Nowadays it seems there is an app for everything. But do you often find yourself wading through pages of icons, looking for that certain app? There’s a better way. If your productivity is slacking because of constant app searching, these iPad and iPhone organization tricks will make a major difference.
Learn to organize your Home Screen properly and speed up your search using a few extra tips to find the right app every time.
1. You Can Always Search With Spotlight
This organizational tip can be used while you are sorting, deleting, and searching for apps. It can be extremely handy while you are trying to figure out exactly how to organize your iPad apps more effectively. Whether you plan to sort alphabetically or by function, color, or theme, the Search tool can really speed things up.
Simply swipe right through your Home Screens or drag down from the middle to locate the search bar. Tap Search and type the name of an app.
From there, you can use the following organizational tips to create your dream home screen.
2. Reset Your Home Screen Layout
Things really gone awry? Start again with a fresh Home Screen—just like Apple intended.
Head to Settings > General > Reset and choose Reset Home Screen Layout. This will place all of Apple’s default apps on your main Home Screen, with apps you’ve downloaded and folders you’ve created on subsequent screens.
While the default layout might not be to your tastes, this is a great way to start from a clean slate to begin organizing your apps.
Pro-tip: delete any unwanted apps now before you organize them to free up storage space and simplify your Home Screen.
3. Pick a Scheme and Stick to it
The biggest aid to being productive on your iPhone is consistency. You can approach app sorting from several different directions, but they only work if you enforce your own rules so that you can find what you want.
For some ideas, consider organizing your apps:
- Alphabetically: Tried and tested, but may result in way too many Home Screens if you don’t use folders. Consider creating folder “bins” for your apps (e.g. “A–C,” “D–F,” and so on).
- By color: Maybe your brain works better by associating colors. A scheme like this can see Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all grouped together, while WhatsApp, Messages, and Spotify sit off to the side.
- By association: Placing similar apps next to each other is another option. You could have a screen or folder for work tools like Slack, Evernote, and OneDrive, some games on another screen, and your core Mail, Messages, and Safari front-and-center.
- By function: Use folders to group similar apps together. “Streaming” is a good category for all of your streaming platforms and “Banking” is a great place to put your finance apps. Then all you need to do is open the folder associated with the described function.
- By action: Use folders again. Rather than opting for vague terms like “shopping” or “news,” lead with an actionable verb (e.g. listen, read, or watch). Then when you’re looking for an app, all you need to do is determine the app’s purpose to quickly find the relevant folder (and similar applications).
4. Make Better Use of Folders
Folders are an incredible organizational tool that can be used in a couple of different ways. As mentioned, one of the best uses of folders is their app-sorting capabilities.
If you stick a folder in the Dock, it will remain accessible from any Home Screen. This is a handy technique to use if you have a lot of favorite apps you find yourself reaching for all the time.
This part of the Home Screen is designed for apps like Messages and Mail that you find yourself requiring quick access to all the time so it’s best if it doesn’t get cluttered with useless apps. Only put the most important options here, and try to limit the folders to a maximum of two for visibility.
Folders are a necessary evil if you have lots of apps, but they can be harmful if not used properly. A lot of this is down to naming conventions since it’s hard to categorize many apps. Using actions to name your folders as per our tip above can help, but if you want something a little easier on the eye why not use emojis?
Not only does it look great, but it can also let you improvise your own naming conventions using smileys, animals, food, and activities. You can get more specific with sub-categories, or use multiple emojis to denote app groupings (e.g., cycling, hiking, and football).
5. Create a Home Screen That’s Useful to You
This probably sounds obvious, but we all use our iPhones and iPads differently. Some of us launch the same four apps every day and rarely venture off the path. Others might download 10 games per week. Maybe you’re a runner or cyclist who uses apps like Strava and Spotify regularly, but not every day.
Your first Home Screen is for your most useful apps. It’s best to leave folders for the second Home Screen since your first Home Screen provides single-tap access to the really useful stuff.
Wondering which apps you tend to use the most? Settings > Battery will provide a breakdown of battery usage by app, tap the clock icon to see a breakdown of how long you’ve used each app as well.
Even better, go to Settings > Screen Time to see the app categories and individual apps you spend the most time looking at.
Your second Home Screen is a great place to put folders since it doesn’t require too many swipes and taps to access. If you don’t have a lot of apps, you can get rid of folders entirely. You might want to add website shortcuts to your iPhone Home Screen to access your favorite sites quickly.
Don’t fall into the trap of leaving apps like LinkedIn on your Home Screen just because you think you really should be using them.
6. Remove Apps You Don’t Need
Apple lets you download apps like Contacts and Stocks from the App Store, so you can delete what you don’t want until you really need it. No more throwing useless apps into an “unused” folder. Just delete them!
Other apps you can get rid of, or at least bury in a folder, include:
- Camera: Just open the Control Center (or swipe left on the lock screen) to launch the camera.
- Clock: This is accessible from the Control Center.
- Calculator: Accessible via Control Center (head to Settings > Control Center to rearrange and add more).
- Contacts: The Phone app does the same thing, it just starts you on a different tab.
- Mail: Especially useful if you’re using Gmail or another great iOS email app.
7. Keep Evolving Your App Organization
As you change and mature, the apps you need also change. One career may have you constantly opening Instagram to stay relevant with your small business. Another career may require constant access to your online banking. No matter what your app needs are, it’s crucial that you continually update your app organization.
It only takes a few minutes to do it every few weeks or months, and it has the ability to save major time. Organizing your apps may seem silly, but anyone living a high-paced life knows that seconds can make major differences.
Keep deleting, downloading, refreshing, and reorganizing your apps and you’ll keep saving time. Plus, there’s something super soothing about a brand new Home Screen.
More iPhone and iPad Organization Tips
It may take a few attempts, but once you figure out the perfect iPad or iPhone app organizational flow for you, it’ll be easy to find whatever you’re looking for. Don’t settle if the first strategy you try doesn’t feel right. All iPhone users are different and everyone has a different way of processing and categorizing information.
You’ll find your perfect folder flow eventually.
Try these iPhone Home Screen layouts to creatively organize your iOS apps and make them easier to browse and manage.
About The Author