Cleaning up my phone Home Screen
I was thinking about my phone usage today and how I could reconfigure my Home Screen to make it less distracting.
I already have only one home screen. I’ve always limited myself from having multiple screens to swipe to. I already don’t have any social media apps, apart from Whatsapp and Telegram, which my family still use to communicate with me. But of course there is room for improvement.
First, I thought about my main distractors currently:
1) Emails: this one has been my major distraction. Some days I will check it every 5 minutes for no reason.
2) Internet Browser: there’s a world of distraction accessible through a browser. I have all my bookmarks synced to the browser on my phone. Very tempting!
After some reflection and talking to other people about similar experiences, a clever solution is to simply remove the distracting apps from the home screen. So that if I want to use them, I have to actively search for them. That creates friction and removes the automatic response of opening them mindlessly. It creates more intentionality, which is exactly what I’m looking for.
So I removed the following apps from my Home Screen:
- Email apps (Outlook and ProtonMail).
- Browser (Firefox/Safari): I actually uninstalled Firefox and installed Firefox Focus instead, with no distracting bookmarks.
- Outlook Calendar: Outlook has the email and Calendar integrated in one app (which is very annoying). I replaced it with the native iOS Calendar app so that I don’t have to stumble upon my emails when checking my schedule.
- Whatsapp and Telegram: I only use these to communicate with my family abroad, so I thought I could use them more intentionally as well.
- Unused apps: I had some apps I was not using any more (like Journey). All gone.
I kept the other apps that are mostly utilities (authenticator, password manager), notes (Standard Notes), to-do app (Nirvana), health apps (includes my yoga, running and meditation apps), reading/book related apps, etc. I don’t consider those apps sources of distraction, and I like having them easily accessible.
This was my first try at cleaning up my phone home screen (before / after):
Cleanup: Before (left) and after (right)
I’ll see how this goes! I’m mostly curious to know how my email usage will change after this!
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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.