Neil Macy

My Home Screen - May 2023

I find it fascinating to read about home screens. How other people use their phones. And I love looking back at old screenshots of mine. I've kept them in Day One for years, but I think it's a cool thing to track in public too.

So here's my Home Screen as of the 4th of May 2023.

First off, I use only one Home Screen, and then a combination of Spotlight search and the App Library for finding everything else. I find the suggestions in the App Library pretty decent, and search works way better for me than browsing deep through screens or folders.

I also don't change home screens for different focus modes. I tried it for work, but I found it off putting in a way I've not been able to put my finger on. Like it made my phone feel wrong.


I like widgets. I find myself wishing for a bigger Home Screen so that I could fit more in.

My widgets: - Fantastical to see what's happening next; - Awesome Habits to keep me on track, by seeing what I still need to do whenever I unlock my phone; - Todoist in a stack with Awesome Habits for the same reason; - Kindle because I like being able to see the cover of my current book, in lieu of actually having a physical book, and it's also a great reminder to me to read more; - and Carrot to keep track of the weather. I find this works really well because I only passively check it, but the key thing like "will it be warm, will it rain" gets into my head subconsciously.


If I have a widget, I don't also have the app icon. There's not enough space for that! And this isn't a full list of every app I use.

For example, Ivory and Knotwords are missing. I keep them off my Home Screen because they're distracting.

And Day One is one of my most used apps but I use it at a particular time of the day, and the Spotlight Suggestions always show me it, so I never need to go looking for it when it's time to write in my diary.

Apps on my Home Screen: - Huckleberry is a parenting app, for tracking sleep among other things; - Duolingo because I'm now properly trying to learn French, after been doing it off and on for a decade; - Spotify because I'm listening to more music again these days; - Reeder for RSS, which never really went away for me; - Mail because it's like the cockroach of technology; - Slack for talking to work colleagues and friends; - Obsidian for writing things like this, along with most notes; - And a folder full of tools for projects like working on this site, or my run tracking app.


These are the apps I use most. I don’t think I need a Dock as such, because I only have one Home Screen. But it’s there, and I put my most important apps in it.

I use Safari a lot. I think it might be the only app whose position has never changed since my first iPod Touch in 2008.

WhatsApp is how I talk to people.

Overcast is vital for listening to The Adventure Zone and Bring Back V10s.

And Google Photos is how I share family photos, and it’s basically become my photos app now.


I wear my Apple Watch all day every day. The biggest features for me are time and notifications, but there's some glanceable info that's useful, and a couple of apps that I use quite heavily.

The main two apps I use are Todoist and Waterminder.

I use Waterminder almost exclusively on the watch. It's a full featured app. And it's accessible and quick to just add a drink without getting my phone out.

And I use Todoist for much the same reason. I can jump in, check what's on my list, and quickly tick things off, without having to get my phone out. It's great.

Published on 4 May 2023