Minimalist apps are designed to make your life easier – not harder. This means that they should be simple to navigate, and between them cover all the basics that many of us need from our smartphone.
This can vary, but for most this can be a mixture of improving our mental health, reduce stress from daily activities, helping us to get a better sleep, and assistance in creating a clutter free home. All of these things tend to go hand-in-hand anyway.
We’re going to take a look through the best minimalist apps you can download to help make your life that little bit simpler.
Notion – Best for Note Taking
As a long-time user of Notion, it’s first on my list of minimalist apps you can use to make your life simpler. It’s said that users have a love-hate relationship with Notion, but personally I love it for a few different reasons.
The main use of Notion is as a note app. It allows you to simply store and retain your notes in a structured manner – if you often lose your writing, this can help.
There are a bunch of different templates within Notion that you can use, as it’s more than just a blank word document (though it works great if you simply want a blank slate to start with too).
This varies from to-do lists through to charts and graphs. This can be used for a variety of different things – mainly I use Notion for managing my monthly budget, and listing the tasks that I need to accomplish each week.
Notion allows for collaboration within the app too. This means that if you’re embarking on your minimalism journey with your partner, you can both use the app at the same time. It also works well if you want to collaborate for work;
Another good aspect of Notion is that you can create various different Workspaces to use, which enables you to split your personal life from your work life. If like me you work from a laptop, this can be important – it’s also synced between your mobile and desktop app too for ease of use.
You can also use Notion to manage tasks as set up a regular schedule for your chores. Though, some people like to use a special to-do list app designed for this instead, as Notion can be a little technical.
However, the minimalist design and neat features make it worth checking out. Plus, the app is free to use too as the premium version is only necessary for business use, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.
If you find Notion a little too complex, another great note taking app you can check out for free is Bear – it has an even more minimalistic design and works well as a note app that allows you to add daily entries.
Alternatives: Evernote, ClickUp, Todoist, Google Tasks
Calm app – For Meditation and Sleeping Better
Many people turn to minimalism as a form of self care – eliminating the unnecessary, and focussing on the necessary. And a good night’s sleep is a necessity if you want to be your best self, and it can help you to improve your physical and mental health.
Calm is one of my favorite apps to download for this. It’s a meditation and mindfulness app that is helps you to relax before you go to sleep, and it’s one of the best minimal apps for both iOS and Android devices.
The app has a range of features for this, from its soundscapes and sleep stories that are essentially an adult version of a night-time story, through to its breathing exercises and guided meditation that allow you to reflect on the day you’ve had.
It’s super simple to navigate, and you can browse through the different features that it offers to see which ones are right for you. Even if you’re not a fan of meditation, it’s worth checking out what else Calm has to offer.
Alternatives: BetterSleep, Headspace, Simple Habit
Cold Turkey – For better productivity and to stay focused
In a world littered with distractions, it can be very easy to waste 30 minutes or an hour browsing through your social media apps. This is where app blocking can come in extremely handy, and my favorite one of these to use is Cold Turkey.
Cold Turkey allows you to block out all of the distracting apps and websites that you use on a regular basis during certain periods of the day. This means that you can block YouTube in the morning and only use it during a specific period of time.
It’s one of the best minimalist apps to use if you’re talking about blocking apps and getting more done. Though, it’s strictly a Desktop app, meaning it doesn’t work well for Android and iOS devices.
Mobile users are better off using the Focus mode on their phone, which can usually be found in the settings and extra features of your device. But if you want to reduce your screen time and spend more time reading and writing, it can be essential to put some restrictions in place.
Alternatives: Freedom, StayFocusd
When it comes to decluttering your home, one of the best apps you can use is Clutterfree. Decluttering is a major part of minimalism
Clutterfree has some smart features, from simply finding minimalist inspiration through to setting up daily challenges that will allow you to declutter your home. Other features include full personalization, and document donations.
Once you’ve started the app, you’ll be able to list down all of the things that you need to go through to fully declutter your home. You can do this day-by-day or room by room until you’ve gone through the entire house.
You can download Clutterfree to both iOS and Android phones. It’s one of the best minimal apps to opt for if you’re looking to set out a roadmap for your minimalist journey.
Alternatives: Spotless, Toss
Tody – To create a better cleaning routine
Maintaining a clean home and workspace is a fundamental part of living a minimal lifestyle, as a clear home can lead to a clear mind.
Though definitely a niche market, many people find Tody extremely helpful when it comes to creating their own routine for cleaning the house. Once you’ve decluttered your home, keeping it clean is extremely important.
You can customize the app to your own home, so if you’ve tried to create a schedule for your home chores and failed, Tody can simplify the whole process.
The app basically allows you to create zones in your home to clean on a regular schedule, and you can assign them each to a specific day.
It works extremely well if you want to routinely change things like your bedsheets and dust your living room. It’s a great app to check out if you want to manage and track your cleaning routine.
Alternatives: Spotless, Clean My House, Chore Monster
IFTTT (If That, Then This) – Best for automating socials
IFTTT may be the best minimalist app to download if you use a lot of social media apps, and you want to keep posting to them whilst not being active on the platform.
What it allows you to do is set up some If That, Then This motions.
This means that if you posts on your blog, you can use IFTTT to automatically create an Instagram post, a LinkedIn post, a Twitter post and more.
This can allow you to then delete these apps from your phone and reduce the amount of time you spend on social media, whilst still posting to your audience.
This can increase productivity, and allow you to stay focused on the things that really matter – which is a core focus of minimalism.
By spending a few hours setting up the knock on effect of your apps, you can easily create a lot of automation processes for both your work and personal life.
Alternatives: Zapier, Automate.io
Minimalist apps can help you to simplify your life, giving you more time to focus on the things that really matter to you. Making sure you have as few apps as possible is a good idea if you want a minimalist home screen, and it can allow you to reduce distracting notifications too.
Bear in mind though that this is only one aspect of digital minimalism. However, having the right apps downloaded can help to increase the simplicity of your life, giving you more control and ultimately, more freedom.