Color me somewhat enamored by the art of OCD. Yes, I have a few touches of obsessive-compulsive disorder. It helps to keep my surroundings neat and tidy and seemingly well organized.
Does such use of OCD spark joy when using my Mac, iPhone, and iPad? Yep. That’s the way it works. My Mac is home to more than 250 apps. iPhone and iPad have over 300 apps. Could I or should I throw out some apps and thereby increase my joy?
As much as it pains me to say it, I learned something by reading Marie Kondo’s best seller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” If there is anything that needs to be tidied up, it’s the app collection and files on each of my Apple gadgets. KonMari is a verb and basically means to follow the organizing processes Marie Kondo outlines in her book.
Nataly Kogan on her KonMari experience:
What attracted me to it is how simple her method is and what it’s based on: the idea of joy.
Alright, I understand the pleasure you can get from cleaning up a kitchen, or washing clothes, or running the car through a car wash, but joy? I’ve used a variety of organization methods, including the time honored “If you haven’t used it in a year, you don’t need it.”
Does it bring you joy?
Let’s apply that principle to applications on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. I have to admit, I don’t get much joy from Microsoft Office. Definitely no joy when using Mail, right? Even Reminders and Calendar can be an ongoing irritant.
Yet, I cannot get rid of the most basic of applications that get used every day. Do they bring me joy?
If you answer yes, you keep the item. If you hesitate or say no, you donate it or throw it out. It’s simple, it’s brilliant, and it’s something that’s completely intuitive. You can spend a lot of time justifying how something might at some point be useful to you and therefore decide to keep it, but whether something brings you joy is an emotional question and one that can be answered almost instantly: If you feel joy or if you don’t feel joy: there’s no need to make it more complicated than that.
Cupertino, we have a problem.
OK, I prefer Spark email over Apple’s Mail. Is that more joy? I prefer to use Brave as my browser rather than Safari or Chrome? I guess I get some joy by sticking it to Google. Likewise, there is some pleasure in using DuckDuckGo vs. Google as my search engine.
Kogan learned five life-changing things from her bout with KonMari.
- Joy is simple yet powerful – so is Fentanyl. And free apps.
- There are different ways to bring joy – knowing where an app is helps
- We don’t hang on to things; we hang on to emotions attached to those things – Amen; but it’s mostly hang on to things
- Fewer things you love is better than many things you kinda like – except when I kinda like something I don’t hate enough to get rid of
- It’s not about what others think – nobody else thinks about the apps I use
As much as I admire Marie Kondo’s KonMari approach, and I use it here and there (great for kitchen cabinets and closets), that joy does not apply to the applications I choose for residence on my iPhone, iPad, Mac, and now Watch (and, maybe even Apple TV). There are some apps that bring joy, yes. Or, well, maybe pleasure. Close enough, right?
The real problem here is that even a little OCD and the trendy KonMari cannot overcome a need to keep apps that do not bring joy or pleasure. They need to be available. They need not always be used, certainly not often, but joy isn’t in the equation or the decision to keep apps I don’t like but must use.