Home Screens – Wendy Cherwinski

I first met Wendy Cherwinski (twitter) in the Macworld speaker room several years ago. Wendy has this disarming, infectious smile and near encyclopedic knowledge of Keynote and presenting skills. It makes sense after all. Wendy pays her rent writing speeches and teaching people to communicate at Echelon Communications.

What are your most interesting home screen apps?

We’re probably talking about the suite of apps I’ve named ‘productivity’. As a writer, I’m always reaching for a note-taking app such as SimpleNote to copy some gem I’ve gleaned from Twitter or the Web. It’s also great to have a text editor like PlainText handy so I can start working on a speech, presentation or article and then pick up the project later on either my iMac or MacBookPro. As you might guess, I’m a big fan of DropBox.

What is your favorite app?

My very favorite app is Scrivener, which is actually a Mac app. It’s superb for writing speeches because you can dip into your research so easily while you work on a draft. Using Scrivener and TextExpander together really helps chip time off speech assignments. My favourites apps on the iPhone are Captio and Say It Mail It. I generate some of my best ideas when I’m out for a walk. Captio lets me capture my thoughts and email them to myself. I use Say It Mail It to record spoken ideas that I want to share with my husband.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

I’m mostly all business when it comes to using my iPhone. However, I like to relax with my Crosswords app on the iPad. Blocking out the world, and concentrating on what fits ‘down’ and ‘across’ for an hour or so is definitely a guilty pleasure.

What is the app you are still missing?

I just bought Notesy and can’t wait to give it a spin. It’s a note-taking app that syncs with DropBox so you can work across your iPhone, iPad and computer. Plus you can email your notes, which is a feature I find especially attractive. Actually, I’m missing every note-taking and text editing app that has yet to be invented. I love to get new ones and give them a test drive.

How many times a day do you use your iPhone/iPad?

I use both of them too many times a day to count. When the alarm goes off in the morning I grab one or the other to check Twitter and email while I listen to the news on the radio. Over breakfast, I scroll through news sites while I read the paper. (I often have to search through sections of the paper to retrieve my iPhone before heading off to my office.) Basically, if I’m not in front of my computer, I have either my iPhone or iPad in hand. Before bed I set them up to recharge.

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone/iPad?

I love watching videos on both devices. My husband likes to shoot video on our holidays and then create tightly edited movies complete with music. In an idle moment I can watch a movie and enjoy the walk down memory lane. Priceless.

If you were in charge at Apple, what would you add or change?

I would improve the integration between mobile devices and the desktop (less dependence on iTunes). MobileMe should behave more like DropBox and wireless syncing of docs between iOS and OSX apps would be terrific.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Another of my favourite Apple products is my iPod nano. I bought a band so I can wear it as a wristwatch. It works great!

Thanks Wendy.

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