How I Use My iPhone: Part 2- Productivity
We all want to be more productive. That’s the American dream, I think. To do more than the next fella. And technology can help in so many ways if you take the time to configure and set it up. You see- I think people believe that technology should think for them. But the reality is that technology isn’t real in the sense of intelligence. Sure, AI is the rage now and maybe in 20 years this conversation may be moot, but today is today and we still have to tell our iPhone what we want it to do.
But that’s a good thing because with a little set-up you can work smarter. Here are some of the apps and tools that I use to help me work better, more distributed and easier. My idea is that I want to be able to access my information from any device, whether it is mine or a someone else’s, so much of this centers around the G suite. If you haven’t embraced some of these tools it may be time to take another look at them.
First and foremost is the Calendar app. For me, I use the built-in Calendar app on my iPhone, which is mirrored on my MacBook and iPad. Staying productive means putting every single planned thing on the calendar which is then shared with my family so that they know what’s going on. That communication is important in making our household work. Both my wife and I work and we have a daughter that is only getting more involved in things so managing our schedules in real time is so helpful. It has taken some time to develop this habit, but I don’t commit to anything before checking the calendar.
I put all of my documents, files, images, projects and memories in Google Drive. I do this for multiple reasons, but peace of mind is the most paramount. Once you set up your folders to point to Google Drive your information is backed up automatically. I don’t need to go into all of the benefits of cloud-based storage as they are pretty well known. Because I know that my info is safe I don’t have to worry about the computer or phone or tablet that I’m using. It helps me to be a little less materialistic because I’m device ambiguous. I can get my stuff wherever. It is a little more freeing than you might think.
Keeping with the Google theme is Google Docs. I remember when people were limited to MS Word or some half-baked open-source word processing program. No more. Google Docs is the full suite- word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation. And it’s all online, it saves automatically to Google Drive and is available on any device. In addition, you can share documents with permissions that vary from view-only to full edit and you can see markups easily. It’s fantastic for collaboration.
For notes and lists, I swap between the standard notes app that comes installed on the iPhone and Microsoft OneNote. OneNote is a very deep, expansive note taking and list app that can help with all kinds of organization. I previously used Evernote but swapped to OneNote as a free alternative to the subscription Evernote service. They are similar enough, and while OneNote lacks the plugins that Evernote has, it wasn’t something that I could justify. The standard notes app is on my home screen and is used in a clutch because it opens very fast and is ready to go as soon as it opens.
For reminders, I’m a huge fan of the stock iPhone reminders app. It’s easy to use Siri to set reminders with it and it uses geofencing for alerts at specific locations, in addition to standard scheduling. I set up multiple lists that include daily to-do, long-term to-do, health reminders (eating, exercise, weight, etc.) and specific stores like Kroger.
Lastly, one of the hidden gems of the iPhone is the AirDrop feature. This one is a big time saver because it allows you to transfer files, pictures, videos or whatever from my iPhone to my iPad, MacBook or a friends device. We don’t even have to be connected to a shared network! This is hugely helpful when editing photos as I sometimes there are things that can be done easier on my iPhone than on the Mac. Next to iMessages, AirDrop is THE reason that I switched from Android. It is hugely underrated.
So there you have it- the most used productivity apps on my iPhone. Sure there are others that I use, but these are the apps that do the most work. And that’s what productivity is about, right? I’d love to hear what you use and how you maximize the effectiveness of your mobile phone. Leave a comment or shoot me an email!
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