I was actually getting ready to do an updated post on my iPhone icon arrangement – as far as I can tell by searching the site this is the first time I did so, in 2012, and man are those screens small and terrible – when I was stopped in my tracks by a podcast. It's a new podcast on the network called Cortex with Myke Hurley and CGP Grey – of the eponymous videos. During the premier episode they talked about their iPhone apps and how they have them arranged and they both posted screenshots in the show notes of episode one. Grey talked about his simplified screens and I liked his method so much I (sort of) implemented it on my phone.

I've simplified everything. I couldn't get it all on one screen the way Grey does because, c'mon that's crazy, and I use way more apps than can comfortably fit one one screen without dumping almost everything in folders. I did manage to get it all on three screens, with only two folders on the second screen and folders holding all the other stuff on screen three. I'll also go through the apps because some things have changed since last I discussed my iOS apps.

Lock and Home 1

My (current, this week) lock screen is the launch of Gemini IV. That's the mission where Ed White became the first American to do a spacewalk. It was also the first multi-day American space mission.

My main home screen has just the apps I use most. The "first tier" apps, so to speak. At Bat, in it's proper location, top left. I've been using Fotograf to take and edit photos and I like the way it works. My photos are next, then the Camera app is in the spot where the actual camera is on the back of the phone. I keep the camera app handy for taking video.

Weather Line is still my go-to weather app. I started using it when it came out in late-2013 and actually recommended it on one of my all-time favorite IRR CON POD episodes, Episode 45: Hashtag Putin Selfies. I use Apple Maps. The integration with the OS is worth the few trade-offs to me. Fantastical is a great calendar app. And I use the clock app to wake me up and to time my lunch breaks.

Slack is what Mr. Fish and I use to plan out our podcast episodes. We like it because it works great and it's free. Messages speaks for itself. Spark is a new email client I've been trying out. I like it so far but its got some quirks. Safari is Safari.

I use Editorial on iPhone and iPad for writing and editing my blog posts and such. I have them synced between my devices using Dropbox. They're just text files. I'm writing this now in BBEdit in a file saved in there. I get a lot of news from the updated – now free – NYT Now app. I really like their Morning Briefing. I use Unread on iPhone and iPad for RSS. Wunderlist – recently acquired by Microsoft, yay – is what Erin and I use to keep our lists in sync: groceries, etc.

Music is there for music I've bought and have matched through iTunes Match. And I use iTunes Radio when I want to just put music on and not think about it. And, yes, believe it or not I'm using Beats Music. I find I really like being able to listen to almost anything at all whenever I want without buying it. And there is good reason to believe that Beats/iTunes will be even further integrated soon. I use Overcast to listen to podcasts – saved 49 hours so far! And then there is the IMDb app. You know you watch too much TV and too many movies when you have to have this app on your home screen for quick access.


My dock has the apps I use more than any other. Fitbit is there to log my food and check my steps and sleep. I'm trying to drop some pounds. Well, a lot of pounds. I'm using Pushpin to save links to Pinboard. I should write a post about that but basically I'm using Pinboard for bookmarking and as my read later service now. Sorry Instapaper; it's not you, it's me. OmniFocus is how I keep myself (sort of) organized. I'm trying to integrate OmniFocus with the Getting Things Done system. It's a process. And finally my twitter app of choice, Twitterrific. Because muffle >>> mute.

Home 2 and Home 3

On my second screen I have stuff that I use less often but still want to be able to access quickly. I use myNoise, specifically the "Aircraft Cabin Noise", to help me sleep. When it's silent my ears ring. Instagram is for Instagramming. I like to have the App Store handy to browse for new weather apps and to check for updates. And I use the Settings app more often than most people, I'd wager.

I don't use Shazam all that often but when I need it I need it right now. 1Password is the most useful app of all time and I use it when I'm logging into my bank's App right next to it. We use iAllowance to manage Beatrix's allowance. It's not great but it works.

Now we come to my first folder: News/Info. In here I have NPR News, ESPN, iMore, a couple of photography light finding apps, the WebMD Allergens app, the hilarious Funny or Die News Flash, and Dave Pell's NextDraft which is excellent. Folder two is Games. I have games in it. Deliveries is the best app to track UPS, FedEx, and more. Screenshot is a Workflow action that I use to edit screenshots, post them to droplr and then delete them from the phone.

Superfaver is a workflow action that lets me quickly create the super hilarious superfaves I send out on twitter. Google Docs is where Mr. Fish and I keep our show notes. Convertible is a really handy app for converting between different quantities. And PCalc is simply the best iOS calculator there is.

Droplr is where I upload about 99% of the images I share on twitter. I share a lot of links with it, too. I've been using Dark Sky as a weather map, but I'm not sure it's very good for that. Suggestions welcome... Amazon is where I buy things. And the Xfinity TV Remote is handy for setting recordings on my DVR and checking TV listings.

My third and final screen is where everything else goes. This is stuff that I use from time to time but don't really need quick access to. I can usually take the time to find them or just swipe down and search for them. I have these arranged in one-screen folders so that there is nothing hidden in the folders. Every app is shown; so, I could just look through this array of tiny icons and find what I need. The same is true for the News/Info app on the previous page. Games is the only folder that goes deeper than one page. A fair amount of these apps could probably be deleted but I have tons of room on my phone so I don't bother. And I just numbered the folders 01-12 because I wanted them to be named but couldn't think of anything better. I'll probably end up deleting unused apps as I get new ones because I really like the order and symmetry of this page.

I can guarantee that these apps and their arrangement will change but as of right now this is my iPhone.