Once upon a time, the act of randomly tweeting a screenshot of my iPhone front screen birthed a flurry of 76 aghast tweets and not one, but two blog posts by my very particular friend Katherine.

I had no idea I was so vastly unacceptable in my organizational decisions, but alas. Now I do.

And because I like causing heart attacks in my overly-wound-up friends, I thought I’d list a few more quirks about my iPhone usage. Some you might also have, some might make you cringe.

1. I will never, ever, ever use the horizontal keyboard. It’s the most awkward and unusable size in the history of virtual keyboards.

iPhone Horizontal Keyboard

Okay surely you ALL agree with me on that one. Right?

2. I don’t use an alarm most days, but I have 19 alarms that are off, because I never delete an alarm, even if I’ll never wake up at 6am ever again. Plus, I would rather have an alarm ready to be swiped at every fifteen minute interval than be forced to create a brand new alarm when I do need one. I’m pretty sure the effort of scrolling through that many alarms is the same as creating a new one, but this is inconsequential.

iPhone Alarm Screen

How many alarms do you have?

3. I am a terrible organizer of both my iPhone and iPad. It’s like Noah threw all my apps on the floor, kicked the pile a couple times, lost half of them under the couch, then put the other half back.There are many apps that I have to use the search bar to find every time because I have NO IDEA where they’re hanging out.

iPhone Home Screen

4. I would rather have endless pages than use folders. I only put things in folders that I rarely use or that I am trying to hide from myself. Such as…

5. On the second screen of the seventh folder on the fourth page of my iPhone is where you can find my blog stats app. The folder is called “Kid’s Games” and it’s surrounded by apps my children don’t use. I put it there to make it difficult to find and therefore limit my obsessive stats checking.

iPhone Folder

It doesn’t work, in case you’re wondering.

6. You might have figured this out by now but I am an app hoarder – it takes a life-changing event to convince me to delete an app. Such as…

7. I have always unequivocally refused to get Candy Crush – it’s a cornerstone principle of my life. I know it’s addictive, I know they try to convince you to spend money or ruthlessly harass your friends on Facebook to be able to play the game, and I shall have no part in such deviant behavior.


I TOTALLY allowed myself to download what was basically a Candy Crush clone – Frozen Free Fall – before I’d even seen the movie. Apparently I was craving addiction.


And yes, Ali and I both fell to its crushing grip on our souls. And yes, they did attempt to coerce us into spending money (I might have spent $3.97.) And yes, I even put this app on my Grandmother’s iPad to spread the disease.

And yes. I finally deleted it off of my phone because it was seriously cutting into my life – or at least my Twitter reading time.

(But I left it on my iPad.)

(My precious.)

8. I actually use the native notes app. I’m sure there are at least 1,927 apps that are better for note-taking than that stupid, unpleasingly designed app, but yet I still use it. I’m open to suggestions but I doubt I’ll take them.

iPhone Notes App

9. I use the Spotify app for my radio nearly every time I’m in the car, and I pay $10 a month so that I can listen to anything I want on demand. I adore the immediate gratification yet am intensely aware that I am now, in effect, leasing music. And if I ever quit paying them, I have zero musical principal to show for it.

This makes me feel financially irresponsible.

10. The best thing I ever did on my iPhone was go to Settings –> Notifications –> Messages and change “Repeat Alerts” from “Once” to “Never.” That act alone added five years onto the backside of my life, because the lack of anxiety about that second message ding is indescribable bliss.

iPhone Alert Repeats

And I will NEVER be friends with whatever Donkeyface uses that last option.

(Oh. Did I just call you a Donkeyface? My apologies.)

11. I have never knowingly created a photo album. And I don’t exactly know what I’d do with one if I did.

iPhone Create Album


What quirks do we share? Which of my quirks made you twitch? And what quirks do you have that I didn’t mention?

31 thoughts on “How I (Mis)use My iPhone.

  1. I don’t even have an iPhone, but Katherine’s posts compelled me (and my rampant OCD) to figure out how to set up folders on my Android phone. What was four pages of apps (listed alphabetically) is now one page of folders, organized by category, with four quick-access icons for calendar, camera, clock, and phone keypad. I use alarms for EVERYTHING–I think I have eight right now–and they’re obsessively labeled and the fact that all of your alarms are just called “alarm” makes me nervous.

