I use Overcast for all of my podcasts, I had set up different playlists, but I mostly use the "All Episodes" playlist to just view and look for the ones I want to listen to. I used to be a big fan of Mac Power Users, though I have reduced this a bit now as I did find it was making me feel that sometimes I needed the latest Apple gear to take advantage of the advice given.
I listen to personal development podcasts like Focused, The Life Coach School Podcast and BookWorm. I always have a place for the Automators podcast, though. I got the referral via the newsletter from Career Tools when the podcast launched late last year.
What app makes you most productive?
For macOS, my number one app has to be Alfred. I really can’t live without this, and it's the first thing I install on a new Mac. (Yes, I still do a clean install for every new major release of macOS. Call me crazy, but I just love a clean install and the feeling nothing has been carried across from the past). I have scripts that I can fire with keywords, and I use it to launch the Fantastical parser to add reminders as I mentioned above. The snippets feature suits my needs really well. I have been tempted to go to something like TextExpander, but for the cost, I just can’t justify it.
The Headspace meditation app is something I use each morning in the car before I walk into the office. It helps me clear my mind and get ready for the day. I also use Focus@Will on my Mac at work (using a 30-minute timer mimicking the Pomodoro Technique), and then just counting the amount of these I get done in a day. My most productive app is to actually not use an app at all—that's right, close them. Quit email (only view three times per day: morning, lunch, and before leaving for the day). Close any social media. Put my phone on Do Not Disturb. (There are some great Siri shortcuts for this). And remove anything that might distract me. This is all in my 30 minutes focused time. If I do get distracted, perhaps a thought, I write it down to action later.
What app do you know you're underutilizing?
Firstly, in regards to hardware, due to the fact I've only got an iPad mini 1, there are many apps that I can no longer run or access. I have heard a lot about the latest iPad Pros and how good they can be. In my current job, I drive to and from work, but if I needed to use public transportation, I think this would be a purchase I would make very quickly.
I was using the Togge app for a while. I really liked how it allowed me to track my actual time spent on tasks, instead of just planning what I would do. I found keeping it up to date was harder than I expected, and I haven’t used for a while.
I also really enjoy working on automation. I have some things set up in IFTTT and Zapier, but I really could use this a lot more to do things that would bring more value, like posting the episodes for the Mikez N Brodz Podcast.
How many times a day do you use your iPhone/iPad?
Mostly for podcasts when in my car and general texting. I really don’t use social media on it. After listening to a few other podcasts around the danger of phones getting in between families, I am actively trying really hard to reduce my phone usage, especially when at home with my family. If I am in a place where I just want to use my phone to pass the time while waiting, I use the Kindle app to read or undertake some writing in something like Drafts (just loving the speech-to-text feature).
I have been into Siri Shortcuts. I have a few solid ones now that I use everyday, like when I leave work, it sends a message to my wife, based on GPS, the estimated time to get home. Though other than these core ones I use, I don’t do much more. However, iOS13 will dramatically change this.
I must be getting better. I notice that each week, screen time alerts are showing that my phone usage is going down. I’m really proud of myself for reducing this and spending that time on things that matter, such as connecting to my family and getting other important stuff done.
Overall, for anything that is shiny and new, this can become a time sucker. I have found writing down what I want to achieve and then just focusing on those tasks works much better than just blindly going through the app and looking for things to do.