Minimalist Smartphone Setup Guide
We live in a world filled with technology. From our living rooms to our desks, to our bags, to our pockets—everything is getting newer and better. We get more innovation, more megapixels, more gigabytes, more features, and as much as those can be great, it can get overwhelming and complicated.
Now how can we make things simpler? So that we can pay greater attention to the things in life that are more important; the things outside of our virtual identity. On that note, here is our guide that can help you to start your own minimalist smartphone setup. Try not to make excuses when doing this as we are aware that you are currently in quarantine (Stay safe, please).
Before we start, let me clarify that this is a guide, it’s a point of reference, and it’s what works for us, which then may inspire you to create your own setup. It’s not a step-by-step tutorial, so you are completely free to add your own personal touches; whatever works for you.
Minimalism isn’t about depriving yourself. It’s about keeping the things that add value to your existence. It’s about letting go of those that don’t or no longer provide a purpose. Basically, it’s living your life intentionally. Now, each of us has our own specific needs, so only you can tell what things you really need to keep on your smartphone.
1. Take a moment to go through each and every app you have and evaluate.
Start asking yourself simple questions like how often do I really use this app? Is it every single day? Or only once in a while? Do I only use this when I travel?
Then, you can move on to harder questions such as: Yes, I use this app a lot, but should I be using it a lot? Does it really add more value to my life, or is it dragging me down? Then decide to delete all the apps that don’t provide a lot of value. Keep the necessary ones. Take your time with this step, because it’s really the most important one.
2. Start fresh with a clean and simple background.
Play with colors like white, gray, black, or some pastel shades that are easy on the eyes and don’t provide an unwanted distraction. This step will also help you get in the right frame of mind, so you feel like you’re really cleaning up. If you don’t know where to start looking for these wallpapers, you can check out our video on the best wallpaper apps for Android and iOS.
3. Remove unnecessary widgets on the home screen.
This is pretty much the same as step one, go through all the widgets you currently have and evaluate. Ask the questions: Do I really need this clock? These notes and weather updates? Even the Google Search Bar?
4. Group similar purpose apps in folders and label them
Now that both your app drawer and home screen are pretty decluttered, you can begin organizing them. You can keep your most-used apps on the main home screen, and then on a separate page, everything else in folders. This eliminates distractions and allows you to use your phone very intentionally.
5. Turn off notifications especially for your social media apps.
In your phone’s settings, you can mute notifications for any app. This allows you to choose which apps are allowed to pop up notifications and which ones are blocked. You don’t have to turn them all off, but only leaving the important ones helps a lot. It really depends on how you use your phone.
And if you want to take this a step further, another tip is to keep your phone on silent or vibrate mode. Then, set a schedule or times throughout the day where you allow yourself to check notifications.
6. Delete or hide photos, videos, and other files that don’t spark joy.
It’s time to go through your photo gallery and decide which moments you really want to keep. Remove the duplicates or the shots that you no longer need. If some have sentimental value, then you organize them in albums and hide them from inside your gallery app if you want. This will also allow you to free up some storage.
7. Organize your contacts.
Go through your phonebook and see if you have names that are doubled. Also, see if there are people who you simply don’t intend to talk to anymore. You have no idea how much lighter and more free this can make you feel. Check if your contacts are updated as some people have multiple numbers—find out which one is their main number.
And those are our tips. Having a minimalist smartphone setup has its own set of benefits for your lifestyle besides keeping your screen clean and simple.
For one, it helps boost your personal productivity as you’ll get fewer phone distractions. It can also save you more battery, and most importantly, you can be more aware of your surroundings and free up more time for yourself to do the important things in your life.
Now, these are just some very basic tips for having a more intentional, distraction-free experience with your smartphone. The list honestly goes on, so if you have more that you’d like to share or just your thoughts on digital minimalism, please do leave them in the comments.