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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!