Does it ever seem like your life’s cluttered… 

Does it ever seem like your life’s cluttered? Laundry piling up? Dishes in the sink? Papers scattered across your desk?

While I try to keep a tidy house (can’t say the same about my desk), the main source of my clutter lately has been digital. Whether it’s a new app for my phone, a new web site to bookmark or a new service to sign up for…I just can’t seem to keep pace.

I came to this realization recently when browsing through my phone. I had all of these cool apps that seemed like must haves when I got them, but now I realize I rarely use any of them. Many apps had different functions. Some apps offered duplicate functionality to others but perhaps took a different approach. However, the more apps I loaded onto my phone the harder it became to use my phone. Should I use UrbanSpoon or Google Places? LivingSocial or Groupon? TweetDeck or Twitter?

Sure, each of these apps are great in their own way, but my usage of all of them was sub-optimized. I wasn’t really getting the most out of any of them because I could never decide which ones to use or when to use them.

It was sort of a paradox of choice. So, I decided to de-clutter. I had to make some hard decisions between apps I really needed and those that were nice to have or redundant. Many of the apps I had got me from point A to point B. Rather than try (and fail) to use all of them, I picked the apps that were the best at getting me from point A to point B.

The end result? I now have far fewer apps in my life. It’s easy to get at the apps I need to use, and I don’t really miss the apps I deleted. Am I tempted to try out new apps now and then? Sure. However, whenever I make a decision now I ask myself one question, “Am I really going to use that?”

In talking to institutions about their CRM usage I often find similar issues. Many were inticed by wiz-bang features that wound up collecting dust on a virtual shelf. Unfortunately, unlike the apps on my phone (which were mostly free), these decisions resulted in thousands of dollars spent by institutions and sub-optimized usage of their CRM. The end result for them? Clutter. Underutilization. Frustration.

At times, we must all make hard decisions when it comes to features and ultimately you need to ask yourself, “Am I really going to use that?”