How to Organize Smartphone Apps for Quick Access

Eliminate smartphone slowdown with a surprisingly simple trick.

Stever Robbins
4-minute read
Episode #510

Once you have your most common apps on the front screen, look through your other screens. Group your remaining apps into folders, named so you can find them quickly. For example, Photo apps, Messaging apps, Music apps, and so on.

Then when you need a less-frequently-used app, you can find the relevant folder and drag out the app you need.

Keep each folder small—one screen of icons at most. Otherwise finding an icon will mean scrolling to the right screen, opening the folder, then scrolling through the folder before you get to the icon you need. By that time, whatever you were thinking about will be thoroughly interrupted.

Create Folders on Your Home Screen

In the event that you use so many apps so frequently that the front page can’t hold them all, consider creating a folder on the front screen. This means you’ll have to open the folder to launch any of those apps, but it might be worth it.

Rather than trying to organize all the icons on your smartphone the way you think you’ll use them, organize them how you really do use them.

Group related apps together. If you regularly use both Zombie Locator 1.0 and Zindr (the app for meeting Local Zombies for in-person Board Games), you may create a front-screen folder called Zombie Recruiting and put both apps in it. That buys you one more available slot on the all-important front screen.

Do It Again When You’re Swiping a Lot

Over times, your needs change. Some apps become more important, some less. Sure, Zindr might deserve to stay in the top left spot of your home screen, but perhaps Maps had fallen to your second screen, since you rarely use it. But when you go traveling, you use it a lot, so you’re always swiping over to the second screen to get to it.

When you’re swiping past the home screen more than a couple of times a day, restart the migration procedure. Your apps will quickly settle on the new set that you use most often. 

Rather than trying to organize all the icons on your smartphone the way you think you’ll use them, organize them how you really do use them. Every time you use an app, move it to the upper left slot on screen one. Over time, your most used apps will be at your beck and call. Want to use Spot Your Future Nemesis app immediately followed by the Zombie Army Targeting app? They’ll both be right there, on your home screen, easy to tap.

And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If they do, show them the Zombie Army Targeting app and give them a chance to change their opinion.

I’m Stever Robbins. Follow GetItDoneGuy on Twitter and Facebook. If you have projects that are stalled or taking too long, check out my “Get-it-Done Groups” accountability groups. Learn more at http://SteverRobbins.com

Image of smartphone apps © Shutterstock


About the Author

Stever Robbins

Stever Robbins was the host of the podcast Get-it-Done Guy from 2007 to 2019. He is a graduate of W. Edward Deming’s Total Quality Management training program and a Certified Master Trainer Elite of NLP. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School and a BS in Computer Sciences from MIT.