Wheels Up: 7 Digital House Cleaning Items to Complete on Your Next Flight

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On your next flight, consider a digital clean up of your phone. It’s a good way to wipe digital clutter, dial in settings, and help you better understand your phone. Before you begin, I recommend switching your phone into low power mode, so as not to burn too much juice while you embark on this 15-45 minute process.

Photo cleanup

Depending on how many photos you have on your phone, this could be the longest step in this process. To complete, simply go through your photos and delete blurry photos, pocket shots, and duplicates. This will free up space on your phone, and also is an opportunity star favorites.

Review and delete apps you don’t use

Though iOS 11 has a feature to automatically delete apps not is use, consider speeding up the process and do it yourself. Come on, when is the next time you’ll play angry birds? If your answer is: “not on this flight or in the near future,” consider deleting it. Use this logic on all of your phone’s apps.

Review battery usage statistics

Often found in the the battery section of your phone’s settings, battery usage statistics can tell an illuminating story, no pun intended. What apps are siphoning your juice?

Is it the lock screen? If so, you may be on notification overload or be obsessed with checking your phone. Do any apps stand out as using a lot of battery, but they’re rarely ever opened by you? If you notice this, they may be running in the background. Consider a manual stop, or complete deletion of the app.

Optimize YOUR notifications

Last time I checked, you own your phone. You’re in control. Do you really need all those notifications? Is a push notification necessary from Yelp every time someone likes your photos of Papa Giorgio’s vegetable lasagna? Meditate on your push notifications; which apps have been pushing info to you? Are these apps making your life better, or are they needlessly consuming your precious time. If an app isn’t essential, I turn off notifications all together.

I currently have notifications completely off for Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Yelp, Nextdoor, and many other non-essential apps. In terms of the apps where I do have notifications on, I prefer badge app icons only, to avoid having push notifications interrupting my day. I do keep call notifications on for calls and texts.

Get organized: arrange your apps

Scrolling to the third or fourth page of your phone every time you want to access your favorite guilty pleasure app, mine is Imgur, can waste needless time and battery life, yes battery life. Those extra swipes add up overtime.

If you’re currently in transit, moving your essential travel apps (like your airline’s app, or  rideshare apps like Lyft) to the first or second page of your phone could make sense too.

Get to know your phone’s pop up quick access menu

Don’t know what all these gadgets and gizmos do? Poke around a bit. One of the best ways to learn is through experience. To access your phone’s quick access menu, swipe up from the bottom of your screen if you’re on an iPhone, or down if you’re on Android, and start pressing buttons. Developers packed these menus with a ton of useful features, but for many people these menu options go unused. Knowing your phone’s quick access menu can help you navigate your phone more efficiently.

Explore your advanced photography settings

What are your phone’s camera settings? Upon entering my camera’s settings, I was displeased to find out my phone was automatically compressing my beautiful photos. This is not a huge deal if you’re into more storage space on your phone, but for me, I wanted to ensure my photos are stored in their full-resolution glory. Other camera settings include default photo size, and weather or not to shoot with motion on. Dialing in your camera’s settings can help ensure you’re taking the kinds of photos you want.

And there you have it. These seven items could take you anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes to meander through, and are all a good way to kill time on a flight or while in transit. Do you have a favorite phone cleanup item I missed? Please let me know in the comments, or tweet me @oakfive.


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