A minimal, one-page phone setup to reduce screen time, increase productivity, and maximize digital well-being.
For the last few years, I have always strived to have the best iPhone setup possible that will bring the best out in me.
I have always been mindful of my digital screen time and worked tirelessly to make sure that I am in control of my phone, and not the other way around.
For the last year or so, I was heavily relying on widgets. However, in the long run, that ended up not working for me. Widgets started being more distracting than helpful.
Because of that, I went through another overhaul of my iPhone. Especially with the introduction of iOS 16 and the cool lock screen features, the timing seemed very apt.
In this post, I will tell you about my new setup which has been working very well for me.
I redesigned my lock screen to take advantage of the new widgets. This is the only place on my phone that maximizes widget uses while being front and center.
I have the following widgets:
- Weather Condition
- Next Calendar Event
- Likelihood of rain or snow
- Habit Tracker (Streaks)
The purpose of the lock screen is very simple. It contains important general information that I might need from time to time. All this information does not require me to click into the app. I can just glance, consume, and move on with my day.
The next thing about the lock screen is the wallpaper. I went with a photo that I took last year in Big Sur, California. There’s something about picking a photo that you personally took, rather than just grabbing one from some library. It brings back memories. I love it!
What Was Wrong with the Previous Home Page?
If you remember my last blog post, I had a 3 home page setup with the following information:
- Page 1 → Life OS
- Page 2 → Health
- Page 3 → Finances
It was working fine for me until I realized that it wasn’t really convenient to swipe through screens.
Also, the divisions didn’t make quite a lot of sense. I mostly needed my Finance and Health pages on Sundays during my weekly reviews.
I didn’t have any sections that encouraged personal growth by reading or condensing the apps that I need when traveling to one place.
So, I changed to a setup that better reflects my day-to-day use of my phone.
New Home Page
Now, I have a single page set up.
At the top, I have a stack of three widgets that I always need:
- Task Manager (ClickUp)
I use the “smart stack” option which means, based on my usage habits, Apple decides when to show which widget at the front. This has been surprisingly accurate for me, and I don’t find myself swiping through the three widgets too often.
Next, below the widgets, I have four folders, divided into four distinct collections of apps:
The idea is pretty simple:
- Health apps when working out, or doing my weekly review
- Travel apps when I am driving or just out and about
- Reading apps when I am in the mood to learn something new
- Finance apps when I am paying or just want to look at my financial health
Personally, for me, this distinction has been working much better than the previous one.
Soon, we will look at the individual apps in each collection.
The dock contains some of my most used apps. These apps did not fit any particular collection, mostly because I use them throughout the day at all times.
Here’s the list of apps on my dock:
Throughout the day, I always need to check up on these apps. So, it makes sense not to have them buried inside folders or the App Library.
Now, let’s look at each of my folders on the home page, and how I use each and every one of them.
- 5K Runner → My running app of choice. A must-have when working out.
- Zero → Intermittent Fasting app.
- Athlytic → Monitoring all my health, fitness, and sleep metrics.
- Health → Provides me with some native health metrics and features
- Heart&Stress → Detailed graphs and charts about my workout performances
- LA Fitness → Gym app
- Streaks → Habit tracker, mostly habits that improve my mental, physical, and social health
The next folder is a collection of travel apps. I use these apps when I am outside my house more often than not.
- Apple Maps → My map of choice when driving around
- Google Maps → Sometimes my data doesn’t work, so the offline mode comes in handy.
- Snipd → Podcast app of choice. I am usually listening to podcasts when I am driving.
- YouTube Music → Again, listening to music when driving.
- Yelp → Helps me find good local businesses around me (usually food places)
The third folder is focused on personal growth and self-development. I think this is one of my most visited folders.
- Medium → Love the relatable stories and in-depth pieces I find in this app
- Bear → Writing app of choice, and of course, I also like reading what I wrote from time to time (things like book summaries or podcast notes)
- Goodreads → I love searching for new books
- Shortform → One of the best personal growth apps you can get to read nonfiction books without needing to buy them.
This is my least visited folder.
When paying for something using Apple Pay, I usually use my Apple Watch. If not, then I can just double-tap the lock button of my phone to pull up the Wallet app.
So, I essentially end up going into this folder when I want to look at my bank accounts or transaction details.
I won’t break down all the apps given most of these fall into one of two categories — general banking and investments
Let me summarize these apps though:
- Bank Apps → Scotiabank, Wells Fargo, AMEX, Capital One
- Investment Apps → E-Trade, Robinhood, Fidelity
- Freelance Income → Stripe, Stripe Express
And then I have Apple Wallet on the second page of this folder which I literally never visit.
If you swipe right, you get to the widgets dashboard.
This page contains all my widgets. At a quick glance, I can get a ton of information, without needing to swipe through different screens.
Let me walk you through all the widgets on this page:
- Motivation → New quote every day to motivate me
- Streaks → Same habit tracker widget as the lock screen
- Zero → Intermittent fasting timer showing how long left
- Athlytic → Health summary giving me a full picture
- Batteries → Battery health of most of my Apple devices
I don’t come to the widget page often, but when I do, at a quick glance I can get all the information about different segments of my life which is really helpful.
There you go, folks!
That’s the iPhone setup I will be ending the year with. It’s been working really well for me so far.
Of course, if things were to change, I will write another blog post with the new setup.
I would love to know about your setup, so please write in the comments below how you like setting up your iPhones.
I hope you found this a valuable read and have some takeaways that you can go ahead and implement in your wonderful lives.
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