How to Organize All of the Apps On Your Phone in 4 Easy Steps

Put your apps into color-coded folders for easy access, every time, say experts at The Home Edit.

Smiling woman with cup of coffee and cell phone standing at the window at home

It's no secret that we at The Home Edit have an affinity for ROYGBIV, but we took our obsession to the next level when we organized and color coded our phone apps. We sat there in silence moving each app into rainbow order, and didn't look up from the phone until it was perfect. Our home screen has never looked so satisfying. We were addicted—and knew everyone else would be, too.

So, why rainbows? Because it symbolizes our organizing philosophy of blending functional systems with style. You instinctively know where to find your blue sweater, green book, and now, your yellow apps. Between the color and logo, app icons are intentionally designed to be remembered, and if you quizzed yourself, you'd probably be able to list the general color of each one. Some people are more comfortable organizing their phone by category or by alphabet, so you should stick to whatever system works best. For us, it's all rainbows, all the time.

After we posted our own image to @thehomeedit, we immediately received a flood of screenshots from our followers showing us they had jumped on the ROYGBIV train! Here's how you can create your own.

organized phone apps colorful
The Home Edit

1. Choose a Simple Background

Start with a simple background so that the color coordination pops on the screen. Use an image you already have saved, or find a background online searching for things like White Marble, White Tiles, Blue Ocean, Green Trees. As long as it's not a busy image, it should work well.

2. Make Color-Coded Folders

Combine apps that have similar colors and tones to create color-coded folders. If an app has more than one color in their design, just pick the color that is most dominate and sort it accordingly. Once it's paired with other apps in the same color palette, you won't notice the variations. For apps that have several colors in the design, create a rainbow folder.

3. Use Emojis

Title each new folder with your favorite emoji in that same color scheme as the apps. This is the part where people really get creative. For the pink folder, you might choose the bow, bikini, or the heart; for the teal folder, you could choose the dress, the statue of liberty, or a fish. The red folder could be titled with a tulip, the blue folder with an ocean wave, and green folder with a cactus. There are even options for the rainbow folder like the striped lollipop. It's entirely up to you—just have fun with it.

4. Organize for Easy App Access

Within each folder, place most commonly used apps at the very top for easy access. We also recommend keeping each folder to a max of nine apps so everything remains visible from the homescreen. If you find you have a large amount of blue apps for example, sort them into light blue and dark blue folders to maintain a single layer of visibility.

Once all apps are in color-coordinated folders, and on a single screen instead of spread out on several, you will never stare at your phone looking for Google Maps or Postmates again.

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