Written on

Down to 8 Apps on My Phone

It's been a year since I read Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism where he talks about taking back control of your time and not feeling like you need your phone attached to you all the time. Here are some steps I took to implement Digital Minimalism in my life.

The major takeaway for me was Cal Newport’s call to join the attention resistance movement.

Like most people, I don’t have the self-control to read a book if I have the opportunity to watch Netflix. So I use the following techniques to trick my brain into doing what I want even when I don’t want to do it.

Set a list of purposes for each device


  • Talking, Messaging to Friends
  • Listening to Music and Podcasts
  • Manage Todo List


  • Netflix, Music, Podcasts
  • Reading Books


  • Work (Design, Develop, Meetings, Mail)
  • Music
  • Browsing
  • Video Editing
  • Manage Todo List, Notes


  • Gaming

Remove all the other unneeded apps

After I set the main purpose for each device, I got into removing all the other cruft apps that I didn’t need.


I ended up with a total of 8 essential apps on my phone. I have rooted my phone, so I could remove Play Store and other unneeded apps. I installed third-party apps with APK from trusted sources which I manually update once a month.

Screenshot of apps in my Phone


iPad is my main entertainment device. Apart from some, I didn’t have the need to install apps that are already available in the browser.

Screenshot of apps in my iPad


As my work device, it has everything I need to get into a flow, attend meetings, and collaborate with my coworkers.

Screenshot of apps in my MacBook

Reduce screen time

Already my screen time has reduced a lot, but here are more steps I followed:

  • Turn off all notifications other than the ringer and alarm.
  • Keep your phone and iPad away from your work desk and bed.
  • Consolidate texting.
  • Set leisure activities in the real world.

Where I can improve on

Though I gain more time every day by getting rid of unnecessary apps, I seem to be spending a lot of time on video games lately which might be an effect of quarantine.

I also observed that playing games for 30 mins to an hour makes me happy. And playing for more than 4 hours a day makes me miserable.

So that’s my next target. Play games for an hour a day and then move on to the next thing.

Next Steps

Here are some steps that Cal Newport suggests which I intend to do more of:

  • Be bored on purpose
  • Be alone with my thoughts
  • Embrace slow media
  • Take long walks
  • Let go of the fear of missing out