When it comes to productivity, your iPhone can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. It can be the reason why you get your job responsibilities done in the most efficient manner, or the culprit for the piles of backlog you carry each day at work.

Regardless of how you utilize your iPhone, it is common knowledge that the iPhone is a powerful tool that not only allows us to stay connected to the people who are important to us, but the Apple ecosystem also provides a solution for almost every productivity problem. You just have to learn to organize your iPhone in a way that puts you in a position for success. 

Having access to a multitude of apps hints that perhaps many of us may have installed far too many apps on our phones, most of which are unnecessary and unhelpful. This usually hinders us from achieving minimalism and organization. This article will therefore provide you with 7 simple tips that should help you organize the apps on your iPhone.

Organize your Home Screen

The first screen you see on your iPhone is probably “the most valuable digital real estate in your life,” according to Jason Aten from Inc. Magazine. An iPhone home screen should be set up so the most essential apps are easy to find, and you will not be stressed out every time you look at your phone.

Not only does organizing your home screen provide you with ease and convenience, it should also relax your eyes when everything is positioned just the way they should be. To do this, Aten suggests that only a few apps are accommodated in the home screen to reduce the clutter and chaos on your phone. 

Tim Brookes from How To Geek agrees that to be able to make the most of your home screen space, you should only put the apps you want to access quickly on that screen. Your home screen should only accommodate the apps you use every single day.

Aten sets his own home screen as an example of a setup that keeps him productive. He says that he only includes “a handful of apps and a couple of widget collections in the home screen”. He does not use folders on the first page because he thinks that this simply adds a layer of complexity that he does not want or need every time he looks at his iPhone.

It is not necessary that you fill up your entire home screen before moving to the next page. This is a useful mindset that helps you create divisions between certain types of apps. For example, you can put the apps you use most often in the Dock, and the remaining ones on your home screen.

Not filling up your home screen entirely makes way for a cleaner look. Folders on the home screen can take time to open and scroll through so it may be wiser to place these folders on the second and third home screens, if necessary. 

Organize your Folders

Utilizing folders to organize your apps according to purpose is also an intricate endeavor as it takes careful assessment of the apps. Some apps may not have a clear purpose so you are not 100 percent sure what folder to put them: it can be in the social networking folder, the productivity folder, or even the utilities folder. Nevertheless, the number of folders you will need will depend on the number of apps you have installed, what these apps do, and how often you access these apps.

You do not need to conform to how famous people organize their iPhones. You just need to create a system of organization that is perfectly aligned and tailored to your workflow. List down your apps and determine a way you can assign them in groups in a meaningful and practical way. 

For example, you might have a good number of apps that provide you a daily rundown of news and current affairs, and several apps that lay out useful information in the form of fun facts or daily trivias like Quora and Wikipedia. You could group these apps together in a folder titled “Education”. 

If you are a fan of art and use your leisure time to color and draw, you must have several apps on your iPhone that are intended to help you create art. You would want to group these in a folder with the title “Art” so you do not have to scroll through unrelated apps when you want to color. 

If you use your iPhone to make music, you could separate your apps for synthesizing from your drum machines. Music is a broad arena so if you put all music-related apps together in a single folder, it will make it difficult for you to look for an app when you need it. 

Utilize the App Library

One feature that headlines the new iPhone operating system iOS 14 is the App Library that helps you organize your apps in a single library where it automatically groups apps according to function and purpose. This means that you can opt to remove some apps from your home screen without uninstalling them. When you need these apps, you can access them by swiping through all of your screens until you get to the App Library. 

If you want to send an app to the App Library, you can simply long press on the app, tap the minus icon on the upper right corner, then select “remove app” when the menu pops up. This will send the app directly to your App Library without deleting it. 

One tip suggested by Jason Aten is you can tap into the search bar at the top of the App Library, and it shows you an alphabetical list of the apps you installed on your device. This can be a more efficient and faster way to get to the app you are looking for, instead of trying to guess which group Apple automatically enlisted the app for. 

Use Widgets

Along with the App Library, iOS 14 also came with one of the best ways to organize the information on your iPhone: through widgets. Aten believes widgets are useful because they perform two things: 

  1. They eliminate the number of apps on your home screen. 
  2. They provide you with the information you actually need without your even having to load an app. Some widgets Aten was referring to is the screen time tracker widget and the news and current affairs widget, among others. 

Multiple widgets can also be grouped into a stack on your home screen. You can maximize a small space with multiple widgets without compromising declutter. Not only does this break the grid setup, it also gives you quick access to essential information you use on a regular basis. 

Keep Fewer Apps

Aten also suggests to look at your App Library every now and then. Check the list often and see if there are apps that you have not used in a span of six months, for example. This may be a sign for you to just remove it from your iPhone completely. It would both be pointless and useless to keep an app around when you are not even using it. Anyway, you can always re-download the app in the future if you need to. 

This does not only declutter your home screen, it also benefits your storage and battery life. And even if your iPhone can handle far more apps than you use, there is a mental cost to keep them around. That being said, keeping fewer apps could be an important tip to keep your apps organized. 

Utilize Automatic Groupings

As mentioned earlier, the new iOS 14 operating system comes with an App Library that appears as a separate page on your home screen. The last page to the left of your iPhone screen is the App Library. We have talked about the ways to take advantage of the App Library itself, but how does the feature of automatic grouping of apps exactly help our productivity? 

Foremost, automatic groupings automatically organizes your apps into folders that are labeled in a variety of categories. For example, some phones have folders named Recently Added, Social, Utilities, Productivity and Finance, Entertainment, Creativity, Education, Shopping and Food, Information and Reading, Health and Fitness, and Travel. Each one of these folders is divided into four quadrants where each quadrant shows an icon that represents an app. If a folder contains more than four apps, the remaining icons are shrunk down into a single quadrant, usually the fourth quadrant.

You can conveniently open an app directly from its icon in the App Library, or tap search if you want an alphabetical list of your apps. If you deem this automatic groupings feature is helpful to your productivity, you can take advantage of it and let Apple decide how to group your apps according to their purposes and categories. 

Utilize Search

If you hate going over folders just to get to the app you need at a moment, you can simply just search for it using the search feature on the App Library. To do this, you have to swipe down on the App Library screen where you will see an alphabetical list of all the apps on your phone. To view the entire list, swipe down the screen until you find the app you need.

You can also just tap the letter on the right-hand side of the screen to see all apps starting with that letter. Alternatively, you can start typing the name of the app you want in the App Library search field at the top to see the corresponding apps. Then, just tap the icon for the app you wish to launch. 

Final Thoughts

Your iPhone may have made performing your responsibilities miles easier than before, but a more comprehensive knowledge of its features will surely proliferate your productivity levels to an optimal. You can use it for mobile gaming, reading the hottest news and current affairs, learning about finance and the stock market, or simply communicating with your friends and family.

All of these may already make your iPhone seem like a versatile enough device, but there is certainly more to it than just these functions, and the only way to learn is to explore and read relevant pieces of information to the iPhone device. 

Nevertheless, whether your iPhone is a tool for productivity or a culprit for unproductivity is entirely dependent on how you use it. 

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