The iPhone Trick that Boosts Your Efficiency

Photo: Courtesy Apple.
I wouldn't call myself a neat freak, but my apartment definitely has a baseline level of organization. My iPhone on the other hand — a complete wreck (before I wrote this piece, that is).

I had four pages full of apps in no discernible order whatsoever, leaving me scrambling to find my camera app when I needed it most, or tapping on WhatsApp when I meant to hit Facebook. Not a pretty scene.

One easy fix for those who are also organizationally challenged: folders. To create a folder, simply place a finger over an app until it starts to wiggle. Then, keeping your finger on the app, pull it over another and voila! You have a folder. In this wiggle mode, you can also delete apps from your homescreen by tapping the X in the upper left of each app icon. To take your phone out of wiggle mode, just press your home button.

Things get a little harder when it comes to deciding which apps you want in which folder. Before actually creating my folders, I chose to take a Marie Kondo approach to organizing my phone. If you're not familiar with the Japanese author of the wildly popular decluttering manifesto, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, the gist is this: apart from the essentials, keep only those things that bring you joy.

The game apps that I downloaded for my commute but actually only make me frustrated when I do play them? Delete. My New York Times app? Keep.

After you've figured out what goes and what stays, decide if you want to organize your apps by theme or by color. If you go with theme, you can group all of your navigation apps in one folder and your social apps in another. To edit the name of a folder, stay in wiggle mode and tap the grey bar above the folder.

Grouping by color is a good option if you're more of a visual person and recognize an app based on color rather than topic. For example, you could have blue folder with Facebook, Venmo, Twitter, and MyFitnessPal, and a green for Spotify, WhatsApp, and Google Maps.

Folder organization is all about personal preference, so go with whichever option you think will help you find an app more easily and efficiently.

A well-organized iPhone isn't going to make or break your day, but it is one small change that can help you streamline your screen time.
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