How to Customize Your iPad Home Screen

How to Customize Your iPad Home Screen

This post may contain some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you purchase after clicking a link we may receive a small commission, no worries though, it won’t cost you a penny more)!

Keep reading to learn how to customize your iPad home screen and grab my free graphics to add as well!

Would rather watch a video? Watch my complete walk-through below.

Hi friend! I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately on how I was able to customize my iPad home screen to make it look the way it does. As always, I decided to make a tutorial to show you the step-by-step process so that you too can have a cute home screen every time you open up your iPad.

In this tutorial I will also be showing you how to grab my free graphics so you can add to your own home screen if you’d like, and I will also be showing you how to add a shortcut icon to your home screen to easily access your digital planners and journals. Let’s get started!

Customizing Your Home Screen


The first thing you will do is go to your app store and download a free app called WidgetSmith. This app will let you add different widgets to your iPad and customize it to your personal preference.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can start playing around with it to see all the features it brings. There is a paid version but you don’t need it for this tutorial and I’ve personally never purchased it.

These next steps will vary depending on what layout you decide works best for you but I will give you the complete steps I took to make my iPad look the way it does. Since I already have mine set up, I will recreate my home screen on a new screen.

  1. Open WidgetSmith and click ‘Add Large Widget.’ Next click ‘Choose from Photos.’ Now you can choose any photo from your album. If you’d like to use the graphics I created, keep reading as I will show you how you can grab them for free. After you’ve picked a photo, click ‘Save’ at the top right corner of the pop-up screen.
Add large Widget
  1. Next, I created another large widget and added another one of my favorite graphics. I really love to add affirmation quotes to my home screen as it helps remind me to stay productive. Click ‘Save’ once you’ve chosen one you like.
  2. I added a third large widget with another graphic I love and hit ‘Save.’
  3. I then added a medium widget because I wanted to add a calendar I could see as soon as I unlocked my iPad. There are quite a few for you to choose from but I chose the ‘Month & Date’ widget. To customize this widget I clicked on ‘Theme’, made sure to keep the theme ‘Basic’ and clicked ‘Customize Theme’ at the bottom. This allowed me to be able to change the color to whatever I desired. I love the Teal so that is what I went with. Next you can click on ‘Save.’
  4. I added an extra large widget with a graphic I made that has some positive reviews for my planner. Seeing this graphic every day really motivates me to keep going and working on what I love doing most. I highly recommend that you also pick something that will motivate you to keep doing what you love as that is so important. Don’t forget to click ‘Save’ once you’ve picked out your photo.

These are all the widgets I created for my home screen and you are welcome to keep exploring the different options as the options are truly endless.

Now that the widgets have been created in WidgetSmith, go back to your homescreen and long-press the screen until they start to “jiggle.”

Plus sign

You will see a small plus sign in the upper left corner of your screen. Click on it and you will see a pop up window where you can search for widgets you can add to your screen. Click on WidgetSmith and choose all the widgets you created in the previous step.

For example, I chose to add three large widgets, one extra large widget, and one medium widget to my home screen. I also added a shortcut to my Bible Journal and Digital Planner on my home screen. I will show you how to do this as we keep going.

Once you’ve added all your widgets you can rearrange them to your desired preference. To add the specific widget you just created, press down on the widget and click “Edit WidgetSmith.”

From here you can choose the correct widget you created. I recommend naming your widgets so they are easier to find if you decide to create many widgets. If you only make a few, they should be pretty easy to find.

Add large Widget

Do this for all the widgets so you can see them all on your home screen. Now let me go over how you can add your digital planner as a shortcut on your home screen.

How to Add a Shortcut to Your iPad Home Screen

It’s pretty simple to add a shortcut icon for your digital planner to your home screen. You will want to follow the next steps to do this:

  1. Open the Shortcuts app on your iPad (it comes preinstalled).
  2. Tap the plus icon in the top right corner.
Shortcut plus sign
  1. Click ‘Apps’
  2. Next, tap on the app you have your planner or journal in. In my case it’s GoodNotes.
Apps and GoodNotes
  1. From here you will choose the name of the file you want to add the shortcut to.
  2. Next, click the ‘info’ icon and choose ‘Add to Home Screen’.
Info, add to home screen
  1. From here you can change the Shortcut name as well as the icon for your Shortcut.
  2. Once you’ve chosen your icon, click ‘Add’ in the upper right hand corner.
  3. You will be redirected to your home screen and you will see that the shortcut has been added.

How to Get My Free Graphics

Grab my Free graphics!

Now that we’ve gone through how to customize your iPad home screen, let me show you how to download my free graphics!

To grab them you will head over to my freebie library. If you haven’t already signed up, I highly suggest you do as you will get access to lots of freebies that will help you with your productivity goals.

So, the first thing you will want to do is go on your device. Whether it’s a phone, tablet, or computer, this will work on all of them. If you want to save your graphics to your iPad, I suggest you do this from your iPad.

Go to your internet browser and go to Once there, you will click the hamburger menu, or the 3 little lines in the upper right hand corner. Click on “Freebie Library.”

From here you will scroll down a bit and see this form:


Fill out the form so that I can send you an email with the password to this freebie library.

You will receive an email to your email’s inbox. If you don’t see it be sure to check your promotions folder as it may be hiding in there. 

Your email will look like this and your password will be right where I’m covering it with my pencil. Make sure to also click “Confirm your subscription” so that you receive any emails I may send in the future with more freebies.


Now that you have the password, you will go back to your web browser and scroll down on the page where you will see a “Already a member?” section. Click the pink “Log in here” button and you will be redirected to where you can input your password. Input the password from your email and click “Enter.”

Now you can grab the free graphics as well as any of the other freebies I’ve placed in here.

Click on “Download” and you will be automatically redirected to the graphics. From here you can download them to start using right away!

I hope you found this tutorial to be super helpful and you learned new things along the way. Please let me know if you have any questions as I’m always happy to help!

Want a free digital planner? Sign up below!

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