If your desktop PC s cluttered with too many icons you will know how difficult it can be to find what you want in a hurry, and the same problem applies to having too many files and icons on your smartphone.

There are so many useful apps around that it can be hard to decide what takes preference on your home screen or the best way to organize what you want without worrying about taking up too much valuable space.

Here is a look at how to make that difficult decision on what apps to choose, including how Google Play can help with a list of your favorite apps, plus some tips on how to be more ruthless with your selection criteria.

A helping hand

If you have some favorites apps already, which might be the weather app for android, for example, you will probably share your positive views with others you know and be happy for the app to take its place on your main screen.

If you have been downloading android apps for a while and built up a library, it might be worth having a look at the Apps and Games homepage, to see what Google have highlighted as recommended for you based on your previous download history.

It also allows you to see what your Google+ friends have liked, so you end up with a short list of apps that might be just what you are looking for. This could save you time and help to avoid cluttering your phone with apps that you are less likely to want to keep and use regularly.

Get a hint from your favorites

Another good shortcut to finding what you want is to use the Similar apps section on Google Play.

What this does is highlight some apps that are considered to be similar or complementary to the apps that you have already shown a preference for. It can often save you a bit of time when you can take a quicker route to a list of apps that offer the sort of features that you are likely to appreciate, but still offer something different to what you have already.

Beyond the colorful icon

With such a dazzling array of apps to choose from and more emerging every day, it can be time-consuming to read the reviews for each and every one, which is why it is tempted to be attracted by the colorful icon that accompanies the app you are thinking about.

This is a classic scenario that ultimately means your smartphone will be potentially overrun with apps that you downloaded because you liked the look of them, only to realize afterward that you don’t really need or want them.

It is much better to be ruthless about your selection process and look beyond the obvious aesthetic charm and concentrate instead on deciding whether the content and features of the app are what you actually need and want.

You can always clear the clutter every now and again from your phone by getting rid of apps you no longer use, but the best way is often to be a bit more choosy in the first place about hitting the download button.

Edward Williamson shares his tech tips and tricks all over the web. He writes articles, participates in forums and on social media helping people to get tech working just as they need it.