These are my current default lock and home screens on my phone. The text is purposely set to a dark gray so that it isn’t very eye catching. I wish I could also change the color of the status bar indicators and camera/flashlight launcher buttons, but that’s not an option in iOS, at this time.
The messages you see in the lock screen widgets are achieved by using the free Any Text from Sindre Sorhus. When tapped, each of the 3 widgets open a different Shortcut. This allows me to pause and consider if I really should be looking at the phone, but still get to quick entry functions from the lock screen so that I can jot something down and then return to life vs. get lost in the tap-tap rathole.
During my workday, I have a scheduled Focus Mode that swaps out a couple of the lock screen widgets with ones that launch directly into Outlook or Teams. That’s there for convenience for the times I step away from my desk, but I’m torn there a bit. I’ll likely eliminate them, as I should treat the moments I step away from the desk as a chance to step away from email and live chats as well (or at least not make them so quick to get to). The other option is to just leave the phone on my desk and get away from it during those moments too.
The home screen uses minimal iconography and a gradient wallpaper that completely hides the dock background. The icons on the left and right are shortcuts that open Messages and Safari, respectively. The one in the middle is a shortcut that presents a menu with options to drive other shortcuts for various contexts. I’ll detail that shortcut more over on tech & coffee soon. I’ve found it to be an elegant way to drive my behavior to a specific action or app , vs. swiping down to search for an app or swiping left to dive into the App Library.
For home screen widgets, I have just a few that I use and they’re located in the often forgotten “Today View” that’s a swipe to the right from the main home screen. While home screen widgets are informative and useful, I found that the more of them I added, the more I had an excuse to interact with the phone vs. use it as a tool.
This setup isn’t for everyone. I realize it’s sidelining features like beautiful photographs as my lock screen background, etc. I’m okay with that, since the my goal isn’t to leverage every feature of the phone, but to choose the ones that drive me towards intentional usage of it.
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