My 10.5" iPad Pro (on the go) Homescreen

Homescreen with blue beach background, feedback icon top right, and all other apps in the dock

My 10.5" iPad goes with me almost everywhere, as such it’s set up so I can get work done quickly, because I often only have a few minutes here or there (such as on the tram on the way to work). I use the Smart Keyboard and I’ve got very good at finding places to balance the setup on.

As you can see, most of my apps are in the dock. On my Homescreen I do have the feedback app which is present for anyone beta testing iOS - this is my not so subtle nudge to myself to actually file bug reports and usability issues.

My dock is from right to left:

  • Folder: Fun Stuff. This contains social media apps, and some games - as well as Reeder, my RSS app of choice.
  • Fantastical, the calendar view works really well for me, I love the combined week, list and month view.
  • OmniFocus, aka my real brain. If it needs to get done, it goes in here.
  • Drafts 5 - with a purple icon because I love purple! Text starts here, gets processed here, and sometimes ends here too.
  • Safari, I probably spend too much time browsing the internet, but I often use it in split screen.
  • Sidefari, this is an little known app which is very handy if you want to have two Safari windows side by side, without them both being 50% of the screen - it also means you can replace one of those apps with something else (usually Drafts for me). You can read more about Sidefari on my blog.
  • Launch Center Pro, an oldie but a goodie. This allows me to have quick access to groups of Workflows, and there’s a folder in it for time/location based reminders to do certain workflows, launch apps, etc.
  • Utilities Folder: This folder contains things like the Apple TV remote app, 1Password, Settings, App Store, TestFlight.
  • Programming Folder: This is where I keep Coda, Prompt, DraftCode, Swift Playgrounds, Pythonista and so on. If I can use it to program on iOS then it lives here.
  • Files and Documents Folder: Here there be monsters, including Office for iOS. I also have the iWork suite and the Google suite, Quip, DevonThink, Ulysses, OmniOutliner, Resilio Sync, and Scrivener. I try and group document management and creation together.
  • Work Folder: This iPad comes to work with me, so I have the Cisco Jabber app for calls, Firefox, Microsoft Remote Desktop, a German-English dictionary, Rocket Chat, and OwnCloud (which breaks the files rule, but I only use it for work so it’s ok!).
  • Workflow, probably the most frequently used app on my iPad. I have 768 Workflow workflows in there right now.
  • Gladys - the shelf app I’m using right now. I keep wavering between Gladys and Copied. A shelf is very useful when you’re trying to collect bits of data to do things with (especially when studying for my Masters). I often use Drafts if I’m just collecting links though.

Nearly everything lives in my Dock because it makes it much easier for me to drag things into split screen from there, which is how I do a lot of my work. I do use spotlight to find some apps and go from there, but without a keyboard shortcut to say “make this the application on the X side of the screen” it feels less efficient than a short swipe up to the dock and dragging.


This is something that always has interested me. What kind of coding do you do on your iPad?

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@RosemaryOrchard I love your use of the dock and that has inspired me to put some folders there. Cool.

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It depends. DraftCode lets me run a lot of PHP based things (including a local Wordpress install). A lot of my scripts are written in PHP so this is ideal for testing them. Pythonista is great for scripts which I might want to transfer across to a “real” computer (probably a server) later. I also have a Raspberry Pi Zero W which is my portable development server - I use that often on planes when what I’m doing needs something the iPad can’t provide, and connect to it with Coda and Prompt.

I mostly do web based development (hence the PHP!) :slight_smile:


Launch Center Pro is a workhorse for me. Sorely underrated.


I’m looking forward to the new version which they’re working on! They’ve been really open to customer wants on Twitter so hopefully it will be the same with extra awesome on top :slight_smile:

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Thank you for sharing. In the “Programming Folder” I was wondering what the two apps are on the other each side of Swift Playgrounds? I recognize all of the icons in the top two rows.

They are SQLPro for MSSQL / SQL Server which as its name implies is for SQL, and Flowdia Diagrams - for flow charts (I’m not that big a fan of it, but I’ve only had a few files I’ve needed to use it for, and it allows 4 for free - I’ll probably use Grafio later instead).

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Thanks, I mainly work with mySQL, so not really needed.

I also work a lot in PHP, DraftCode looks interesting but all of my work flows through git to a Jenkins server. I have yet to see a nice workflow for iOS, Working Copy is nice for quick fixes. Few things beat PHPStorm on Mac for my needs.

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I live in PHPStorm too most days. It’s hard to beat that, but when I’m on the go these guys do a good job of letting me program.

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This is a seriously genius idea.

Can you expand on this? I have been curious as Raspberry Pi uses for myself. Never thought to create a portable development server. This needs a workflow! :rofl::star_struck:

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768 Workflows!!??!!??

I can’t imagine. I’ve never used the app to the fullest. I’ve got 80 Workflows of which I use maybe 5 or a semi-regular basis. I WANT to use it but aside from those 5 or so it’s never stuck. But also, even at 80 my brain just get’s a bit lost remembering what I even have in there. How do you possibly keep track of so many? What percentage of those get active, daily or weekly use?

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A lot of the time they’re in Launcher widgets that only show up in specific locations or at certain times. Some are in Launch Center Pro with time or location triggers, and others are grouped. I find most with the search :slight_smile:

It brings to my mind a question that I think will come up more with Shortcuts and iOS 12, what are people doing with the app? I’ve browsed the gallery and tried a few. I’ve made a few. I’ve read Federico’s posts and almost any other post I’ve come across. There seems to be a disconnect in discoverabilty and integration into real life use. I suppose that’s what Apple is trying to bridge with increased app integration and Siri suggestions in iOS 12. I use my iPad many hours a day… too many. But somehow I’ve failed to discover the ways that I might be using Workflows/Shortcuts.

Perhaps some people just have the kind of work that is better suited to it? Or is it a different kind of thinking that leads to more actively seeking out workflow type solutions?

  1. Is there a way to download your wallpaper somewhere?
  2. You have an extremely big collection of workflows. You really shoul make a big and detailed blog post about that.

It’s a stock wallpaper :slight_smile:

I’ve done lots of blog posts about some of my workflows. But a lot of them are unique to me or contain personal information so can’t easily be shared. :wink:

:heavy_plus_sign::one: on this one, Rose. I’m very interested in how you’re using that RaspPi—and the bit about on a plane? This sounds like a great blog post topic. I don’t know if it fits in with your blog… but hey, why not?

It’s sat in Drafts right now with a “draft” status on it!

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That is a huge idea, you should make an article in your blog about this.

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