How to Organize iPhone Apps: Tips and Tricks

With so much of our life on our phones, it can get quickly cluttered. Here is how to organize iPhone Apps to make your phone clutter-free and efficient.

How to organize iPhone apps.

I think I have 50+ apps installed on my phone, and this is after being selective about which apps I actually install. Every restaurant, shopping store, service, and entertainment channel has its own app! I even have three navigation apps, but I really only use one all the time. There are some instances in which I get better direction from the other apps, so I guess I need to keep all of them.

As we accumulate apps through various free trials, events we attend, friend recommendations, and pure curiosity, keeping our iPhones organized can be challenging. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to efficiently organize the apps on your iPhone to ensure you easily find the app you are looking for, save storage on your phone, and get a clutter-free experience.

Declutter Your Home Screen

The first step in achieving a well-organized iPhone is decluttering your home screen. Assess the apps you use most frequently and move them to the main page. Delete the apps you never use anymore.

Unsure of the last time you used one? Go into your settings and search for General, then iPhone Storage. You’ll be able to see the last time you accessed your phone. Anything longer than 1-2 months should be deleted depending on your storage. 

Take a moment to review your installed apps and delete those that are redundant or haven’t been used in a while. This not only frees up valuable storage space but also reduces visual clutter on your home screen. Some other tips and tricks we recommend include:

1. Categorize Apps with Folders

Folders are an excellent tool for categorizing your apps and reducing home screen clutter. To create a folder, simply long-press on an app until it starts jiggling, then drag it onto another app you want to group.

Productivity folder on an iPhone.

Give the folder a relevant name, such as “Productivity” or “Utilities.” You can even create nested folders for a more organized structure. Group multiple apps together into various themes. Shopping, social media, games, banking, and music are all popular for dedicated folders, making it easier to locate them quickly.

2. Arrange Folders Strategically

The order of your folders matters as well. Consider arranging them based on priority or frequency of use. A good rule of thumb is to place the folders with your frequently used apps on the first page for easy access. Rearrange the rest of your folders by dragging them around until you find an order that suits your usage pattern.

3. Utilize the Dock Effectively

The dock at the bottom of your iPhone’s home screen is prime real estate. It’s a place for your most-used apps for quick access.

Choose apps that you use daily or need to access swiftly. Whether it’s your phone, messages, email, or your favorite social media app, the dock can be customized to suit your preferences.

4. Take Advantage of the App Library

App library of an iPhone.

The iOS 14 update introduced the App Library, a feature that automatically organizes your mobile apps into categories. Swipe left on your home screen to access the App Library, where apps are sorted into predefined folders like Social, Productivity, and Entertainment. This feature is particularly useful if you prefer a more automated approach to organization.

Organizing Your Home Screen

Your iPhone’s home screen is the gateway to your digital world, and a well-organized layout can significantly enhance your user experience. It’s important to optimize your home screen and any secondary screens to suit your specific needs.

1. Organize Alphabetically

Alphabetical organization is a classic method for quick and intuitive app access. To implement this, arrange your apps in alphabetical order across your home screen pages.

Start with the most important apps on the first page and continue alphabetically on subsequent pages. This method works well for those who prefer a straightforward, easily navigable structure.

2. Organize Aesthetically

Rearranging apps based on color or theme can be a compelling option for those who appreciate a visually pleasing and harmonious layout. You can create a visually appealing gradient effect by arranging apps in a way that transitions seamlessly from one color to another.

3. Organize by Usage

This is my preferred method. Organize the most used apps on the home screen, starting with the most used app at the top. This makes it easy to get to quickly without spending too much time navigating to the app.

In my case, that is the messages, camera, and photo app at the very top.

Utilizing Search and Siri Suggestions

With a large number of apps, finding the right one can be a challenge. Instead of manually scrolling through pages, use the search function by swiping down on your home screen.

App store icon on an iPhone.

Siri Suggestions also adapt to your usage patterns, providing app recommendations based on time, location, and activity. This offers a quick and efficient way to access your frequently used apps.

Custom Icons and Themes

You can enhance your phone’s aesthetic appeal by using custom icons and themes. Many apps and websites offer icon packs and wallpapers that can transform the look of your home and lock screens.

Match colors, experiment with different icon shapes, and choose wallpapers that complement your chosen aesthetic.

Creating and Using Widgets

The iOS also allows the addition of widgets on your home and lock screens. This great update provides at-a-glance information and quick access to certain app functionalities.

Using widgets on an iPhone home screen.

Customize your widgets to display relevant information like your calendar, weather, or to-do list. This enhances the visual appeal of your home screen and adds a practical layer to your app organization strategy.

I absolutely love using widgets to organize my phone. I have 7 of these on my phone and they are very helpful.

Here are several strategies for using widgets to stay more organized:

1. Create Productivity Focused Widgets

You could customize your widgets to display information that is relevant to your daily routine. Whether it’s a calendar widget for upcoming events, a weather widget for at-a-glance forecasts, or a to-do list widget for quick access to your tasks, incorporating these widgets onto your home screen provides valuable information without the need to open specific apps.

Organizing iPhone apps using folders.

You can also use widgets like a shortcut feature, so if you access Spotify regularly or check your email often throughout the day, you have the choice of adding widgets to your home screen that make these apps easier to access or even provide a preview so you can skip songs or refresh your inbox without interrupting other app usage.

2. Explore Third-Party Widgets

There’s so much more than the built-in iPhone widgets. Many third-party apps now also offer widgets that provide quick access to their features, which can help you create a more personalized and efficient experience.

Whether tracking your fitness goals, monitoring your screen time, or checking your investment portfolio, any of your favorite apps’ widgets can add a layer of customization to your organizational strategy.

3. Use Smart Stacks

Apple’s iOS allows you to stack widgets on top of each other using Smart Stacks. This dynamic feature rotates through relevant widgets based on your usage patterns, time of day, or location.

This can be particularly useful for maximizing space on your home screen while ensuring that the most pertinent information is readily available, especially as that information changes throughout the course of a day.

organizes apps on a phone.

In the end, the best way to organize iPhone apps is to find a method that aligns with your preferences and usage patterns. Whether you choose alphabetical, aesthetic, or automatic organization, elevate your organizational strategy by providing quick access to essential information.

Experiment with widget features and other techniques, regularly reassess your layout and enjoy a streamlined and efficient iPhone experience. iPhone organization is not a one-time task; it’s an ongoing process.

As your app usage patterns evolve, you can periodically review and update your organization strategy. This makes sure that your iPhone remains organized and tailored to your current lifestyle.

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Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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