Whenever people scroll through the apps on my iPad, they ask, “How can you ever find anything among all these apps?!” Of course, if I really couldn’t find something, I could use the search function on the device. But thankfully, that’s rarely necessary. Since I’m waiting on my lovely Android tablet to get here (which will be a whole different type of organization in and of itself!), I figured I would share a little of my organizational strategy with you. Of course, everyone organizes differently, but here’s a start!
First of all, I have my personal apps and my therapy apps. My personal apps (think: Facebook, Weather, Netflix) are all tucked away into labeled folders (Social, Art/Music, Utilities, etc.) on the very first page of my iPad. This part is pretty simple. Quick rant: note the Newsstand app up in the top left corner sticking out like a sore thumb refusing to go in a folder? Yeah, me too. Okay, moving past it… Quick Tip: If you work with children, hide your Angry Birds app(s) on this first page in a boring folder like Utilities where it is only findable when YOU decide to find it. 😉
Okay, my therapy app organization is where it gets a little more complex. Basically, I divided these apps into miscellaneous (think: Cookie Doodle, Toca Tea Party–any app that is used for therapy but isn’t specific to one area like articulation) and ASHA’s “big 9” (articulation/phonology, fluency, voice/resonance, language, swallowing/dysphagia, cognitive aspects, social aspects, hearing). The miscellaneous apps take up about 3 pages on my iPad. Here, I put all the baking apps near each other, all the animal apps near each other, all the data collection/lesson planning/behavior managing apps near each other, etc.
After that, most of the “big 9” have their own page. I did put voice/resonance and hearing together because I only have a couple apps in each of those categories. I also am missing a fluency page because, well, I’ve never had a fluency client and I don’t have any fluency apps! I also put language and cognition apps on the same page and divided them into folders (e.g. literacy, children’s books, categories, memory) because many of these are so inter-related. The final tweak to my big-9 system was to put the more “medical” apps (like Brain and Nervous System Pro) on the same page as the dysphagia apps.
My reasoning behind splitting these up on separate pages instead of folders on one page is actually just as much for my clients’ ease of use as mine. For example, if we’re working on categories, it is easy for me to quickly open that folder and have them choose which app they want from it instead of digging through a general “language” folder. If I want to do a farm-related app, I go to the miscellaneous page and tell them they can pick from any of the farm apps they see. If we’re going to read an interactive book, I open the children’s books folder and let them pick. If we’re going to do artic flashcards, I can go to the artic page and show them from which area they’re allowed to choose. This gives them some control and choice while still allowing me to guide the direction of therapy. In my opinion, it’s a little more user-friendly to have all these apps displayed for the child to look at and choose than to have them all tucked in folders on the same page. And, as I mentioned above, if you have any “trouble” apps like Angry Birds that need to be tucked away, just slide them into the “wrong” folder on the first page where the child is unlikely to look.
Sooo, that’s my current system–what’s yours?!