Minimalist Home Screen for Your iPhone

I might be the only person in the world who would care to do this, but in case I'm not, here's how I create a bit of minimalism on my iPhone.  

What does that mean? It's simply stripping the screen of visual clutter, the same way minimalists do at home, by paring down to necessities to decrease noise that can distract us. I personally have a little extra sensitivity to visual stimulation, so this might not be as helpful to you as it might be to someone with these sensitivities. 

To accomplish this I did four things:

  1. hide all but the most important apps
  2. get to know spotlight and search
  3. use a blank wallpaper  
  4. utilize grayscale mode and triple-click

1. Put  away lesser used apps

First, move all of your "extra" apps into folders. By extra I mean any app you don't use repeatedly every day. If you're not sure, double click your home button to see the most recent apps you've had open. I have about a dozen apps I need to have immediate access to. All the rest are put away. 

My primary screen, only the most important apps

My primary screen, only the most important apps

So, extra apps in folders. Now push those folders off to the right, to another page. On your main page you should have just that one page with your most important apps.  

My secondary screen, just folders of lesser used apps

My secondary screen, just folders of lesser used apps

2. Get to know spotlight and search  

Spotlight is a program that runs on Apple devices that acts as a shortcut to a few more important things. On iPhone I reach it by swiping to the right from the home screen. 

Swipe right from the home screen to see spotlight

Swipe right from the home screen to see spotlight

 

First are my more recent contacts, most recently used apps, and then news below that. But from here I can quickly reach my husband or open one of the last few apps I used.  

Or, I can swipe down from the home screen to search. 

Swipe down to search for an app

Swipe down to search for an app

When I know the name of an app I never have to have it out on my home screen. I can keep it tucked away and access it more quickly from search. Once you get used to this, it will be really handy.  

3. Use a blank wallpaper

I've found most wallpaper designs to be terribly distracting. They can be beautiful framed on a wall, but behind all my apps, it's too much. 

Find a solid background or make your own. You may not realize a solid wallpaper background doesn't need to be a particular size. It will be stretched or cropped and being solid, you won't notice the change. 

I made a solid white background by cropping the white part of a screenshot.  To make a screenshot, press your home button AND the power button at the same time. An image of your screen is now saved to your camera roll as a photo. Go to PHOTOS and EDIT this photo. Choose the CROP tool and crop down to a white portion of the screen.

Cropping a screenshot for the whitespace.

Cropping a screenshot for the whitespace.

If you want black or gray, or purple, you can use this same technique. Just grab a screenshot or use any photo that has the color you want to use. Crop down to that portion of the photo and that will be your background image. 

Now click the share button on your image and choose SET AS WALLPAPER. Select HOME SCREEN only and your lock screen wallpaper will remain as it was. I still like a pretty photo for my lock screen, just not my home screen. 

4. Utilize grayscale & triple-clicking the home screen

Here's where this trick gets interesting and maybe too much for some. It's one thing to organize your phone but stripping color may be too far for you. That's okay! But I need it some days. And the good news is that this feature is totally optional and easy to switch on and off. 

First, turn on grayscale mode.  Go to SETTINGS > GENERAL > ACCESSIBILITY and flip the switch for grayscale. What this does is literally just remove color from everything. Even the camera will appear grayscale (your photos still come out in color). All the color is still there, you just don't see it. 

SETTINGS -> GENERAL -> ACCESSIBILITY  

SETTINGS -> GENERAL -> ACCESSIBILITY  

Now sometimes you'll want to turn this off. Instagram and Pinterest aren't the same in grayscale. Facebook is arguably more pleasant and web browsing with ads is far less obnoxious, but sometimes you'll want full color.  

So to save the trouble of changing settings all the time, you can set the home button with triple-click  to toggle this feature on and off. 

Under the ACCESSIBILITY menu scroll to the bottom to ACCESSIBILITY SHORTCUT. Check Grayscale. Now, click the home button three times in a row quickly and color will be restored. 

ACCESSIBILITY -> ACCESSIBILITY SHORTCUT (triple-click home screen) 

ACCESSIBILITY -> ACCESSIBILITY SHORTCUT (triple-click home screen) 

Once this is set up, you won't have to set it again.  If a thorough purging of apps isn't feasible maybe this will help. Hiding your unused apps and knowing they're still there when you need them but not in your way can be just as freeing. 

For more techie tips LIKE my Facebook page AtNatalie.  

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