The phone is a tool, not entertainment

Are you in control of your technology, or does it control you? What would happen if the internet would cease to exist? Would you know what to do with your time? Could you go a single day without your cellphone, and it’s constant distractions?

Here’s something that I’m trying out that you should to: Delete everything on your phone except for the stock apps, treat your phone as a tool, not a source of entertainment. It sounds easy, but it’s amazing how many times you’ll catch yourself blankly staring at your phone, just out of habit.

My Home Screen

Every app on my phone lives on my home screen. I have a single folder that contains a few select apps that Apple still doesn’t let me delete or hide, otherwise here is what I see:

Nice and simple. I try to use the stock apps as they sync well with the apps on my other devices, but Fantastical.app is worlds ahead of Apple in regards to the calendar app, and Things.app has proven to be a great resource for managing my different projects. Notifications are all off, other than from work & family phone calls or text messages and I have to manually refresh my email. Distractions are limited, and slowly but surely I can feel myself breaking that phone-reflex habit.

The End Goal

My cell phone is my main office phone, so I know that I’ll always need one as long as I’m in this line of work. Having email is super convenient when in a meeting and I need to quickly pull up a message from the archives. The ability to take notes and sync them to my computer, or check a shared list or calendar with my wife is great. I don’t think I’ll ever get away without a phone completely… but if I could get home, plug my phone in and just leave it alone until the alarm app wakes me up in the morning, I would be happy with that.