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De-Clutter Your iPhone

March 13 2008 – 11:39am

I’ve noticed that lots of people like to fill their iPhone screen entirely with icons. If they have more than one screen’s worth, they make sure to put the icons of the applications they use most on the first screen. This poses a couple of issues with me: 1) it makes it harder to find the apps that you really need to use at a moment’s notice, and 2) it turns your iPhone into a sort of black hole, with some of those time-wasting apps seducing you into doing things you don’t need to be doing, or accessing information you don’t really need to have.

So, I take the approach of putting those apps that aren’t big time wasters, but that I often need to use at a moment’s notice, on the first screen. Here’s an overview of the first screen of icons on my iPhone:

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I put the key communication functions on the grey bar at the bottom. There’s really just two of these in my opinion, SMS messages, and Phone functionality.

Also on the first screen, I have Maps, for quick finding of Vietnamese food; Weather to quickly decide what to wear when I step outside; Notes, for writing down that cool site name a new friend tells me about at a party; Clock, for setting the alarm after I drop off my laundry; iPod, for fast deployment of music before the crazy guy on the BART tries to sell me socks; Calculator, for quick…calculating; Camera for taking quick photos of strange things on the walls at bars; and settings, for scoping out the WiFi situation at the café I’m contemplating stepping into.

And what’s up with the ones on the second screen? Well, more than anything, since I use my iPhone for an alarm, the last thing I want to do before I even get out of bed is check e-mail, stocks, or Facebook on impulse.

The one wish I have is that my iPhone could default to that first screen, so that the second one doesn’t show up next time I wake my iPhone after an e-mail session. Adopting this strategy will save you time keep you sane, give it a shot.

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This post is filed under Creative Productivity, Life Hacks.