Three Tips to Keep Your iPhone Productive


Did you know that there are over 1.5 million iPhone apps in Apple’s App Store? And did you know that the average iPhone owner has over 30 apps installed on their smartphone? From Social Media, Finance, Sports, and Entertainment, there is no shortage of applications you could have on your phone.

On my iPhone, I currently have over 70 applications installed. I’m an over achiever when it comes to the statistic. So when I read Michael Hyatt’s post How I Optimize My iPhone For Maximum Productivity I took note of how disorganized and cluttered my iPhone had gotten. I needed a tuneup. In this post, I’ll share with you the three things that I did to tame my iPhone. These things will help you too.

Right now on my phone’s home screen I have the following apps:

  • Settings – I want to have the settings of my phone readily available
  • 1Password – A new app I’m trying to manage all my passwords. What I like about it is the ability to share passwords with others if I need to.
  • App Store – I have this app readily available should I need to update any other apps or hunt for new ones.
  • Wallet – While in my area there aren’t a lot of retailers that take Apple Pay, I still like to have this app easily accessible to pay for things.
  • Authy – I’ve never been hacked before, but with Authy I am able to engage two-factor authentication when using any of my accounts. This is a new app that I’m trying out.
  • Drive – I have lots of documents for work, my personal life, and with church, so this app gets the home screen advantage.
  • Dropbox – Since I also have many documents stored in Dropbox, this is also an app I have on my home screen.
  • Calendar – My wife and I share a lot of calendars of our work schedules, appointments, and events, so it’s a no brainer to have on the home screen.
  • Evernote – Evernote is my digital brain. From emails, shopping lists, to parts for stuff around the house, if it’s important I put it there.
  • Workflowy – This is a new app that I’m trying out. So to make sure I’m keeping it top of mind, it’s on the home screen. It allows me to create outlines for projects I’m working on, or other things I need to manage.
  • Safari – Web browsing is still important.
  • Way of Life – This is also a new app that I’m trying out.
  • Calculator – because I’m terrible at math, but great at using a calculator
  • Weather – knowing what the weather is or will be is nice when planning wardrobe, activities, etc.
  • Photos –
  • Camera
  • Maps – to navigate where I need to go
  • Spotify – I have a premium membership and love Spotify. I love finding new music to listen to.
  • Music –
  • Podcasts – I’m an avid podcast listener, so I want to always make sure I’m current with the shows I listen to.
  • Phone – for phone calls
  • Google Voice – I have a Google Voice phone number which I use for business calls. So, I keep it on my home screen to keep it accessible.
  • Social Media Folder – Contains Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Periscope, Blab, Anchor, Messenger, and Pages
  • Business Folder – Contains Hours, Freshbooks, Google Calendar, Square Register, Contacts, Hootsuite, Facetime, and Paypal.

Here’s what I have on my home row:

  • Slack – I am a member of a couple teams that use Slack as their primary communications tool. So it makes sense to have this on my home row, always accessible.
  • Messenger – I probably send more text messages to people than phone calls.
  • Mail – I still get email from people, businesses, and potential clients, so I keep Mail on my home row.
  • Omnifocus – Omnifocus is my task manager app that I use

So, how did I tame my iPhone and restore sanity to my device? I performed three simple actions on my phone. You can too!

1. I deleted the iPhone apps I no longer use.

Before I cleaned up my iPhone I had around six pages of apps. With my iPhone 6+ that means that I had around 144 apps on my phone. So I started in earnest deleting the apps that I no longer used or were interested in.

Frankly, it was really cathartic to delete things from my phone I never used.

2. I organized my iPhone’s home screen and home row.

The idea behind productivity is to be able to access things quickly, do what you need to do, and move on to the next task. You don’t want to waste time hunting for the app that you need to enter in information or accomplish the task. So, moving the most used apps to the home screen is a must.

For you, find out what you use the most, what you need quick access to, and put those apps on your home page. That way you’ll be the most productive, knowing that all your most used apps are quickly accessed.

3. Use folders to organize your similar iPhone apps

If you don’t mind scrolling through pages of apps on your phone, then don’t bother with this step. But, if you want to keep your iPhone trim, you’ll want to use folders to organize your apps.

You can create a folder on your iPhone by simply touching an app icon, waiting for it to wiggle, and drag it on top of another app. The phone will present you with a field to name the folder.

You might use folders to organize your social media account apps like I did, business tools, games, etc. Using folders is a good way to consolidate pages of apps to one page.


If you’re a smartphone user like me, you’ve probably let your phone get out of control a time or two.  To regain control of your phone you’ll need to delete unused apps, organize your home screen and home row with your most used apps, and use folders to consolidate pages into fewer pages, organizing similar apps.


What apps do you love? What apps do you hate? How do you have your smartphone organized?

Share in the comments below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.