Method to organize Devices, SmartApps, etc in the GUI into categories, subcategories, etc

Based upon @bravenel’s brilliant idea into organizing Rules in Rule Machine as the numbers within our deployments grow…I thought, you can likely do the same for Things or Devices in SmartThings.

So here is the basic idea, create devices or rules, as it maybe that serve no purpose other than to force an order and organization within the things listing or in rule machine…

1A----------Doorbell            (EXAMPLE Heading, Category, Group)
1A Stay Doorbell                 (EXAMPLE Rule or Device)
1A Away Doorbell 
2A----------Outside Motion
4B----------Stay Alarm         (EXAMPLE Subcategory, Sub Group, Sub Heading)
4B----------Away Alarm
5A----------Sound / Announcement Disable 

Then you can force other catagories in a desired order by adding 2B, 4B, 4C, etc later as desired.

Anyone see a downside to this?

What is the best way to kick this type of organization off ? Meaning is there a better alphanumeric schema that can be used so that this is as extensible and flexible as possible given the tools we have available?

I personally organize with this method: pick your starting room and work around your house from there.

For me, I started with my Living room which is at the front and worked to the back. This is how I group items in my SmartTiles dashboards.
I group all of the lights together, but put my Living Room first. Then I group all of the switches together, Living Room first. I know at each change of device type, the Living Room is at the top of the list, if it contains that item.


Are you talking about naming devices? Because a name like “1A Doorbell” could really confuse Echo, or any other voice control method. Once you start using voice control, naming conventions change a lot.

As far as naming rules or routines or lighting automations, whatever works for you. :wink:


I was all ready to rename everything until I thought of this. You could create an Echo group for each device, but that feels clunky to me.

That’s a solid point. I don’t use Echo currently, not sure if I will - but it’s certainly a concern for some, and even for me to future proof.

I may use this method for Rules in Rule machine to start with and see how that goes before I go into devices.

I think I am going to start by pulling all my rules from IDE and post into a spreadsheet and work something out first. My thoughts are, using LetterNumber formatting, that gives you 26 base categories and 10 sub categories each without extending the schema. So A1, B1, C1, C2, C3, D1… etc. And if you run out of either, you can extend it with other characters, but hopefully it doesn’t need that. I maybe beneficial to leave unused spaces in strategic places as well for later use. For example. Start with C1 so you can later add B1 and A1 if need be to force things to the top, etc.

Will report back.

You probably use an app that allows you to reorganise the position of your groups, and your things within your groups.

I’m stuck with Windows Phone right now, so I can’t even do that. :smiley:

Another whiny post about the need for a Windows Universal App, please!

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Here is what I have so far, mocked up in a spreadsheet for Rule Machine. I am probably going to hold off for Devices for now while I consider the cons in that regard - Mainly voice integration that rely upon the device names. Not as big of a deal there anyway as I access the devices directly mainly through other means…