Over my life I’ve collected some nuggets of wisdom that I want to guide me through my decisions, but it’s easy to forget these things when I get wrapped up in my day-to-day schedule. I’ve been looking for a way to regularly remind myself of these principles. Ideally my system would deliver regular drips of valued inspiration, without getting in my way or requiring maintenance. Here’s what I came up with:
It works like this: The message I display on the lock-screen is randomly selected from a custom list of my principles that I have created and stored on my phone. The message is changed every minute or so, ensuring that I get a new message each time I go to unlock my phone.
All this can be done using a free Android app called “Custom Quote”. It took some fiddling to get the settings right, so here’s what I did, (in case you want to try it yourself).
In the widget, click the + to create a new quote. You can add your own name for the speaker and create a new list named Reminders. Add as many quotes as you like this way.
In the main settings, enable random cycling of the quotes and set a short refresh rate. Set the list the “Reminders” list you just created.
The default fonts are bad, so I changed it to a nice white sans-serif, centered on the screen.
Most modern Android phones support home screen widgets but they can differ in how you place it on the home screen, so you’ll want to look that up for your phone. Once that’s in place, you’re good to go.
I’ve really enjoyed having these reminders for the past month or so. There are lots of apps and plugins out there for displaying inspiring quotes, but it’s way more meaningful to see battle-hardened principles that I’ve personally learned than unfamiliar quotes that I don’t identify with.
We are a product of our environments so taking the time to craft the right environment is a good investment, paying silent dividends daily.