Your cell phone isn’t just for socializing. It can be one of your most useful productivity tools if you use it right.
Our smartphones seem to run our lives nowadays, and since we’re always using them, we’re always looking for ways to make them better and use them more efficiently. If you’re looking for new apps to simplify your life, tips for organizing your home screen, or ideas for battery life optimization, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what I have on my iPhone 6S:
My lock screen is simply a photo of my boyfriend, Ryan, and myself. I choose not to use live wallpapers, because they take up too much battery life, and they just aren’t worth it for me! This simple photo isn’t flashy or inappropriate for an office or school setting, it makes me happy to see, and it helps me identify my cell in a world full of iPhones!
Once I unlock my phone, I arrive at my main screen.
My bottom four are the phone call application, camera, messages, and my music app of choice: Spotify.
I have two pages of applications, so I’ll take you through them one by one:
Outside of folders, I house my app store, Safari, calendar, photos, notes, Gmail, YouTube, my bank, Pinterest, and Polyvore.
The rest of the apps on this page are divided into folders: news, social, school, utilities, “booky,” and blog. Take a look at what I have in each folder below:
As an aspiring journalist, I follow several different news sources, seen in my “News” folder above. These are just a few of my favorites – if you have more suggestions, comment below!
I also have a folder called “Blog,” which is for all things freelancing. I keep a bookmark to my personal blog, and several apps that I use in my blogging endeavors, like Slack to communicate with one of my content creation teams, and Upwork to look for new jobs.
The Do! app is my to-do list application of choice. I use it to mark assignments for my freelance jobs, and I love that it shows up in my Today pull-down menu.
My second page includes apps that I use less regularly. Check them out:
In my “Photography” folder, I have the apps I use to edit my photos for Instagram and Twitter (I highly recommend Filterra and Airbrush for photo editing, and Typorama for adding text, at least until they make a Canva app).
Next is games, and though I’m not huge on them (because there always seems to be something else I need to be working on), I do have a few for when I have a moment of free time!
My “local” folder includes applications that apply to local life and travel; I use them sparingly, but they are much-appreciated when the time is right.
Finally, most people seem to have an “Extras” folder, with the apps that Apple doesn’t allow you to delete, and other programs you never really use – and I am no exception!
I have my phone organized in a way that makes it ideal for school and work/blogging organization, with ample folders and productivity apps to keep me in line. So how can you make your phone the most efficient device it can be?
Your phone is useless if the battery is dead. Here’s how to make it last all day:
- Say goodbye to the live wallpapers. They drain battery life quickly – it isn’t worth it!
- Turn down that brightness when you can. Your phone’s display uses more power than any other process.
- Play games sparingly – these are immediate battery drainers.
- Turn off WiFi, mobile data, and location when you aren’t using them. Your phone sucks up battery searching for these services. If you really need to make it last, try putting your phone on airplane mode whenever possible!
- If you aren’t on mobile data/WiFi, streaming music doesn’t use very much battery. Try saving the songs to your phone via iTunes or Spotify instead.
If you keep running out of storage, but can’t seem to part with any more apps, it’s time to prioritize:
- If you use an app less than once per week, it doesn’t deserve a spot on your phone! You won’t miss it when you can snap more photos.
- Live photos on the iPhone 6S are neat, but they take up double the space of a regular photo, and often, they aren’t necessary. You can’t even share them! Switch your live photos off so you can save more memories with loved ones.
Finally, make sure you’re reaping all the benefits that your phone can offer. Productivity is key for the busy college student! Here are some tips for using your phone to keep organized:
- Find a useable to-do list app. If Apple’s pre-downloaded Reminders works for you, use it! Alternatively, find application like Do! that allows you to keep an outlook on your weeks ahead. You may have to experiment to figure out what works best for you.
- Download the applications for online services you use, like Blackboard, Canvas, or Slack. It will be a billion times easier than finding a computer every time you need to check your grades or communicate with your colleagues.
- Finally, update your calendar, notes, and to-do lists regularly so that you know you can depend on them when life gets hectic.
Your cell phone isn’t just for socializing and playing games with friends. It can be one of your most useful productivity tools if you use it right. Take a tour through your own phone and see what you can do to make it more efficient – then leave a comment below and let me know what you did!
What tips do you have for busy college students looking to optimize their smart phones? Let me know in the comments!