Now that I’ve separated my work and personal iPhones, I’m taking some time to simplify my personal device.

Screenshot of my iPhone homescreen which is all widget based and has only the Notes app in the dock

The biggest change is that for work, I’m now fully into the Office 365 product. So, email in Outlook, tasks in To Do, and notes in OneNote. Although I really liked using MindNode as my project and task manager and Apple Notes for my notes, I have to admit that this just works so much better for work tasks and with my office Windows PC. This has significantly reduced the demands on my personal phone, which was part of the point.

On the personal side, I’m sticking with Apple Notes and Reminders. These apps have seen lots of improvements recently and are more than sufficient for my needs. I’ve found that sharing notes with my family has been really useful, both as a way to work through family projects and to share reference material.

For music, I’m back to the Apple Music app. I liked the concept and design of the Albums app. I just found that I rarely used it. I am keeping MusicBox as the place to track albums I want to listen to (stuff gets lost in the Recently Added section of the Apple Music app). I’m also tagging albums there for particular moods, since I never seem to be able to remember relevant albums in the moment. MusicBox is a really nice, lightweight companion to Apple Music for these use cases.

For podcasts, I’ve switched back to Apple Podcasts from Overcast. This is really just an experiment with standardizing on stock Apple apps. I don’t expect it to last. Overcast has so many nice refinements and now also has better access to OS integrations that used to favour the Apple Podcasts app.

A couple of things that haven’t changed are getting news via Feedbin in NetNewsWire and journaling in DayOne. Although I’m intrigued by the new Journal app from Apple and will certainly test it out, I expect that I’ll keep my DayOne subscription and the close to 9,000 entries I’ve added.

Knowing my predilections for fiddling with my setup, I’ve intentionally kept my homescreen stable for a couple of years now. No doubt there will be further tweaks once iOS 17 is released. After that, I look forward to another stable setup that I use when necessary and otherwise leave alone.