When I consolidated a handful of my inboxes into my email it made me rethink my home screen. I had previously kept it slim but this takes it a step further and creates significant resistance to activities better left undone.
The biggest time wasters on my phone and the ones I have consolidated are social media, RSS feeds, and email. Once those were all funneled into email, they didn’t need to be on my phone at all. That meant Feedly, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn all disappeared.
The big one here was Feedly. I normally used it as a triage tool, sending articles I wanted to read to Pocket. But I’ve always disliked their need to auto-shorten links when I share an article. It was bad enough that I built Workflow actions to overcome it. The main reason I originally used Pocket was the IFTTT integration. This inbox consolidation process made me comb through my recipes and realize I wasn’t using IFTTT with Pocket anymore. I had slowly turned off all the connections with it. Goodbye, Pocket. Hello, Instapaper. I’ve wanted to switch for a while anyway.
Once I deleted a few apps, I started thinking through how I use my phone. If the app isn’t on the front screen, I swipe down and search for it. If I’m going to launch apps with Spotlight, why keep multiple folders of them? I combined them into a single folder in order to bury the apps that are most tempting, but still keep them around for their Share Sheet functions. These are primarily Twitter and Instagram.
I’ve been using my phone this way for about a month now and it has seriously helped me limit my phone usage. It’s geared toward getting work done as opposed to blowing time. If I’m going to blow time, I’m better off reading.