Filtered by Category: organization

Tiny life tip: Name your group texts on iPhone

Here’s a tiny life tip that is both fun and also efficient: name your iMessage group texts!

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I always liked this as a general concept, but what I didn’t realize until recently is that you can name a thread between a group of people, but you don’t have to exclusively use the labeled thread with that group. So you can have one text thread named, say, “Saugatuck plans 🌊” with three people...but also just have a regular, not-named, not-plans-related thread with those same three people, essentially keeping the conversations separate so you can easily find the one dedicated to the trip later. 

Here’s how to name a text thread on an iPhone: 

  1. Tap into a text message/thread.

  2. Tap the > under the name circles at the top of the thread. Then tap “info.”

  3. Tap “enter a group name.” Enter a group name and/or any emojis you’d like to include.


That’s it! It’s just a small thing that makes my life a little more organized and a little more delightful.

Related: Two cheap and easy ways to upgrade your phone charger, how to use your iPhone’s photo search function, and how to curate your home screen. 📱

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Two cheap and easy ways to upgrade your phone charger

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Here are two phone-related tips that I’ve found helpful in general, but especially during group trip season.

1. Get a 6-foot phone charger.

A long charger is just nice to have, but it’s particularly useful when you’re traveling, and may not be staying somewhere that has outlets near the bed/couch/whatever.

Buy a single 6-foot charger from Amazon for $7.99, or get a two-pack (which is what I did) for $15.98.

2. Label your charger/cord with washi tape.

When you have several people with iPhones staying in the same place, it’s natural that chargers will get shared or lent out from time to time. Instead of attempting returning chargers to their rightful owners based on whose is frayed in a particular way, you can just label yours with washi tape so you can easily spot it at a glance. (I also found it helpful to do this with my work laptop charger and the phone charger I kept at my desk!)

You can get a roll of washi tape in the scrapbook section at Target or Michaels for a couple dollars, or get a beautiful set of 28 rolls from Amazon for $14.99. 📱

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A modest proposal: Take notes when you’re hanging out with friends

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I’ve written before about my friend Julia’s Ladies Article Club, which I’ve had the pleasure of attending on a couple of occasions when I’ve been in D.C. visiting her. I love a lot of things about it, but one of my favorite aspects is that someone always takes notes during the gathering. The note-taker writes down anything that comes up during the conversation that warrants some kind of follow-up — so basically, if someone mentions a product or a recipe or a podcast episode or a good Instagram account, the note-taker adds it to her list. Then she’ll start an email thread with everyone later on to collect/share the items mentioned.

I’ve always thought this idea was so smart and efficient, and I’ve started doing it more when hanging out with friends — even, just, like, during a coffee date. I like doing it because it’s practical, but also because writing these items down in my journal creates a mini diary entry about the hangout/the conversation.


Last month, I was at my friend Emily’s apartment for a little friend dinner party, and when she mentioned a book she liked, I said, “Wait, I’m going to write down the stuff we talk about so I can look it up later.” I pulled out my notebook and pen and Jess said, “Welcome to Rachel’s meeting,” and everyone laughed. AND YET! An hour or so later, Emily asked me where my pullover and my socks were from, and when I told her, she said, “Wait, I want to write all this down,” and took out her phone and opened the Notes app. And later that night, after we’d all gone home, Jess texted the group and said, “Who is sending out the meeting notes?” And we all sent around the things that we’d discussed and made note of.

I always think I’m going to remember all the things I mention or that my friend mentions when we’re hanging out, but when you’re with smart/well-read/interesting people, that’s basically impossible. Just take notes! ✍🏽

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Tiny life tip: use your iPhone’s photo search function more

Here’s an extremely small tip that might make your life slightly easier if you ever find yourself scrolling through iPhone photos for a very long time trying to unearth a specific photo you know is on your phone somewhere: you can search your iPhone photos by date! The search button is at the bottom right whenever you’re looking at your photos.

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So, for example, if you wanted to look at all of your Christmas photos, you could type “December” in the search bar and be shown all the photos you took in any December ever. And if you wanted to look at your Christmas photos from a specific year, you could type “December 2015” in the search bar and limit your search results even further. As long as you know roughly when you took/saved a photo, it’s a super helpful shortcut.

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You can also search for things that are in the photos — like, say, “dog” — but I’ve found that’s far less reliable, and that searching by date is ultimately more likely to be successful! 📸

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