A few years ago, I decided to organise the apps on my home screen by colour, creating neat little columns of green, blue, red and grey. Over time, as apps updated their designs or disappeared entirely, my meticulously crafted system devolved into randomness, but a recent Twitter thread has me thinking about the beauty (and usefulness) of organising your app icons by colour all over again.
Photo: Max Pixel
It was kind of a dare. But it works well. pic.twitter.com/wXlbWd6Bpk
— Lyle Troxell (@lyle) February 20, 2018
It might sound like a visual gimmick, but it also makes it easier to track down specific apps you don’t use as frequently. Our brains are wired to remember colours, and even if you don’t realise it you probably already know what the icon you’re searching for looks like. Organising your home screen by colour gives your brain a shortcut.
— Daniel Whiting (@daniel_whiting) February 20, 2018
Personally, my approach was to line up the icons one by one, but another popular method is to organise apps into colour-based folders. Both methods have their advantages: If you need instant access to a handful of apps you should keep them on the home screen, but if you prefer a minimalist layout then folders are the way to go.
Reminds me to be active. To search (browser) or write. Passive apps, entertainment and chats are harder to reach. pic.twitter.com/dydXpedTi6
— Oliver Reichenstein (@reichenstein) February 27, 2018
The one big drawback to the folders method is that the iPhone only shows one Notification Badge for each folder. So if you don’t check your notifications frequently they can quickly pile up with no easy way to tell exactly which app is trying to get your attention.
— Sara #1 (@SaraJChipps) February 27, 2018
If you want to avoid a home screen that looks like this you’ll need to stay organised — or you could just disable Notification Badges entirely.