We could all use less clutter in our lives. These five apps can help you decrease the amount of paper coming into your home and even cut down on the digital junk mail.
- Get rid of unwanted email subscriptions
- Get a robust notes app
- Read books on your iPad or iPhone
- Read magazines on your iPad or iPhone
- Get your news fix digitally
- How do you declutter your life
Get rid of unwanted email subscriptions
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I frequently find myself subscribed to emails that I never requested. I also sometimes subscribe to emails and then later change my mind. Unroll.me is an app that lets you quickly unsubscribe from all of those unwanted emails.
It works much like a dating app does. When you open the app, you'll see each subscription email, one at a time. Swipe left to unsubscribe. Swipe right to keep your subscription going. Or, swipe up to "rollup" that subscription. Choosing rollup will consolidate all of these emails into a single daily digest.
Get a robust notes app
You're not still using post-it notes and paper notebooks to keep track of your thoughts and other important bits of information, are you? It's time to go digital. Evernote is a robust notes app I've been using for years. I love it for several reasons.
First of all, you can keep notes within notebooks. I keep my personal and my professional lives organized within different notebooks. Secondly, the entire app is searchable. Just type in a keyword and all instances of it will pop up. Third, the app has a great document scanner within it. Read about more of Evernote's features here.
Read books on your iPad or iPhone
I decided years ago that I preferred the advantages of digital reading over that beloved tactile sensation of actual books. I know some people don't want to let go of the paper books, which is fine, but I far prefer the customization options for reading on my iPad. Being able to change the font, font size, screen color, and brightness are huge perks. I primarily read in bed with the lights off in order to wind down for sleep, and I hate using those itty bitty book lights. Not to mention that a single device is easier to carry with you on vacation than multiple books.
Sure there are programs like the Kindle app that'll let you pay for books, but what if you didn't have to spend a dime? All you need is a library card and one of Overdrive's suite of apps to download the books you want. Read more about how to use Overdrive's new app, Libby, here.
Read magazines on your iPad or iPhone
That's right, you can go ahead and cancel your magazine subscriptions. Magazines are single-use and disposable, like paper plates. Read your favorite magazines on your iOS device instead. Assuming your library partners with Flipster, you can borrow those magazines for free. All you'll need is a library card and the app Flipster on your iPad or iPhone. I love reading magazines on my iPad and I often download a bunch before taking a vacation. The app is easy to use, you can read more about how to use Flipster here.
Get your news fix digitally
Speaking of single-use and disposable, newspapers are an even bigger contributor to the avalanche of paper in many homes. We still pay for subscriptions to our favorite local newspapers, we just get them all digitally now. I do think it's worth paying for quality publications, you just don't have to choose the paper option. Most newspapers do have an app or an online version.
Of course, there are tons of free news apps out there. I like to keep it simple and as politically neutral as possible, so I have the AP News app on my iPhone and iPad. Read about other great news apps here.
How do you declutter your life?
What apps have you found helpful for decluttering your life? Let us know in the comments.
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Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.