iOS14 Widgets

iOS14 Widgets + Widgetsmith || Customize and Set Up Your Home Screen

Well, hello there! I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Apple launched this new schmancy update called iOS14 that includes a lot of cool features and tools. However, the one I’ll be writing about today is the new widget feature.

If you’re like me, you’ve spent the entire morning and afternoon in an organizational frenzy – rearranging, deleting, and moving apps around the screen. It is strangely engrossing, to say the least.

Let’s just say, I woke up around 7:45am [which is a rarity for me], and it is currently 4:03pm… and I’ve only organized HALF of my stuff.

I will be guiding you with my own know-how and telling you everything you will need to know in order to make this process smoother and, hopefully, faster.

Make sure you’ve downloaded and installed the iOS14 update already before continuing! To check, go to Settings -> General -> Software Update.

1. Move your apps to the App Library

And this one is the first tip because it’s probably the most important one, the one that I wish I’d done first – move all the apps to the app library.

To do this, tap and hold your finger over any app [or anywhere on your home screen], and, once you have an app under your finger to move it around, tap other individual apps to group them together. Once you have a bunch of them grouped [don’t release your finger, yet], drag them to the furthest page to the right of your screen until you reach the App Library. Once there, release the apps – they will automatically organize themselves! Woot, woot!

Be sure to play this in HD quality!

2. Download “Widgetsmith” in the App Store

Go to the app store and download Widgetsmith – you’ll need it for the rest of the tutorial!

This is an app created specifically to work in conjunction with Apple’s new iOS14 update and allows for more awesome and aesthetically-pleasing iPhone screens. Fair warning, though – it is a d d i c t i n g .

3. The features

I decided to record a video showing a brief overview of the widgets both from iOS14 and Widgetsmith. In this case, I feel like a video will be a better way to showcase it. I will be explaining more about it in a video [an actual youtube video!] soon as well!

Be sure to play this in HD Quality!

4. Small, Medium, and Large Widgets

As you saw from my last video, there are 3 different sizes to the new iOS update and Widgetsmith app.

I love to create a bunch of different-sized widgets and play around with the order/structure. Normally, however, I tend to mix and match between the small and medium widgets because they allow for a bit more flexibility than if I were to incorporate a large widget – which takes up a whopping 16 spaces worth of individual apps whereas the small and medium-sized widgets take up 4 and 8 spaces respectively.

My only complaint is that I wish I could change the medium-sized widget from a horizontal position to a vertical position. I feel like it would have looked really nice as a small little sidebar of sorts on each home page.

5. Layouts

There are so many styles and structure combinations to set up in each of your home screen pages – I’ve been rearranging for hours on end all day today while also writing this blog post. Every time I wrote something on here, and then went to rearrange some more stuff around, the more familiarized I became with the update which brought me back to this post to add more and more to it!

I’ve already done 7 pages of my home screen, which dumbfounds me to no end because you’d think that someone who’s spent 8+ hours organizing would have their entire phone organized to the Apple gods.

Here’s one of my completed pages:

My “Sunset” home screen page

I made another post where I’ve included all 7 of my completed home screen pages! I also included a poll because I want to know which pages are everyone’s favorite. Go check it out!

6. More Neat Widget Apps

So, upon searching for apps in the App Store, I came across several other neat widget apps to download – I must say, some of them look promising.

Like, a Jumping Dino game widget?! Sign me up!

Here is a list of widget apps that I found and will possibly be reviewing in another blog post:

  • Motivation – Daily Quotes
  • Steve – The Jumping Dinosaur
  • Sticky Notes + Widget
  • Color Widgets

Let me know if you’d like to see any more widget app reviews!

7. Final Thoughts on Widgetsmith

I feel like, overall, the Widgetsmith app is superb! The fact that it’s free [with optional in-app purchases] makes it even better. Albeit I haven’t tried that many other apps, I feel like it can’t get any better than what I’ve already tested. However, should my opinion change on the matter, I will most certainly update this review and let you know why.

Nonetheless, I will be testing out more widget apps this week. So I will be posting my thoughts on each of them.

Pros about the Widgetsmith app:

  • It offers many types/styles of free widgets [time, date, custom, calendar, reminder, health & activity, and astronomy widgets!]
  • Ease of using the app/good structure flow
  • Quick learning curve
  • Compact and straightforward design

Cons about the Widgetsmith app:

  • Not many fonts to customize text [there are only 9 fonts as of right now]
  • No color picker wheel to allow freedom in choosing whatever background color we like [there are only 29 colors, and although that may sound like enough, it’s not – at least for me it isn’t]. The same applies to the border colors. I was just honestly expecting a color wheel or bar of some sort.
  • “Weather” and “Tides” widget styles are only accessible through a paid subscription with Widgetsmith. However, this didn’t really bother me, because I, myself, am not that interested in those.

And with that, I officially conclude this blog post! Join my email list below to get notified of when I post fresh content and for free digital content you can use on your social media and much more!

