eReaders: Using the Folder Organizer Android App

So you've set up your Nook Color with CM7 or you've bought your first Android tablet reader and now you're wondering "how the heck do I organize all my apps?" Very simply: you buy the super-cool Folder Organizer app in the Google marketplace.

Now, Android does have the native ability to create "desktop" folders. But I don't like the native Android folder functionality and neither do most right-thinking people. At least, not the three I've talked to about Android. And one of them may just have been agreeing with me to get me to go away. But that's a big enough sample for me, so tally onward and whatnot.

The Folder Organizer app by Fabio Collini is the best folder organizer for Android that I've tried. You can find it in the Google market by searching for "Folder Organizer"; it should look a little something like this:

The raison d'etre of the Folder Organizer app is to let you create desktop folders for your Android apps, but there's a lot of neat extra functionality included, such as the ability to automatically file "unlabeled" (i.e., new downloads) apps into a specific folder, and the ability to set custom icons for the folder links (check out the iPhone/Android icon sets on Deviant Art for a lot of pretty alternatives). Here's two folders that I keep on my Android devices: Reading apps and Writing apps:

When I click the Reading folder, the folder opens to show all the apps that I've filed under that heading:

That one icon on my desktop -- the Reading folder -- contains twelve apps in it, so the space saving capabilities of this Folder Organizer app should be pretty obvious at this point. ;)

So how do you set up Folder Organizer? Well, after you download it from the Google market, you should be able to access it in your app directory:

There it is, down at the bottom left hand corner. Open that up and you'll find yourself in the Folder Organizer main screen:

"Labels" are what the folders are called in the app; the "label" term was picked -- I assume -- to convey the fact that an app can be in multiple folder/label categories. You don't have any labels yet, but the "New Label" button at the bottom can fix that. The first time you set up the app, you'll probably want to create a bunch of labels first and then go through the "Apps" screen one by one; here's what the "Apps" page looks like:

Of course, my stuff is all labeled already. After you've labeled the majority of your existing stuff, you probably won't want to use the "Apps" page anymore; it's easier to just set up a label for "unlabeled" apps and visit that label through the "Label" page each time you download something new and need to tag it. The "Label" page looks like this:

You can press the little gray arrows to expand the label to see the actual apps in that label; from there you can update those apps to be labeled as you please. The blue arrows let you change the details of the label itself; here are the details for my "#unlabeled" label:

As you can see, there are a LOT of options available with Folder Organizer. I only use labels for holding apps, but if you go into that "Choose" button, you'll see that Folder Organizer can also hold a plethora of other things, including internet bookmarks, people contacts, and app shortcuts.

Once you have your labels set up, you'll want to slap them onto your desktop. That's what folders are for, after all. Go to your desktop and long-press to add a widget. The exact process will differ a little depending on what launcher you're using; I use Zeam at the moment, so it's actually more like "Long-Press --> Item --> Widget".

Pick the "Folder Organizer Folder Link". There's a whole bunch of Folder Organizer widget options, but you want the "folder link" one at the top of the list.

Then you'll need to pick which folder you want to link to with this widget:

And, easy-peasy, now your folder will appear on your desktop with whatever icon you assigned to it:

Aw... look how happy it is!


Silver Adept said...

Many thanks! This app is exactly what I need for my phone! And now I am organized in ways that the standard things just can't do. Yay!

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