children, however my wife gets all the notifications through to her phone too and with everyone being at home they’ve served even less of a purpose for me personally recently.

ParentMail and SchoolPing? You can stay where you are, well for as long as we have the kids anyway.

Fitness

Oh dear, I was dreading this one. It’s not very, er, full?

Strava? I did run for a little while (and wasn’t doing too badly) but that’s sort of tailed off. The Couch to 5k has been completed now but I’ve sort of kept it there in case I optimistically feel like doing it again some day. The last one is MyFitnessPal, which I downloaded as I’d heard a lot of good things about it, however without me keeping fit in any way whatsoever, it would just be served as an app that tells me how many crisps I eat in a day.

I already know how many I eat; loads.

Work

I would never have guessed that, when I was first introduced to this app called “Zoom” some time in 2018/2019, that it would end up being so bloody popular in January 2021. I end up using it every weekday without fail.

The other work stuff I won’t go into in much detail, there’s a few things there I don’t even remember downloading, which is always fun. I have Microsoft Teams but never use it, I kind of like to switch off at 5pm and try not to think about work again until the next morning.

Misc.

Ah, the “miscellaneous” file. Yes, I am that much of an arsehole that I have organised my folders and kept a “misc.” file for all of those ones I couldn’t find a suitable home for.

This folder is full of the odds and sods who got to sing at the judges’ houses but didn’t quite make the live shows.

Rightmove. It’s on our agenda to look for houses this year into 2022, but for now you don’t have a home so you can stay in this folder.

Zedge. You might not have heard of this, but you can download ringtones and notification sounds straight to your phone, for those times where you want to feel bit like a teenager again. I’ve had Homer Simpson as my notification sound for about 12 months and have no plans to change anything soon.

SouthEastern. This one is pretty good for finding out how late my train is going to be, whenever the next time is that I’ll actually be getting on one.

IMDb. Hands down my most-used app from this folder, on the basis I’m absolutely addicted to playing the game “ooh, I know him/her from somewhere else, let’s pull up an entire list of the films/TV shows he/she has previously been in before and tell the wife all about it”. She loves me for it, so I’m keeping it.

My EE. I have it, but I don’t really need it. Based on the fact I have no idea what my customer number or password is, it’s probably not going to be used much anytime soon. All I know is my bill comes out every month and I never go outside anymore so never use any data.

Notepad. In actual fact, there’s probably an argument that this could feature in the “blogging” section of my phone, as this is where I save some important links and occasionally write down some blog post ideas. You know what? I’m going to move it right this second. Who knew this post might actually be good for something?

NHS Covid-19. It’s this new app, only came out last year, you’ve probably not heard too much about it.

Would any of you be interested in taking yourself around your phone? Do you have any similar apps or ones you think would work for me?

Let me know in the comments!

28 thoughts on “How I Use My Phone in 2021

  1. Oh man I am so glad you play the ‘I know them’ game as well!! That is literally all we do with any film/tv show. Rob has himself down as a super recogniser so I do the checking and damn it, hes usually right!!
    I to have organised my phone and I swear it was life changing!

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    1. I also play the “lets scroll through IMDb and go through an entire cast and see how many other things I can remember they’ve been in without looking at their page” (that’s more sad because I play that on my own). Glad you got yourself organised!

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  2. I have a lot of similar apps to you. Mainly blog stuff such as canva, WordPress app and others too. Also YouTube studio as of recently and a few editing apps. My smartphone is such a handy bit of kit I can do everything on it, camera for images, editing, writing and admin too. Social media pretty much the same as you too. Great read Tom.

