New Strategy for iPhone App Organization

If you’re using iOS 4 on an iPhone you’ve no doubt seen “Folders” as shown above*. Folders are great for grouping apps (here, I’ve put a bunch of weather-related apps into their own folder), but they’re also great for giving you quick access to a lot more apps in a lot less time (and a lot fewer taps). The trick is to store folders in the Dock.

Here’s what my first Home screen looked like before I got organized. As you can see from the dots near the bottom of the screen, I have the full complement of eleven Home screens, which means a LOT of apps are more than a swipe and a tap away. The four apps in the Dock (OmniFocus, Pastebot, Mail, and Settings) were available with one touch regardless of which Home screen I was on, but with 200,000 apps I had a bunch that I use all the time. I had to find a better way.

My plan: put folders into the Dock, allowing me quick access to a lot more than four apps. It was a great plan, except for one thing: you can’t create a folder in the Dock.

Turns out that there’s a way around that. The trick is to make the folder somewhere else. Then drag the whole folder to the Dock. Once you do that you can move additional apps into the docked folder. Here’s what my first Home screen looks like now.

Now I have access to a whole bunch of fun stuff on Home Screen 1, and another giant pile of apps just a tap away in my “Main Apps” and “Super Faves” folders. Here’s what it looks like when I tap those folders.

First, my Main Apps…

and here, my “Super Faves.”

I haven’t done the math yet but it seems to me that I have a lot more apps just a tap or two away from wherever I might be. It does take some re-training as I had become accustomed to going swipe-swipe-swipe to find my apps, but I’m getting there. Overall, it’s working for me, and if you have a lot of apps I think it will be worthwhile for you as well.

*I know, they don’t look like “folders.” But that’s what they’re called.


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