March 10, 2015 4:14 pm

Tidy up your Tech: Lumia and More

It’s almost time for spring cleaning! Get organized and in top shape techwise with these Windows Phone apps and tools for your Lumia and other gadgets.

The March Equinox–spring for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn for those in the Southern Hemisphere–is on the 22nd. That’s when the length of night and day are almost equal to each other.

This shift in Earth’s axis is a good time to prepare for the changing season. So help your Lumia lose its winter weight with these suggestions.

Free up space and secure your stuff. Over time, our smartphones fill up with photos, videos, apps and other content, and that can leave you with little to no memory left on your device.

Help make your Lumia nimble by syncing your stuff with OneDrive and backing up your data on the cloud. This way, you can access your photos, videos and more from all of your devices. After that, manually uninstall the apps you haven’t used in a while to speed up performance and make room for new apps.

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Want to start with a clean slate? Restore your Lumia to its original state with a factory reset; this removes all the apps you’ve installed and files you’ve downloaded.

Your Lumia is pretty secure already, but for some extra peace of mind one app you may want to download is Secure Photo Gallery, which password-protects your photos and videos and allows you to view and edit your photos and watch videos from within its secure interface.

Make your Start screen work better. First, unpin any apps on your Start screen that you don’t use often. Second, organize your tiles so the ones that get heavy use are larger and to the right of apps that get used less. Need some inspiration? Take a look at what National Geographic photographer Stephen Alvarez has on his Start screen.

Add some personal flair by adding a background image from your Lumia’s photo gallery. On my Start screen is a photo of cherry blossom trees in bloom–a reminder that spring is near. One tip: Use #TileArt, which gives you custom tile layouts.

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For a device such as the Surface Pro 3, group your apps into categories, like entertainment and productivity, and pin the most important ones to your toolbar for quick access.

Get organized. Forget paper. Your Lumia and these apps can help you record important information, keep track of your finances, jot down grocery lists and more.

Budget Buddy easily digitizes your receipts while Office Lens is your pocket scanner. Take pictures of whiteboards, business cards, receipts and documents and Office Lens will trim and enhance them for readability and convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint.

Manage your money anywhere with Mint, which lets you see all of your personal finance accounts in one spot. The app also alerts you via email or text of upcoming bills, low balances and more.

At the end of a long day, when you’re hungry and tired, the last thing you want do is to shop for dinner. Why not store your grocery lists in

If there’s one app to help you keep all of your to-do and other lists within easy reach, it’s OneNote. Don’t have time to type in info? Just tap the microphone icon within the app and speak. OneNote will record your voice and you can transcribe the info later.

Get Kid-Friendly. If you have kids, we bet they love your Lumia and all the Windows Phone games they can play on it. But what if they accidentally erase your contacts or email everyone in your address book?

No such worries with Kid’s Corner. Easily set it up by going to the Settings menu on your Lumia. Another option is App Locker – Pro. Child-proof your phone by setting up a pattern or numeric lock to add an extra layer of protection.

Get Juiced. No, not you–your Lumia. Better monitor your phone’s battery with the handy Battery app (I love that it has a transparent live tile, too). And when you do need to charge up your Lumia, forget messy wires and cluttered cords.

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Instead, check out the If you need power on the go, take along the pocket-sized DC-21. This portable charger will keep your Lumia’s battery topped up, no matter where you are.

Disinfect your device. You take your Lumia everywhere – the gym, restaurants, even the bathroom! So take time to remove yucky germs.

It’s as easy as applying just a bit of white vinegar and water with a clean towel. If you need to clean your Surface Pro 3 Type Cover or Touch Cover, use a lint-free cloth dampened in mild soap and water – this will keep it looking like new!

Check for Updates. It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget! You can also set up your Lumia to automatically check for and download updates if your data settings allow it.

Do you find these tips helpful? Are there any other suggestions that we didn’t cover here? Let us know!

Updated September 30, 2015 7:16 pm