The Value of Consolidation

In this age of convenience and instant gratification, there are a vast number of options available to us as

consumers. Web-based software, smartphone and tablet apps in a multitude of subject matter are

widely available in every price point imaginable. Here’s the trick, though – picking one. The options

seem overwhelming at times and often we pick apps and software based on things like the brand, the

user interface, price, and reviews. All good things to look at – don’t get me wrong, however, the app or

the software is only as good as you use it.

I personally have found myself sucked into all of it. Trying this and that based on one thing or another

based on glowing reviews or stimulating advertising. The mere thought of a program or app making

some sort of difference in my life, forcing me to become more organized, helping me be more creative

– whatever, is a myth. There is no such app or program to my knowledge can make you do anything,

and believe me, I have to have fallen victim to those fanciful beliefs brought on by those same glowing

reviews and advertisements. The fact of the matter is if you don’t use it – it’s worthless.

So then what? Well, I began to look at all of these apps that clutter my phone, tablet, and browser. I

began to question myself: “How many of these do I actually use?” The answer wasn’t really all that

surprising. Out of about 65 apps that were on my phone alone – realized that I only use about 5 of them

on a continual basis. So, then the question became: “Why those 5?”

The answer was this:

 Functionality

 ease of use

 Relevance

It became clear that I was trying too hard to be organized. There was nothing wrong with any of the

apps I had. They all did as they claimed. They all functioned well without issue. They were all really

great apps. I just really didn’t need them all.

Before the great quest for simplicity could begin I needed to outline a few things. The first thing I would

need to do is determine what I needed to be able to do from each device, and what I wanted to be able

to do from each device. Once I was able to answer those questions, then I could begin to review each

app and begin the consolidation process.

 How often did I use it?

 What did I use it for?

 Did it do what I needed it to?

 Was it easy to use?

 Was it time effective?

 Could I do the same task with another app?

 Could I function without it?