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Thoughts? Let me know in the comments whether you agree or disagree with the points I made or if you just like the blog post in general. This took me hours to write – mostly because I kept learning new things and wanted to provide more details on it.

But, alas, I am done!

As always, thank you for reading ♥

||Nocturnal Blogger ♥

7 simple things you can do to practice self care

Our everyday lives seem to be getting busier, passing by faster, and becoming overwhelmingly tech-saturated. It can be especially difficult to find the time to do things that relax us – things that are essential for our bodies, minds, and souls to power through another busy week. This is why I decided to compile a short list of things you can do to find peace in your day-to-day life based on the things I, myself, do to reach a level of calmness at the end of a stressful day.

1. Put that phone down – now.

You heard me. Put. it. down. *Coughs* After you read my blog though, xx *coughs*.

I cannot describe the clarity and peace of mind I feel after a while of setting my phone down and doing something else. Additionally, I feel a sense of accomplishment as well as productivity whenever I do this as opposed to scrolling through an hour’s worth of Instagram reels or Facebook memes.

I promise you, you’ll feel better after a little while of being separated from your phone and doing something you really love or brings you peace.

Here are more things you can do when you’re not on your phone.

2. Feel the sun.

This is going to sound like one of those cheesy quotes from an inspirational Instagram page but – you are, in many ways, like a plant. You need to get nutrients into your body, you need water [not just 1 cup or 2, but at least 8 cups of water, okay!], and you need sunlight.

Walk outside or, if you live in an apartment building with no yard or a place to lounge outdoors, sit by a window where the sunlight shines through. Close your eyes and soak in the warmth. You could also go to your nearest park to do this.

On days that I have felt dreary and mentally/emotionally exhausted, I’ve made it a point to go outside to stretch and soak in some rays. And here, in Germany, I try to take advantage of whenever the sun is out at all.

A reminder to be careful and limit the amount of exposure outside depending on the time of day it is [the sun tends to be harshest around noon] and remember to have some SPF on!

3. Light some tea candles

There’s just something about lighting a couple of tea candles and placing them around a room in the house that makes me feel calmer – even if a little.

Lighting tea candles in a dimly-lit room gives it an ambience of stillness and tranquility that subconsciously relax your body and mind.

This is something I do every single day. It’s basically a little routine of mine by now. For me, buying a pack of 50 tea light candles is the highlight of my week.

4. Have a random dancing moment

One of my most favorite shows of my childhood, iCarly, taught me two critically important things:

  1. Don’t mess with Sam Puckett.
  2. Random dancing is good for the soul.

Not only will you mind and soul feel better, but your body will, too! Having fun and getting a workout in there in the process? Sign me up!

Seriously, go put on your favorite music to dance to and have a mini dance party in your room. Hopefully, nobody’s watching 😜.

5. Light some incense

One of my most favorite things to do is to light incense every morning and while writing a blogpost!

I feel like this is the one thing I would feel weird not doing every single day. Lighting incense makes me feel so calm and ready at the same time to tackle the day. It sets the tone for my intended goals of the day. Each scent has its own purpose for me.

An example of this is whenever I want to have a spark of inspiration, I like to light spicy or citrus-y scents whereas I like to light the soft, floral scents whenever I want to wind down.

If you don’t have incense nor want to have them, I feel like scented candles can give you a similar boost as well!

6. Create a skincare routine.

Yes, this applies to everyone. A skincare routine is a good thing to incorporate into your day-to-day because, not only will your skin thank you for it, but your mind will, too.

During a skincare routine, be sure to mindfully pat/dab/massage your chosen products onto your skin. Don’t just harshly rub the products against your skin as fast as you can so you can be done with it – it won’t relax you nor will it be good for your face.

Take deep breaths in and out while applying everything. Try to take your time while doing your routine.

After everything, you can even use a face mask if you have one sitting around.

7. Do whatever it is that brings you true peace

Anything [within healthy boundaries] that makes you feel happy during and after, you should totally do.

Whether that be reading, singing, writing, shopping for that cute top you’ve had your eye on for the past month, or anything else, just do it.

This life is truly too short for you to be doing things that don’t bring you peace and happiness. So get to doing less of what brings your stress, and do more of what you’re passionate about.

||Nocturnal Blogger ♥

Photo of my cat looking straight up into the camera.

I gave my cat a professional photo shoot, and these are the results

Look through your camera roll.

Just do it.

If you have taken upwards of 100 photos of your cat in just a single photo session, I hereby officially declare you: cat-crazy [same rules apply with whatever pet you have].

Hiccup and I welcome you to the madness with open arms.

So, in the past week, I made it my personal mission to take as many photos of Hiccup as I could. I followed him around the house, with blatant disregard of his personal space, just to get shots like the one I set at the beginning of this post.

He didn’t seem to mind though – Hiccup loves the spotlight.

This was a pretty straightforward blog post, I know. I just had to post the results to this impromptu photo shoot! Of course, there’s like a million and one more photos on my DSLR camera, but I couldn’t upload them all or else the whole internet would crash lol.

And as always, thank you for reading ♥

||Nocturnal Blogger ♥