Monday, April 16, 2012

How do you Organize Apps on your Tablet?

As we all multi-task our way through the day, we now have tablets (and smartphones) to increase the fragmentation of work and information.

In the past, I have used 2 browsers to separate work and non-work tasks.  Thus one set of tabs would be opened to the work sharepoint site, Google Docs and work e-mail for example.  The other set would be open to G+, Twitter, FB, iGoogle, etc.

With the introduction of the tablets, we had to find a way to integrate them into our workflow.  Since tablets, especially the early versions did not have an easy way to keep different apps open and toggle between them, the easiest way to approach this was to organize the apps on different screens and in appropriate folders.

One problem with using folders is having to remember which app was in which folder which adds an additional step to what should be an efficient process.
Another problems with touchscreen devices is that if you take too long to flick/swipe your finger across the screen, it is interpreted as a click - which can result in opening an app you did not want to.

So how can one organize one's tablet screens to get the most efficiency?  I think there is no right answer and all of us can learn something from how others do it.  So to start the conversation going, here is how my Motorola Xoom is set up.

I set up my screens based on related tasks.  Thus there is a work screen, a fun screen and a social media screen and there is a widget screen.  A number of apps are present on more than one screen.  There is a space in the center of the screen to flick/swipe your finger without opening an app.  The widget screen is like a dashboard showing the current weather with alerts, unopened e-mails and appointments for the day.  It has too much personal information on the screen to post a screenshot.  The other screen shots are displayed below:
So how do you organize your tablet screens? 

"Work" screen
The Work Screen:
  • Google Docs
  • Dropbox
  • Box
  • Evernote
  • E-mail
  • PowerNote
  • Contacts
  • Documents to go
  • Calendar
  • Skype
  • Google Voice
  • Widgets to lock screen, turn WiFi and Bluetooth on off, short cut to settings
  • Downloads shortcut
  • Iris (Voice command)
  • Google Voice search
Social Screen
The Social Screen:
  • Social Networking tools
    • Google+
    • Twitter and Tweetdeck
    • FB
    • Path
  • Reading Tools/with intention to share
    • Google Currents
    • Pulse
    • News 360
    • Google Reader
    • Read it Later
    • Kindle
    • Play Books
    • Buffer
    • TED
    • BBC and NPR
    • OverDrive
"Fun" Screen
The Fun Screen:
  • Camera and Video Tools
    • Camera
    • Gallery
    • VidTrim
    • PicPlz
    • Instagram
    • Screencut
    • Movie Studio
    • Skitch
  • Travel tools
    • Trip Advisor
    • FlightAware
    • Translate
    • Yelp
    • Babel Fish Voice
  • Local stuff
    • Cleveland.com
    • WeatherBug
    • TV Guide
  • Music stuff
    • Pandora
    • Play Music
  • TV stuff
    • YouTube
    • Netflix
    • IntoNow
  • Sports stuff
    • Endomondo
    • ESPN score center