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A 2 post collection

My iPhone 6 Setup

 •  Filed under iPhone, By Me, Tools, Technology

For a long time now I've kept my iPhone setup largely the same. Just two rows of apps on the home screen with other apps on the following screens. I've had it this way for over a year now, but recently I've changed this setup.

More Screen, More Apps

With a larger screen on my iPhone 6, I've started adding more apps to the home screen. I started adding a third row of apps. Then a week later I added another row of apps. The following week after that I added another row.

Screenshot of my home screen

There was two reasons I kept just eight apps on my screen in the past.

  1. I like using photos of my family on my phone and so keeping the number of apps to eight means I have more screen to use a nice photo.
  2. I kept the number of apps down to the ones I used on a daily basis. At the time I also had an iPad, so I didn't need as many apps on my phone.

Things have changed though. I no longer use an iPad. The iPhone 6 screen is big enough to do most tasks I throw at it with the sole exception being programming. This means I do use my phone alot more. The tade-off of using my phone alot more rather than using two seperate devices is well worth it.

Also, I just set a nice picture of the family on the lock screen and reserve the wallpaper on the home screen for a different image from Unsplash. These two changes mean that I am free to use more apps on my home screen.

No More Folders

Another change to my previous setup is the abolishment of folders to group apps. In the past I used a verb based grouping for apps to keep related tasks together. It was fine for a while but I found that even by using the verb based folders, I wasn't gaining anything other than keeping the screen organised. I was also allowing myself to hoard apps. Even the apps that I used infrequently I kept on my phone in a folder. I didn't have a need for these apps, I simply kept them there, "just in case".

Now I simply keep a couple of subsequent screens with apps on them. My second home screen is largely apps I've installed for use every other day like banking, health tracking, server management and games for the kids (and me!).The third home screen is all Apple's own apps that I don't use often or at all. It's still annoying that you can't delete apps like Notes, Voice Memos and Tips, but with them being on the last screen I rarely see them.

One Last Thing

One last change that I have been making in terms of app usage is I've started to use web based services instead of apps which is why I have a Feedbin icon on my home screen. Previously I've used Reeder and Unread for scanning through my RSS feeds, but Feedbin has such a great user-interface for the phone that it makes more sense to use Feedbin with it's sharing feature available on my iPhone rather than adding another app layer between myself and the Feedbin service. This doesn't work for all services, but where a web based client has been designed with a phone in mind, it can be just as easy to use the web based client rather than an app to connect to your service in question.

That just about covers my iPhone setup. Tools have definitely changed since the last time I wrote about this. I might delve into these apps more in the future and my reasons for choosing them but for the foreseeable future this is what I'm sticking with.

My iPhone Setup

 •  Filed under iPhone, Tools, Technology

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 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.