It’s quite popular to write a blog post with a headline like ‘why I gave up <app name’, as though the app itself was something akin to smoking.

I haven’t given up too many apps on my iPhone, but what I have done is quieten them all down.

  1. Turn off notifications for any app that doesn’t need you right away, in my case I’ve turned off notifications for everything but apps that tell me I’ve spent money (my bank) and iMessage since I receive only a couple per day.
  2. Turn off all badges for anything that has no practical reason to remind you that you haven’t done anything. Every badge with a number in it should be a real reminder to do something (even if that’s 102 unread emails). Badges being shown because the app provider feels the need to tell you they’ve done something are irrelevant, noisy apps like WhatsApp that I’m in the habit of checking manually, also lose their badges since I have no interest in being told how many things I haven’t done.
  3. Finally, app organisation, My iPhone has two screens, the first screen is apps I use every day as icons, the second screen is apps in folders which I use less frequently. Since I mostly use search to start apps, folders are just a way of keeping the number of iPhone screens to a minimum.

I’ve found actively managing all my applications bids for attention and being ruthless in what gets through actively reduces the mental clutter that fills my brain when I glance at my phone. And I haven’t had to uninstall anything.