iPhone app management is, to put it bluntly, a mess. Once you get more than a couple of screens’ worth of apps, you start having difficulty keeping track of what’s where, and resort to using Spotlight to find an app you want to launch.
And even though you can create folders, they all look similar, and are limited in terms of how many apps they can contain. And then, once you’ve got it all lined up, what happens if you need to reset or replace your iPhone?
So I developed an app organization strategy:
- The dock along the bottom contains the apps I must have immediately at any given moment. For me, that’s Phone, Safari, Mail, and Settings. I know Settings seems like an odd choice, but I’m in there all the time; I turn off WiFi, or enable Do Not Disturb, or turn on Personal Hotspot, and I want to be able to do all those things in a second, without thinking about them.
- Anything else I want to be able to get to almost immediately has to go on my first screen, so that way I’m never more than two presses of the home button away from them. These would include things like Shazam (gotta get that song while it’s on!) clock (since I set a different alarm every night), Google Maps, and Calendar.
- Next most important are apps that go on the first screen, but inside a folder, which puts me no more than two-presses-and-a-tap away. This would include iBooks and various music listening services.
Then, all other apps go inside well-considered folders on the second, third, and further screens. Anything uncategorizable goes on the last screen outside of a folder.
Finally, I make sure I have iCloud backup turned on, so if something happens to my iPhone, I don’t have to do it all over again. The restore process will put everything back where it was.
(Of course, if you jailbreak your phone, which is no longer an option if you’re on the current version of iOS, there are many, many more options for organizing your apps.)