Home Screens – Sven Fechner

If you are an OmniFocus nerd (and a surprising number of MacSparky readers are), you really owe it to yourself to subscribe to Sven Fechner’s (Twitter) blog,
SimplicityIsBliss, where Sven posts amazing tips and advice and getting the best out of OmniFocus and other productivity tips. So Sven, show us your home screen.

What are your most interesting home screen apps?

Most of the apps I have on my home screen I would consider pretty standard apps. Just all you need to be productive, travel, stay healthy and communicate.

The more interesting aspect of my home screen is that every app’s place has a meaning. Generally all my three screens on the iPhone are arrange the same way: With only one app in the last row. Why that is? For asthetic reasons mostly as whitespace of all forms helps me relax.

Next to my heavy used dock apps my key apps are in the four corners of the 3×4 matrix.
* Agenda is something I tap very often since I am on manager’s schedule and things keep changing quite a bit
* Instagram is basically replacing my camera app (although I also have Camera+ installed, which I use every now and then). In it’s latest update Instagram amazes me with it’s real-time filter previews
* PlainText is my text editor of choice – simple and with DropBox integration – when I need to quickly take a note, I rarely enter more than two or three sentences on the iPhone though. Enough to sketch an idea or remeber where I parked the car at the airport.
* Finally, of course, OmniFocus for iPhone. The way I use OmniFocus on the iPhone is relatively plain: Look at some key perspectives and quickly enter some actions or keywords addressing things that have my attention. I am not really leveraging all of OmniFocus for iPhone amazing features.

For the other apps the priority decreases towards the center of the screen. Second most important are apps
* WebEx (lots of online conference, unfortunately)
* Mindjet hasn’t been the best mind mapping software on iOS with it’s first release. But since I bought the Mac version, the iOS version also got some feature bumps in is bending into shape.
* Podcasts = Instacast. Enough said.
* My Travel folder, which has all apps I need for business travel like airline, railway, public transport, taxi. Highlights include TripDeck, which keeps me in sync with my iternaries on TripIt and TripAdvisor, which provides the most reliable hotel and restraunt reviews on an international basis. ConvertBot for conversations, Tipulator and Night Stand complete my personal travel essentials.

What is your favorite app?

Can’t really decide. I love TweetBot and infact all apps by tapbots for their design and functionality – wish they would eventually do iPad versions. RunKeeper is a great app as well and it reminds me everyday of one of my most important goals: Become a real good Mountain Bike rider.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

Don’t need to think twice here: It’s foursquare (in my Travel folder). I am doing quite some travel and check in where ever I can just because foursquare is creating something I would like to see in more social apps: Competition. I just can’t stand it if my colleague and friend ousts me as the mayor of my company’s local office. There are useful aspects in foursquare, but it’s definitely a guilty pleasure.

What is the app you are still missing?

As the iOS ecosystem expand I hope to see more niche apps that help Mountain Bike riders to create communities, share trails and tours and so forth. At the moment apps like RunKeeper or Cyclemeter do some elements, but are relative generic.

While it’s maybe not necessarily an app, I miss some “glue” that brings everything together. Due to the nature of apps on iOS they are predomintaely isolated: With the exception of DropBox integration or the ability of open certain files in a different app there is not much of interaction between apps.

I would love to open the support material folder in Dropbox for a project I am looking at in OmniFocus, see the appointments for the project and access contact information or instant message key people associated with the project. I can do some of this on the Mac – with heavy AppleScript support – but none on iOS.

How many times a day do you use your iPhone?

My iPhone gets pulled out very often if I am what I call ultra-mobile. While I have at least my MacBook Air 11.6” with me at most times, my iPhone is in heavy use when on the run and travelling while the MBA sleeps in my Timbuk2 bag.
I need to look up flight numbers, see what tasks I can get done on the run, jot some ideas down, review changes to my schedule and of course: Check-into Starbucks on foursquare and make photos of remarkable things with Instagram.

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone?

The ability to put it into slient mode easily.

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

Clean up the App Store from that flood of poorly designed apps that have no recognizable value. Or at least provide better navigation and filtering capabilities to find the true gems.

Thanks Sven

For more home screens clicky here.

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