  2. LOVE ME SOME Frozen Free Fall (and no I have never played Candy Crush) but I am on level 22 or something on Frozen thanks to a 45 minute wait to check in to Great Wolf Lodge last month. And it syncs between my ipad and iphone so I can keep at it whenever I randomly need a fix.

    And THANK YOU for the FYI on message alerts – I had no idea I could turn that reminder OFF!

    That said, I obsessively delete alarms I do not need – and name the ones I keep – things like ” or “Seriously, GET UP” followed by “NOW you’re too late to wash your hair!”

    I have some old folders, but if it isn’t on my home screen I use the search bar every time.

    Totally obsessed with my fitbit app and checking my steps. Sometimes I watch it count my steps while walking.

  3. This was awesome! I am with you on these, except I create folders that have absolutely no logic to them. I also NEVER delete text messages, voice mail, phone calls, or basically anything.

  4. I too hate the horizontal keyboard, and almost anything else in horizontal view, except YouTube of course.

  5. I’m with you on the folders. Also, I do not do them. I figured out how to turn off my weather alert this morning after it went off THREE times last night!

  6. I love the Notes app and use it all the time! Although I did accidentally delete my entire grocery list 10% of the way through the store one time and had no idea what I needed so I’m sure there is a better app for that. I don’t understand the photo album thing. I tried to make one when I first got my phone and it seemed like it just copied all the pictures so that they were in two places. I do like one repeat alert because I need to reminder sometimes. I just reinstall apps I deleted if I find I need it again…pretty easy. And causes me to delete anything I haven’t used in a few months. I only have two pages of apps and one folder. Although the baby just deleted Facebook and two others a few days ago and I couldn’t figure out what the other two were to reinstall them. Guess I don’t need them! Haha :)

    1. We use an app called “ourgroceries” for grocery lists because I can share it with my husband (best feature ever!)

      I am SO happy to discover I can turn off the extra texting notifications (who knew? Not I!)

      I have everything organized (“organized”) into folders, but usually search for apps even though I do know where they are because it is faster than scrolling to the right page.

      I currently have twelve alarms, but that’s because Brendan hasn’t stolen my phone recently. When he does I end up with dozens all set to go off at random times (usually during a meeting a few minutes apart). They all have very cutesy love notes as their titles.

      I only have 87 apps installed right now because I’ve been trying to limit the count to a bare minimum of frequently used “can’t live without” list. But to give you an idea, Brendan had so many on his previous phone that performance was seriously impacted and he had to pare down. I had way less but still multiple hundred…

  7. I use the Lock function to keep my phone in portrait mode. I can’t stand it when it flips to landscape. I only let it flip to landscape when I’m watching a video, and even then I don’t switch it all the time.

  8. I am you to a “T.”

    I have 10 pages of apps on my phone with no folders. My son is appalled.

    I delete–only by accident.

    I didn’t know you could “search” an app on your phone.

    I delete entire text messages going back two years–only by accident.

    I don’t know how to make photo albums.

    I feel disloyal to anything I do delete.

    I can’t update my phone. There’s not enough memory. Or space. Or something.

    I don’t know how to make space.

    I can’t believe I just confessed all this.

    I’m a mess.

    I might download the Frozen game tonight. I can think of a new strategy to fix all these things while I play.

    Nah. I’ll just see if I can break my Tiny Wings record.

  9. Oh my, I can only use the horizontal keyboard. That tiny little portrait keyboard drives me crazy. I have an Android, but it is very similar to the iphone keyboard in my opinion.

  10. I actually LOVE the horizontal keyboard, and will use that anytime I can! I was very used to my old phone which had the slide-out regular keyboard, though. :) The regular keyboard annoys me to no end! I am also very into folders, just like in my email accounts. Being organized makes me feel sane. A few weeks ago I discovered that a coworker has thousands of old emails, from years ago, in her inbox! How does that happen!? Madness!

  11. I am another that only uses the horizontal keyboard. The vertical one is too tiny for me. I’m also on an Android, but it is very similar to the iPhone screens. I really miss my old Blackberry ‘real’ keyboard though.

  12. I am completely OCD and I am no different when it comes to my phone. Everything is nicely organized in folders. And if I find I don’t use an app or don’t like it, it’s gone. I just can’t handle the clutter. My husband’s phone on the other hand is similar to yours. It’s a mess and anytime he wants to download a new app he has to decide which one to get rid of. But yes no one uses the horizontal keyboard, you can barely see the screen when you do. What good is that?

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