The home screen of any iPhone user is more important than what some may think. A properly arranged home screen looks more pleasing to the eyes and helps to improve your productivity. Some people just love the random way that iPhone places the apps, while others will put in plenty of effort to get their home screen organized, but in an unproductive way. Today, we will take a look at how to organize your iPhone’s home screen in a way that will make your device usage more productive.
The Priority of Apps
You’d be surprised to know that there is actually a method of application placement on your iPhone. According to writer Ben Brooks of The Brooks Review, the order pictured above is the ideal home screens set up for iPhone users. Each important application, according to Brooks, has a level of priority that will follow his method. For some individuals, the first page, or important page, is the only page that is needed. This is because, if it isn’t an important application, some believe it shouldn’t be on the iPhone at all. However, this isn’t logical for all iPhone users. Unless your iPhone is purely business, your 32GB will go to waste if you restrict it to just important, power applications. This is where folders come in to help with organization.
Utilize the Folders
Folders for iDevices are things that individuals either love or hate. The lovers of folders enjoy not having their not-so-useful applications out in the open, filling up useful space. There are just as many individuals who don’t like an iPhone with a ton of folders. Plus, folders have an app limit of twelve applications, not a sufficient number for some individuals. Whether you like folders or not, here are a couple of rules for folder etiquette:
1. Never Have Folders On the Front Page
One rule to folders is that you should keep your front page, the page you seen when opening the iPhone, free of folders. There are many aesthetic reasons behind this, but the most apparent reason behind this is because the front page is reserved for important applications only. If you followed the advice of “The Priority of Apps”, folders would be unnecessary.
2. Use Folders for What They Are
There are some individuals that like to throw applications into a folder without much thought. This defeats the purpose of folders and simply stores them away out of sight for harder retrieval. When assigning an application to its respective folder, you have the ability to keep your home screen organized and productive.
3. Don’t Go Overboard
There are some individuals who recommend keeping a folder for every application. I personally disagree with this method. The thought of having every application (not a majority, but every single app) in a folder would make retrieval a lot harder for me. In addition, it makes the iPhone look less welcoming. The color and variations of each application’s icon adds personalized flavor to iPhones, folders diminish this. Below is how to make a folder:
Find the two applications you want into a folder
Press and hold on either application until it makes a motion
Drag and drop the application over the other one.
Click on the name to rename the folder.
To remove a folder, drag an application out of the folder.
In the end, we must remember that the iPhone home screen shows the type of iPhone user that we are. Multimedia users will be more likely to have game and music folders, creative users on the other hand will have more photography and entertainment folders.
There are some individuals, including myself, who has their iPhone for both personal and work uses. For this reason, some individuals would appreciate having pages dedicated to different parts of your routine. For example, an entertainment and personal page and another page for work/school related applications. There are then the minimalists who enjoy a clutter free iPhone. One minimalist approach I read about is to have a blank page that utilizes just the dock, reminiscent of the Mac interface. The approaches are up to you.
“The App Test”
One approach I learned from a fellow blogger is to perform an application test when downloading one. Before downloading, look through your iPhone to see if you have any applications in that same category. For example, Camera+ and Instagram are both photography applications.
From there, compare the applications you already have to see if they have the same features. For example, both applications take photos that can be shared. However, they have different concepts. After this stage, you would assess if one application does the same features better than the other. If it doesn’t, then it’s trashed. This prevents the common problem that many iPhone users have, repeated applications that have the same uses.
My Home Screen Set Up
This is my personal home screen set up for my iPhone. The front page is very simple, keeping the same set up that I was given out of the box. I seem to love the placement of each application on the front page. One variation I added was the Vlingo application. This is my personal Siri alternative since I don’t have an iPhone 4S. On the next page, I have a utilities folder for Apple applications like iCards, calculator, compass, etc. The second page is mainly my social networking page. The next page is where a majority of folders are seen. I have a “Lifestyle” folder that includes mostly dining apps; my “Shopping”, “Games”, and “Photography” folders are self-explanatory. That’s it. My set up is pretty simple and works for me.
The iPhone home screen set up is what can tell you the type of person the owner is. For this reason, it’s very personal and involves much thought for many. For myself personally, I try everyday to look for new ways of organizing my home screen to best suit me. It’s an ever-changing canvas that helps me to be more productive. Now, it’s your turn to start your iPhone canvas. Share with us in the comments your set up and how it helps you.
Image credit: The Brooks Review