There are tons of great apps in the App Store. So it's no wonder that many of us face the problem of cluttered home screens filled with apps we haven't used in some time. Our organization process over time loses it's structure and we find ourselves eventually just getting frustrated and annoyed. Sure we could use Spotlight to find the app we are looking for, but with hundreds of apps, we often forget the name of the app we are looking for and it could actually be found easier if we could just locate that darn icon we are so familiar with. But which folder did I put it in? And which page was it on? Did I file it under Reference or Utility? Entertainment or Media? Documents or Productivity?
There has to be a method to this madness. Well with my recent purchase of a (2nd) iPhone 4S, I decided I would really try to get a handle on the situation. If you need help in this area, just follow the steps below.
1. Go through every app you have on your iPhone, delete every app you have not used in the last 30 days.
2. Go through your remaining apps, delete every app you will probably not use for the next 30 days.
(By this time, your app count should be scaled back significantly.)
3. Next organize by folders. Limit yourself to 14 folders organized by category. For example: Apple apps, Business apps, Finance apps, Media apps, Photography apps, Reference apps, Social apps, Travel apps, Utiltity apps and Games are a few examples. This folder choosing process will be different for everyone. But really try to limit yourself to 10 folders and if you don't have the room, try to repeat steps 1 and 2 and reduce the qualification from last used to 14 days from 30 days.
4. Next, set up your most frequently used 16 apps on your homescreen outside of folders. This will give you quick access to your most used apps as well as give you some breathing room for your folders to house more apps you may download in the future. (This will push all your folders to the 2nd page). Just set these 16 apps up in an order that makes most sense to you.
5. This next step is a tweak that I find tremendously useful. By now you should have 2 pages of apps. The first of which is your main home screen with 16 of your most used (or most important apps). The second page is 14 folders and possibly a Newstand app (which does not sit in a folder). This leaves you space for just one more folder. Filter through your folders one more time and find any apps that get used on a daily basis as part of a routine. Example of this would be a fitness or goal related app or a news reader, weather apps or even a Bible. Put these apps into the first spot on your folder page in a folder titled "Daily". Oraganize the apps in this folder by the order of which you use them throughout the day.
6. Finally, there is the 3rd page. Well you probably are wondering what I am talking about as all your apps should reside on just 2 pages. Well the 3rd page is for apps you have yet to use or you are undecided about keeping. You may have purcashed the "lite" version of an app until you have decided that you are willing to invest in the "full" version. Well, now these apps have their own page. Think of this page as a "ToDo" page with the todo being to spend some time with these apps and make a decision on whether to keep them and add them to my collection on one of the first two pages or to delete them.
Now your setup is complete. You should have a very clean and organized method for sorting through and finding apps. You also now have a system in place for installing new apps and you will know just what to do with them. It is important to remember, that you can always redownload any application by going into the App Store and redownloading. Be cautious of deleting apps with crititcal information that is not backed up anywhere. Following the steps listed above could take a few hours, but the time saved could be much more than that in the long run.
I hope this helps someone. It has helped me. Now I will be using the same process on my "New" iPad.