This will probably be the most pointless piece I ever write but I have been thinking about this a lot. I recently went back and listened again to Cortex a podcast on the Relay.fm network. In the first episode CGP Grey talks to Myke Hurley about having only one page of apps and the importance of placement of the apps. I have had all of my apps on one page for the last year but never had a good reason for why this worked or really thought much about it.
Everyone is different, maybe my folder or app placement doesn't work for you, thats ok. tweak it and find out what works for you. I will be writing about what works for me on my iPhone and maybe down the line I will talk about my iPad.
First off I only have 54 apps installed on my phone right now, and trust me that is an all time low. Before I really go into the idea of only having one page of apps and only having the apps I need on that device.
I had to think about what I use my iPhone for. First it is a communication device, apps like messages, phone, and email are important. If someone needs to get a hold of me right away this is how. I do use other messaging services, but right now they aren't as important so they live on my iPad.
Second are my everyday apps, calendar, task manger, notes, camera, weather, directions are all very important to me and I would be lost without anyone of those. I use all of these so much they need to be in a spot I can get to quickly.
Third is the most minor, I could live without all of these on my phone because I usually have an iPad with me that can do all of this. These are Twitter, music, and podcast. While these are not important to my working life, I would probably go stir crazy with out them.
Once I had figured out what apps I wanted on the home screen I had to figure out the layout. I use an iPhone 6 Plus, and when I hold it one handed I use my right hand so I kept that in mind as I arranged icons. I put four folders at the top utilities, leisure, work, and daily. I was very vague on the naming so that any app I want on my phone has a place.
Just like I talk about in my dealing with notifications post I don't have any badges turned on expect for messages, phone, and 2do. Badges throw off the symmetry of the home screen and will give you a false since of urgency.
The next step was to find wallpaper that wasn't so busy I got distracted by or it clashed with any icon design. Again the Cortex podcast came through. This wallpaper is perfect for what I want, a nice dark background with a grid that lines up.
If you have stuck with me this far thank you, I know this isn't as exciting as all of those "what will be announced at WWDC" pieces. I have probably spent way to much time playing around with many home screen but I am a nerd that constantly has to be optimizing every tool I use.