I wanted to share my apps setup on my iPhone for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to see if any one had similar setups on their devices and secondly, it’s something worth writing about.

So how do I have my iPhone setup?

Right from the first day I got my iPhone I had my own specific setup in mind. The setup I’m describing is very similar to the setup I had on my previous Android phone. The first screen, the home screen, on my iPhone is limited to apps I use on a daily basis.

Home screen

For a long time now I’ve stuck to the same types of apps on my home screen with just a few changes to the actual apps in the last six months. Here’s what’s on my home screen just now.

  • Fantastical - I started using this a few months ago, was previously Google Calendar synced to Calendar app.
  • TaskPaper - I’ve tried Wunderlist, TodoList, Things and others. I keep coming back to TaskPaper due to it’s easy to use UI and use of a flat text file for my lists.
  • Reeder - I started using within the last month, I was previously using Feedly synced to Google Reader.
  • Path - I’ve had this on my phone since day one.
  • Forecast - Started using this year.
  • Felix - Started using this year, I was previously using Wedge but Felix has really came on in the last six months.
  • Instapaper - I’ve had this on my phone since day one.
  • Pop - Started using this year at the recommendation of Patrick Rhone. It’s really handy as just a scratchpad or dumping ground for thoughts and ideas.

These are the apps that I use every day. I purposely keep this screen limited to just eight apps as it leaves some screen space so that I can see my wallpaper if it’s a nice photo.

On the second screen is the rest of the apps that I use but instead they are categorised into folders.

Folders screen

I initially had these folders grouped by the verb that describes the action of each app after reading about the idea on Gina Trapani’s Smarterware blog, but grouping them by a verb was difficult for some of the apps. Instead I just a name them to something that makes sense to me.

  • Schedule - Scheduling and timekeeping tools.
  • Network - All my App.net apps. It’s the only social network I actively take part in now.
  • Words - Writing and reading apps.
  • Bytes - Apps for services that I use online like Trello, Github and Pinboard.
  • Photos - Camera apps and photo albums.
  • Listen - iTunes, Instacast and other apps related to consuming visual and audio media.
  • Shop - Finance related apps.
  • Setup - Setup and connectivity apps.
  • Games - Handy when we’re out and about and I need my oldest to sit at piece for a few minutes.
  • Travel - Hardly used.

I’ve tried in the past to limit myself to eight folders on this screen however it just wasn’t possible. I have enabled most of the notifications on this screen as a reminder that I have things that need to be done or reviewed. I very rarely switch to this screen unless I have a notification for one of these apps. Bookstand is also sitting on this screen awaiting the release of iOS 7 when I can finally put it in a folder.

I’ve had this setup on my phone for some time now, and I’m very unlikely to change it. I’m quite selective with my apps and I tend to stick to one app for one type of function. The only exception to this is the number of writing tools I have on my phone. I’ve had PlainText and Pop installed for some time, but I have been trying out Drafts recently.