How do YOU set up your app groups? How do YOU set your schedule?

Hey Everyone,

I ran into the 49 app limit and it’s limiting my thinking. Until there’s a possible solution to this, I was wondering what you are doing to set up your own app groups. I have my top 3 distracting games, streaming services, News, Google, most social media, shopping, and youtube .com blocked, but I’d love to have my phone feel dumber during focus times.

How do you think about your app groups and what has helped you get this organized? Have you deleted more apps to keep you focused and/or fit into this current limitation?

How I organize my weeks with Opal and why

Thank you for writing @joshhawaii. I’ve tried and iterated a lot over the last months to fine-tune my setup, here’s how I organize my weeks with Opal and why:

1. Work Time: 8:00am - 5:00pm, Monday to Friday

Here I block my Fun Apps [social media apps, especially Instagram for me, youtube and news mostly]. I use Normal protection level and typically take 4-5 breaks during the day.

Reality check:
Using the break timer helps me use the apps more mindfully. Right now we are running ads on Facebook/Instagram and I actually need to go to Instagram on my phone to reply to comments. I use breaks for that, this helps me do it faster.
I occasionally cancel this session altogether for a day, but it comes back the next day which helps me stay on track.

2. Time with Micah: 6:30 PM - 7:15 PM, Monday to Friday

Micah is my almost 2-year-old son, and 6:30 pm is typically when he is at home and ready to play or I can take him to the park. Here I block Work + Fun apps [also includes Gmail, Slack]. I use Deep Focus because I really want to enforce this time.

Reality check:
This is a relatively new session so I’m still adjusting, but I find that it helps remind me what matters most in life and to make time for it. I have the flexibility mostly to avoid any meetings or other activities at that time most days, so it’s not too challenging to keep.

3. Digital Sabbath: Saturday 6 AM - 7 PM

This is something I’ve been experimenting with for a while, but fell off the wagon a few times. The idea of a full day off of digital tools is very appealing to me, whenever I can do it I find it very good to rest and recharge. It’s also very hard. Here I block me my Work + Fun apps from sunrise to almost sunset.

Reality check

This is a reasonable amount of time and I feel like I can also can up in the evening on the fun or work stuff / email if I need. I use Normal protection so I can take breaks in case of emergency (for example if I need to check my email to access a QR code for tickets to something), but generally don’t take any.

What I DO use on Saturdays on my phone:

  • Google Maps (I live in a city and it’s an indispensable tool to get around especially for public transportation)
  • Transportation apps like Lime, Dott (bike sharing) or occasionally uber)
  • Apple Pay to pay for things (I don’t usually carry a wallet)
  • iMessage, Phone, Whatsapp to reach my family/who I am meeting.

That's it, I hope it helps!

What about your set up @here ? What have you tried? What has worked? failed?

Actually Made a blog post for this:

Thanks for taking the time to answer and cool that it turned into a blog post! It’s great to see that 90 minute block with deep focus for time with your son.

Would anyone else like to share some basic ideas of how you schedule in Opal?

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Hi! Here is how I organize my week with Opal, like Kenneth, I adapt it sometimes, however, with Deep Focus, I stick to certain “off times” .
I use the Work Time from 8 am to 4 pm, because then I pick up my daughter from school, and while I am waiting in the car, this is when I “disconnect” from work and check my personal emails, check the news etc…
Then once back home I have a Deep Focus scheduled session from 4:30 pm to 6 pm, because this is the time I spend with my daughter for snack, homework, and I cannot be distracted from that.
I resume work at 6pm for an hour and use the normal protection Focus Session. I use this protection, because I noticed that I don’t need to restrict it all since I got some free time to check my phone while waiting for my daughter.
From 7 pm to 9 pm I use the deep focus protection again, because it is dinner time, it is important for me to focus on my family and make sure we actually speak to each other, my daughter has Opal on her phone as well, so it became a cool sharing moment quite quickly.
On weekends, I don’t have any scheduled sessions. I just launch one as needed, and although it may be difficult at first, I noticed I naturally do it now. Say I want to visit my mom, well, I launch a deep focus session for 60 minutes.
I am seeing that, by setting up these Focus sessions, I have less “phone cravings” because I feel I have done something alone, for myself or with my family, and then I know I will get some free time to chat with friends, check social media etc…the urge of checking my phone becomes less and less each time…

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Thanks for taking the time to answer, Chris. I am seeing as well that when I put Opal in focus mode there are times when I am less likely to check. Of course, that moment of pause when the app is actually disabled is the main help, but knowing it won’t work is also a deterrent.
I like how you have those two deep focus times for after-school and dinner times.
It’s also fascinating to see you put in some kind of focus time for basically the whole day, 8am-9pm.

My current setup is simple so far - block the same apps in both blocks (because I haven’t bothered to do more customization).
I have a Work Time block from 9am-3pm (Normal Protection) and a “Sleepy Time” block from Midnight to 6am mainly to make sure that I can’t be on my phone past midnight. I plan to move that start time earlier.

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I haven’t had this exact problem but I always leave my home screen as empty as possible, with only apps that I need to lot and check often, e.g. music, messaging apps, camera and calendar. I grouped all my messaging apps together and I really enjoy that. I don’t have games on my phone though, and only one social media platform.

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