Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your smartphone? I certainly have. Companies and start ups try to cash into this by offering services or devices that are labeled “minimalist” and are supposed to keep your head clutter-free. But the truth is, most of these devices are just an attempt into obtaining either our personal data or way too much cash for something incapable of basic things. I’ve tried my best to adjust my own phone to meet the minimalist criteria without missing out on the Android-available features. It is so easy you can do it as well!
Step 1: The KISS Launcher
Before we start, we need to get rid of all that shiny Google Home Screen stuff. The app I used is called KISS and it is available in either the Google Play Store or the F-Droid store (if you love free software – free as in freedom). After you installed it, press the home button on your device and choose the KISS Launcher as your default home screen. In order to tweak the design and features until they meet your criteria, just tap on the three dots on your home screen and select KISS Settings.
In order to recreate my home screen use the lite transparent theme, disable the favorite bar and history and increase the search bar size. I also made the search bar transparent.
Tip: If you click on the green circle, all your installed apps and your favorites-bar will pop up. If you really need something and can’t remember it’s name, it’s still there but hidden from distracting you.
Step 2: The Wallpaper
I literally duckduckwent “White Wallpaper HD”, you’ll be fine!
Step 3: Notifications
Distractor Number 1 are notifications. In the settings of your Android phone is an option for Notifications. I only enabled apps that are either for communication or are useful to my life (productivity/fitness apps). Games, IMDB, even my E-Reader app are all muted. I also deactivated sounds and vibration for ALL apps (except for the alarm clock and calls if people need to call me). This way your phone will not interrupt you at all and you will only interact with the device and other people if you choose to.
If you try it out, please let me know how it changes your workflow and life. I feel way better and back in control of my own attention. Hopefully it will be a similar experience for you as well!