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      1. It will be crazy to think what it is like isn’t it. Some form of implanted chip and display direct to your eye

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  3. Such an interesting read! I don’t normally have news apps on my phone, I can just use Twitter for that! I don’t have TV apps on my phone, I’m quite surprised I don’t to be honest! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

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  4. Last year I did that and put all my similar apps into folders and I’ve found it sooo much better and easier to manage! I use my phone for pretty much everything – apart from commenting on blog posts, I’m on my laptop for that! Lately I’ve turned most of my notifications off though and it’s making a big difference to my mental health x

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    1. Massive difference turning off your notifications I agree. I’ve not put notifications on my social media itself for years, rather just go into the app to look. Agree too with the managing of folders, so much easier to group stuff! Thanks for reading 😊

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  5. I really need to sit down and reorganize my phone. I did go through recently and delete a large number of apps that I had downloaded at one time or another but never used, or used for a short time and then forgot about entirely. It’s surprising how quickly they can add up! Now that I’m down to just apps that I actively use, I need to see what I can do about organizing them and making it easier to locate what I’m looking for on the go.

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    1. It’s definitely a massive help to remove the apps that are just sitting there gathering dust, so you’re half way there! Organising it isn’t necessarily crucial, but it certainly has made a difference. Now I’m not going through pages and pages of things looking for what I might use once in a while!

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  6. I love getting a new phone, as it feels like a clean slate. I usually use them until they stop working, as I am on pay-as-you-go. I also organise the contents of my phone into different categories and have introduced a blogging section. I’m with you on having a folder with random apps that have no other home, usually the ones that come with the phone.
    After reading this post, I feel like I should look at my phone and start organising them into specific categories to help me stay organised. Thank you for sharing. 😊

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    1. Give it a go if you want to, you might be surprised at what you get out of it! But agree with you, getting a new phone can be one of life’s most exciting things when you’re an adult – (almost) endless possibilities!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m exactly the same when I get a new phone, which I did recently and felt like I had to treat it right haha, I always have the mindset that my life will magically become more organised now that I have a new phone, but it’s just something I try and convince myself to believe, it never ends up happening.

    I also like the way you write and how you incorporate a bit of humour in there!

    Really enjoyed this post!

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    1. Exactly right Jared, you think it’s going to be a new start but I always fall into the same habits no matter what I tell myself! Thanks for reading and for the kind comment 😊

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  8. I do exactly the same thing when I get a new phone. I always have such high hopes, convinced that this time my new phone is going to help me get my life organized. Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t quite work out that way. I’m just glad to know I’m not alone in my phone expectations. Oh, and I play the same game with IMDB. It drives my husband crazy. 😂

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    1. Yeah the expectations are that it’ll drive some better habits and will be a sort of new start but in the end I always fall back into the same trends! I hope you carry on with the game despite him not enjoying it, it’s very fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This post was actually a lot more interesting than expected (and I say that in the most positive way possible) – I’m tempted to pinch the idea ;). I deleted all games off my phone about 2 or 3 years ago – even my beloved Pokemon go. I’d say I spend most of my time on Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp, so it’s interesting to see those apps so far down your list!

    Em | echoesofem.Wordpress.com

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    1. Ah don’t worry, you can steal it! (I didn’t know what to name it so please call it what you like). Those things aren’t in any particular order, just the way they were organised on my phone. I’m definitely one to spend more time on social media than anything else; but I’ve tried to make it more useful rather than just scrolling! Thanks for reading 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Love this idea! I definitely scroll through social media too much- I removed Facebook a couple of years ago and don’t miss it, so at least I can tell myself that when I’m scrolling it’s somehow improving my blog progress- but I know that’s not always true! I think the apps I use the most on my phone are Netflix and Spotify- I hate silence and I need a bit of constant background noise in the form of Friends or Taylor Swift haha 🙂

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  11. I find it quite easy to blog on my phone, the ease and the mobility is a birdie. Even though the phone is not aesthetically worthwhile, I quite love it for the blogging purpose.

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  12. A phone seems to act like a virtual desk nowadays, so it’s nice to have it efficiently organised. I like to do something similar, except instagram is my social media crutch, which I keep telling myself to delete

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  13. It’s a lot of fun to get a new device huh? I love it to haha. I started using my phone for banking, social media, freelance work, emails, and the calendar. I’ve noticed it’s made life a lot simpler instead of lugging around a laptop.

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