Professional organizers, in case you didn’t know, don’t just help people organize their closets, or their kitchens, or their entire home, they also help people organize their lives. And since for so many of us increasingly a large part of our lives ‘live’ for a large part on our phones, organizing that can bring you more ‘joy’ – and stress relief than you might imagine.
If you are like me your have dozens and dozens of apps on your iPhone. (For ease purposes here I’ll be mentioning iPhones, but this all, for the most part, applies to Androids as well.) Without proper organization, the home screen can get cluttered up very quickly and the everyday experience of using your phone can become very stressful – and who needs more of that?
The fact is that the longer you own and use an iPhone, the more cluttered it becomes. Out of the box you start off with this sleek, beautiful home screen – probably with a visually stunning wallpaper – with just a few basic apps and it is an enjoyable, breathable experience to look at it.
But then you have to begin actually using your phone, and that screen starts to fill up. Then another one, and another one, until one day you find yourself scrolling through multiple screens to try figure out where one app, the one you haven’t used for a while but now need desperately, is ‘hiding’.
The problem with using lots of home screens is that there is just no easy way to get to the end. You have to scroll through every single screen. At a certain point, it becomes tedious, stressful and annoying, and you start to hate your phone.
The Problem With iPhone Folders
The next logical step – once your phone becomes app heavy – would be to use folders — but that’s not necessarily better. Unless you go about using them in the right way.
The problem with putting all of your apps into folders is that many people – especially visual people like myself – prefer to see the app icon quickly rather than read the name. A big chunk of blue for Twitter, a big green circle for Spotify, the blue-gold gradient for Instagram, that kind of thing. When apps are hidden away in folders it becomes more of a task to find the one you are looking for.
So what’s the solution? A little bit everything, used strategically. Here’s how it works:
Start off your iPhone organization project by making sure that the apps you use most often -the ones you want at your fingertips at all times – are on that very first home screen.
Next, organize your apps into categories – shopping, health, productivity. Put all but one app – preferably the one you use the most – into a folder, but ensure that the app you left out is sitting right next to it. This will allow it to act as a visual cue to remind you what the folder is all about, so that you don’t have to squint at TINY icons to figure out if that is the folder you need right now.
As you add more apps – and you will – make sure that they go right into their proper folders – and you’ll find that making use of your phone becomes a lot less stressful – and more efficient – again.
A Few More Quick Tips:
Most of you know this one, but make sure that your absolute top four apps are housed in the bottom bar of the homescreen.
You may not have realized it but apps closer to the bottom right if you’re right-handed and to the bottom left if you’re left-handed are the easiest to hit. So put your favorite apps/folders there.
Have a clean out once in a while, and go through to determine if you really need all of the apps on your phone after all. Deleting them does not mean you can never access them again – they are easy to download again from the App Store – but if you are holding onto apps you only use once or twice a year (if ever) then they are only taking up space (and adding more home screens)