It seems like ages ago that our iPhones were updated to allow moving icons around and, lo and behold, even to a 2nd (and 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc.) screen! Back then, it was gratifying to have the capability to do it, but unless you had a ton of web pages bookmarked and web apps galore, there wasn't much need to go beyond screen #2, maybe to screen #3.

Now, everything has changed. With the advent of the iTunes App Store, there are a bazillion apps available for download, many of them FREE! If you are like me, you've already downloaded like crazy and now you're staring at an iPhone with apps occupying six screens of real estate and threatening a seventh. Feeling more and more like a hoarder every day, I need to get organized! How so on the iPhone? Read on for this week's Tip!

The iPhone isn't your grandpappy's phone. Nosiree! There are no "categories" to sort your apps into. One thing I miss when I'm using my iPhone is the feature found on a basic Palm device - categories. Sorting apps is easy if you can put them in their own "bucket". With the iPhone, we're pretty much left to our own devices with respect to organizing our apps. Perhaps this is so because, aside from bookmarked web pages and web apps, 3rd party apps were not considered at first.

Now, we have to make some choices with respect to organizing the growing number of apps on our iPhones. I've decided to include a couple of the more obvious methods, and then I'm throwing this problem out to everyone else - "everyone else" is YOU, faithful reader. Leave your comments and/or get cracking in the forums if you haven't done so already!

Here are some sorting methods in my order of preference:

  1. Popularity - place the apps you use the most on the first couple screens. Don't be afraid to move some of the default Apple apps off the front page, especially the ones you seldom use. You'll create more instant access to your prime-time apps!
  2. Categories - although there is no way to designate categories on the iPhone, you can sort them in categories of your own by memory. For example, your first screen could be your most accessed apps, your "home" screen. The next screen could be apps that you classify as "utilities", then "media", "web apps", "games", and so on. If one category is far and away larger than the rest, put it at the end so you have room to add more!
  3. Alphabetical - simply A to Z; could be challenging for some, but ask a friend for help if you get stuck.
  4. Chaos Theory - just don't worry about it and let them all fall where they may. The nice thing about the iPhone is the ease of flipping to the next screen. All the apps are large icons for easy finding. No worries.
  5. WARNING: this method is NOT tested by TiPb and you're on your own with this one. Peter Ha over at CrunchGear has posted a method for moving apps to a mysterious and invisible 10th screen. Apparently, you can push apps into the iPhone Ether (a virtual storage area when the number of apps on your iPhone exceed 148. Wow.)
How do YOU do it? Any additions to the ideas above? Any suggestions for Apple to improve their app sorting (given how magnificently sorted they are on iTunes? Ahem.)? Leave your thoughts!
That's it for this week's Tip. If you have a tip of your own that you would like to share with the rest of us, please leave a Comment or you can email me at:

Disclaimer:  Tip o' the Week makes no guarantee, express or implied, that any tip found herein will be new or particularly useful to the reader (and I certainly make no promises or guarantees about the mysterious 10th screen. Gate to Hell, maybe? Or El-Jobso's oxygenated sleep chamber?).