Dino’s Journal 📖


For a week or two before I started my digital de-clutter phase, I was trying to figure out which pocket notebooks to get. The idea being that they will take the place of my smartphone if I needed to take notes. The idea on top of that was to reduce my smartphone usage even more; by not using it to take notes. And by not using my smartphone to take notes, I won't even need to pull it out of my pocket or drawer or wherever it is at, thereby lessening the chance it will distract me during the day. When I finally tried it out in the real world, the results surprised me.


There is a saying that goes, “out of sight, out of mind”. That is the basis for the first productivity tip that I'm sharing on this journal. As you can tell by the title though, I added “Out of Reach” in between. The reason for that is explained towards the end of this post.

My usual routine when I got to work was to take out my phone and place it on my desk, right in front of me, between the keyboard and my monitors. The idea being that I would easily spot any notification and can act on them.

To the old me, this setup was perfectly fine. Years ago, I was so into apps and staying up to date on my notifications, that I didn't mind having a phone right in front of me. This was partly the reason I switched from a Windows Phone to an iPhone; the notifications system on Windows Phones were subpar and it just didn't have any of the cool apps available on iPhones.


So my digital declutter phase ended today and I would like to share the results, but first, a slight recap:

  • I started my digital declutter phase a month ago.
  • These were the rules I followed. The rules were pretty much spot on because I don't remember having to modify them throughout the 30 day period.
  • The “digital declutter” is an exercise I read about in Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism book.
  • I bought the Digital Minimalism book to try and find more ways to curb my smartphone addiction. It is an attempt to regain control of my attention and time.

Okay so here are my notes, findings, revelations, thoughts, etc... on how it went:


These are a list of rules that I'm going to be following during the 30-day digital declutter phase. I'm already trying to follow some of the rules on here, but I think I will officially start it on the 20th for a good round number.

Messaging Apps:

  • Text Messages/iMessage: Allowed
  • Facebook Messenger: Not allowed
  • Groupme: Not allowed


  • Mobile Phone Apps:
    • Outlook: Allowed (needed for work) but can only be used during daytime, except on support calls.
    • Yahoomail: Allowed (needed for two factor authentication) but can only be used during daytime.
    • Protonmail: Not allowed
  • On PC: Allowed at work
  • On Tablet: Not allowed