Take Control of Your Messaging Apps

I have a tendency to descend into disorganisation. So I like a system.

One of the simplest systems I have found is the power of the archive message option. Like many people, much of my communication with friends (and colleagues) is via messaging apps.

Phone with chats
Image by Daniel Korpai via Unsplash

When I have read a message and replied to it (if necessary) I use the archive option to hide that message from my feed. If the message requires an action then I leave it in my feed until I’ve completed it. That way, the only messages and those that need to be read, replied to or actioned.

I try to achieve ‘feed zero’ where possible; making sure that all messages are responded to and archived.

It’s a really basic process, but it ensures I never feel overwhelmed by the amount of chats and I know important things won’t get missed. It also means if I received a message and wanted to reply but didn’t have time that the message doesn’t get forgotten.

It works in business apps too. Teams has a hide feature on its chats and when I’ve actioned something I hide the chat until it’s needed again. For messages where I’m waiting for a key response I often ‘pin’ those to the chat list to remind me that I may need to reach out to that person again if I’ve not heard back. Then once everything is sorted I’ll remove the pin and hide the chat.

If you currently have a large number of conversations in an app, then maybe start by archiving the ones at the end of your list that you’ve not interacted with for a while; have a quick check first that there wasn’t some key information in there that you needed to save somewhere else first. You could just do a few a day if you don’t want to spend a chunk of time sorting them all at once.

Then moving forward, archive new messages once you don’t need them to stay as a reminder any longer. When you need to chat again, just search for the contact or group. Hopefully this will give you some control back over your messaging apps!

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