Just Another iPhone Blog recently posted “Tips and Tweaks Make 37signals Backpack A ‘Must Have’ iPhone Application.” It discusses using iBackpack to make your Backpack pages look nice on your iPhone and also links to a Forum post that shows how to add a custom Backpack icon to your iPhone home screen.

I came to Backpack to solve a specific work issue/need but am finding it to be an incredibly powerful and useful web-based application. I now use it to communicate with my colleagues and reduce the amount of telephone we play when information is incorrectly transmitted. I use it to collect pictures, manage a to do list, store files and documents for easy access anywhere anytime. I used it to collect ideas, information, slides and random thoughts as I prepared a talk I gave at a conference last week. Best of all, it is not only powerful but it is easy to use. In fact, it is the first time I pushed my colleagues toward a new technology that they did not initially curse me about.

The problem is- while Backpacks pages are fully accessible from an iPhone or iPod Touch they are a bit too difficult to manipulate easily.

Fortunately, some incredibly smart folks have created some amazing add-ons that make Backpack one of the most iPhone-friendly and powerful applications around.

Justin Michael at violetpixel.com as created iBackpack. iBackpack is code that optimizes Backpack pages for viewing and use on an iPhone. He has posted screen caps on his site that show the difference…

Justins code make each page easily accessible, fully readable. It makes adding, editing and changing the information on a page a breeze. It makes Backpack one of, if not the, best iPhone organizational tools around.

But that left an additional issue. Once I optimized my pages using iBackpack I created direct links to some of my most-used Backpack pages on my home screen. They work great but look downright ugly.

Luckily Grettir Asmundarson at tinypineapple.com created a lovely little iPhone icon and has shared it with anyone who wants it.

Now Backpack works great AND looks great on my iPhone. It has become my most important organizational application in a short period of time and I have no doubt that will only increase as 37signals and other creative folks find new and powerful uses for it.

How do you add that custom Backpack icon to your iPhone home screen? Grettir offers step-by-step instructions at the Backpack Forum. Its not the most elegant solution, but it will do for now

(Note: If your iPhone typing skills are anything like mine, steps 1 and 2 may be easier to do on your computer.)

  1. Go to your Backpack Home Page.

  2. Add a divider anywhere on the page. When youre prompted for a name for the divider, enter the following:

<link rel=”apple-touch-icon” href=”http://www.tinypineapple.com/backpack/images/apple-touch-icon.png” />

  1. Go to your Backpack Home Page on your iPhone.

  2. Tap the plus (+) button at the bottom of the iPhone screen and choose Add to Home Screen.

  3. Name the new Web Clip Backpack. (The generic icon on the left will be replaced by the new icon after a few seconds delay.)

  4. Tap Add in the upper right-hand corner and your new custom Backpack icon should appear on your Home Screen.

When youre done you can remove the divider you added in Step 1. The icon will stick around until you delete the Web Clip from the Home Screen.

Thanks Grettir!