The tl;dr is just the pictures.
In the spirit of staying organized throughout 2017, I made an executive decision to shake up what my phone’s layout. Ironically, I waste a lot of time doing this. Go figure. I put things that make me write more directly on the front, and things that are just for farting around are given less priority. I also got rid of all of clutter on my phone, apps I never used but kept because “you never know when you might need it.” I like what I’ve come up with, but knowing me it could change at a moment’s notice.
My phone is an LG G4, which I got in March of last year. I mainly got it for the great camera, great battery life, and storage. It’s 32GB and I threw in another 32GB Micro SD card into it. I don’t need nearly that much space, but when I studied graphic design, it was drilled into my head that it’s always a good idea to get more storage than you actually need. You never know when you’ll be short on space and not have it. Also, I can always get a bigger SD card, on the off chance that I actually need it. Also, I don’t keep a case on my phone. Rebel, I know. I own a case, but I almost never use it. I am really protective of my phone and I almost never use it while I’m walking. As a result, I think I’ve dropped it on concrete three times in the year since I got it.
The Home Screen
First, the aesthetic. I use Nova Launcher, and installing this will be the very first thing I do whenever I get a new phone. If you’re never satisfied with the default look of your phone, you want this. I use the Cryten icon pack, mainly for the sake of uniformity. I’ve been using this for the past few months and going back to “normal” icons just makes me anxious.
The social media apps are pushed off to the side where I’m less likely to open them all the time. Twitter, Instagram, Reddit and YouTube are really the only social media apps I have, now that Instagram does pretty much everything Snapchat can do – or maybe not, I could never figure it out. I have my productivity apps in the forefront.
Aside from the Search Bar, the only widget I keep on my phone is from Weather Timeline. All weather apps essentially work the same, where the differences lie in the look. And this is the one that looks the best to me with its material design and customizable icons.
WordPress: I’m more comfortable writing blog posts on my laptop – I’m actually writing this one on my laptop – but it’s still nice to have.
Evernote: This is the central hub for my ideas. I keep random ideas for books here, shopping lists, and scattered ideas for blog posts I might want to write at some point.
Forest: There are a lot of apps that are meant for you to get work done in short bursts, but so far this one is my favourite. You pick a time for how long you want to work, and the goal is to work for that time without picking up your phone and leaving the app. Succeed and you get a nice tree to look at. If you fail, you kill the tree :(, but this gives you a instant sense of accomplishment by showing you all the trees that you’ve planted by staying focused.
Google Calendar: This is pretty self-explanatory. I keep track of all my events and reminders for what I have to do.
Phone: I almost never make phone calls, but I like to keep this on my home screen to remind me that this is a phone.
The Rest of Them
I like to think the amount of apps I have is a lot lower than the average person. I’ll only be mentioning noteworthy applications:
Backdrops: This is my new favourite wallpaper app. If you like your wallpaper to feature graphics instead of a selfie (hate that!) give this one a look. Costs a couple bucks, but it is worth it.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links: I downloaded this just yesterday. I don’t know why I did that.
Hopper: It’s an app that lets you track the fluctuating prices of flights and when a flight reaches its lowest predicted price. I’m planning on going on vacation with my mom in the spring, so this is being a big help.
Pocket: An aggregate app that lets you save links for offline viewing. This one is pretty great.
Pocket MAL: I have a MyAnimeList account, which lets me catalogue all the anime I watch, and this is an app that lets me use my account away from the site, because for some baffling reason, an official one does not exist.
Google Rewards: This is an app everyone should have. All you do is answer very brief surveys and you earn Google Play credits. It’s let me buy a few apps for free, and there’s no real detriment to it. Give this one a look.
Stocard: If you have a ton of membership card burning a hole in your wallet, give this one a shot. It lets you keep all your cards digitally on your phone. I never realized how light my wallet could be until I got this app.
Z-Type: Pretty much the only game I keep on my phone. It’s a game that turns typing into an action game. You type words to destroy ships and you’re rewarded for speed and accuracy. And yes, this is just like Mavis Beacon.
Putting what’s on my phone into words has shown me that I’ve officially warmed up to paying a few bucks for apps I really like to make my phone more efficient.