How To Run Your Life From Your Home Screen

Tommy Barav
Published in
5 min readFeb 20, 2020


From time to time, when I get up in the morning, I feel like my phone is no longer works for me. Too many installed apps, on the one hand, that some take too much of my attention, and on the other good apps that I neglected. That made me think about how to do things differently this time.

The phone’s home screen has a very big effect on our time and attention. The more distracting the apps on the home screen are, the more time we spend on involuntary content consumption.

But you can change that.

I decided to create a new order for my home screen that has a slightly different architecture. Apps arranged by my biological clock and daily routines. So, let’s get started?

First-row 👉 morning routine apps

I start every morning with routines that maximize my energy level. Here are the apps I use.

1. Oura — The first app I open in the morning to track my sleep metrics and overall body recovery.

2. Waking Up — mostly for short meditation. I found it more effective than Headspace, which annoyed me recently.

3. Onyx — mainly for waking the body up by doing quick exercises. The app also corrects my movements and monitors my activity through the phone’s camera.

4. DayTwo — mostly to plan what I will eat for lunch and dinner.

Second row 👉 Apps that help me get focused

After I finish my morning routine, I begin with 90 minutes of deep work during which I finish my most important task of the day

5. Restart — An old-fashioned routine where I document 3 things I am thankful for today and mention what is the most important task for that day.

6. Focus Mode — Nice automation where I set how much focus I want to get. The automation puts the phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode, sends a message to my wife that I am in focus for the time I set, and if she is looking for me she can call twice. It then runs that puts on music for my brain, and then it opens a timer that shows me how much time is left on this focus session has left.

7. — Music that is good for your brain.

Third row 👉 on-the-go apps

After I finish my important task, I leave my home and head to the office. The reason is that most of the time, the office has more distractions. I always walk to work. It takes me 30 minutes and during that time I put power into my brain.

8. Google Maps — If I need to navigate to the meeting. I’m usually using this one during the day.

9. Audible — Reads my books to me.

10. Pocket — Reads articles that I’ve saved to me.

11. Blinklist — Reads the contents of each book to me.

12. Krisp — Eliminates background noise for calls I make while walking in noisy areas.

13. Superhuman — If I happen to have an email from the phone on the go (rare, but there are situations).

Fourth row 👉 applications for continuous creativity (10:30–17:30)

After coming to the office I try to use my phone mainly for capturing things and creativity. Or best — put it aside.

14. Notes — There are better ones, but it is most convenient for me to write notes.

15. Voice Notes — Again, there are better apps for this(like Outter). But it’s most convenient for fast capture.

16. Paste — A magical app that lets me transfer information and photos from my computer to my phone.

17. Mind Map (MindNode) — I use this for mapping meetings, presentations, ideas, etc.

Fifth Row 👉 Do Less, Be More

18. Instant messaging apps. WhatsApp, Twitter, and Messenger are located here. Keeping them in this folder keeps me focused.

19. Strong — A great app for gym routines. I usually go at 5:30 pm.

20. Pocket Cast — In my leisure I use this app to listen to podcasts.

Two apps I use on my mobile before I go to sleep.

21. Toothbrush timer- I know it’s dumb but I need it.

22. Zero — I’m committed to intermediate fasting. This is the best app. I set it up at night.

Bottom line 👉 spontaneous and continuous use.

These are apps that I use throughout the day. The phone is needed sometimes for calls and updates, Spotify — because music is the air that we breathe. Fantastical — Because I live by my calendar and it’s the best calendar that exists. And Notion, because I pretty much run my life on there.

Now, show me your home screen and I will tell you who you are.



Tommy Barav

Founder of Supertools. 30K time-hackers community. Forbes 30 Under 30.