Get more out of iPhone folders: the “all or nothing” approach

A page of iPhone apps, arranged in folders

My initial real-word experience with iOS 4 folders was disappointing. I tried keeping my frequently used apps on a “home” page, where I could see their icons, and putting my less-used apps in folders. I tried having pages for types of apps, such as a games page. The result was chaos.

So I bit the bullet and created a new system which puts almost everything into a folder and relies heavily on alphabetization.

Page 1: Apps (alphabetized). These are the apps that are required to be on the first home page, plus a few frequently used apps.

Page 2: Apps (alphabetized). New apps I’m exploring. (Yes! I bought Angry Birds.) Eventually these apps will be moved into folders on the following pages.

Page 3: Folders (alphabetized): Apps for travel, shopping, productivity, social networking, finance, A/V (recording and photography) books, food, news, and communications. After putting the apps into folders, I alphabetized the folders.

Page 4: Folders (alphabetized): Board games, Game Center games, and amusements.

Page 5: Folders (alphabetized): These contain apps I used for special projects and am unlike to ever touch again (they were arcane, outdated, or just plain horrible).

I found myself wondering if there is any way to create a location-specific system (a certain app is always in the upper-left hand corner, for example)? The way that apps reorganize their order on the page when you add or remove an app from the page drives me batty. It’s like getting in the car and discovering the steering wheel has moved and the radio is now controlling the windshield wipers.

I’m interested in hearing from you about app-organization strategies you like.

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About Karen Anderson

To paraphrase Mark Morris, "I'm a writer; I write!"
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