I’ve posted my iPhone Home page a few times and think those posts illustrate the evolving nature of how I use my phone. A few months ago, I had decided that I had too many disparate apps floating around on the pages behind my Home page and decided to come up with a way to organize them that would allow me to find them quickly and easily.
I tend to think of apps by their general function. Writing apps, travel apps, music apps, etc. There are apps that serve specific functional uses that I don’t want to see every time I look at my phone. I needed a good method for tucking these apps in a good spot so I could find them and get to them quickly.
By way of example, I had a problem with apps like Weather (or my weapon of choice, My-Cast) being an outlying singleton. I obviously couldn’t create a “Weather” folder and put it in there because it was the only app of its type. I eventually realized that I had many of these “Page 2-worthy”, singleton apps that had no specific order other than location on the page and I was finding them by a mix of muscle memory and color. I needed to find a new way to organize them.
The layout I decided on was a set of folders organized alphabetically by general context, much like a GTD context. This seems to diverge from what is probably the norm of folder use. Maybe GTD has re-wired my brain, but working with folders like “Helping”, “Knowing”, “Listening”, etc. made a lot of sense.
As you can see, some folders stick with things that are related by a theme like “Finance”, which has applications that related to all sorts of money information and manipulation, or “Sports” for sports news or streaming apps (except MLB At Bat which has moved to the Home screen for the regular season).
All “helper” apps find a home in the “Helping” context. This encompasses things like remote desktop apps, Dropbox, Syncopy, iBrewMaster, Ringtone makers, Photoscanning software, etc. As you can see, they run the gamut of ways to help me out, but they all fall into that general bucket of functionality. Using my context folder consolidates them all in one place.
“Knowing” contains any app that allows me to know things, or at least find things out quickly – weather, contacts, shipping information, reminders, star maps.
“Traveling” is a catch all for things that help me travel (like TomTom), but also contains apps that relate to things I do while traveling (like checking in to Untappd, or Foursquare, or parking my car).
The other context folders follow suit with the idea - things that are loosely related based on a need, rather than a theme.
Anyway, it’s not a huge revolution in interface design, but it has definitely helped me find things much faster on my very busy Page 2.