Home Screens – Brooks Duncan

Several years ago, I met a very nice fellow at Macworld who told me about his website dedicated to scanning and paperless workflows. Little did I know what an institution Brooks Duncan (Twitter) and his DocumentSnap.com website would become. Alright Brooks, show us your home screen.

What are your most interesting home screen apps?

Based on the amount that I use them, I would say Sparrow and Pocket Casts.

Sparrow is an e-mail client that has replaced iOS’s Mail app for me. I am not bothered by the lack of Push Notifications because I prefer to check my e-mail rather than have it notify me. Even if it had Push I would probably turn it off. I did my time in Blackberry blinking-red-light hell for too many years.

Pocket Casts is a podcatcher. I know that Instacast seems to be the big favorite, and I have it too, but for some reason I keep coming back to Pocket Casts. Maybe because it is the one I tried first and I became used to it.

Either way, I could never go back to stock podcast management and syncing through iTunes like an animal.

Honorable mentions should go to YNAB, which is the iPhone client for You Need A Budget. I use that to track my spending. I use Notesy, for my general Dropbox-synced text geekiness.

What is your favorite app?

Definitely OmniFocus. I hemmed and hawed about moving to OmniFocus for almost two years, but I finally pulled the trigger after Macworld|iWorld this year. I am angry at everyone on the Internet for allowing me to wait this long. I don’t understand how I got anything done without it.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

Right now, probably the Kindle app because I have become sucked into George R.R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series. Any moment that I am not working or playing with my kids, and some moments when I probably should be, I am reading A Dance With Dragons.

I love how I can start reading on my iPad, switch to the Kindle 4, and then seamlessly move to the iPhone when I am in a grocery line lineup.

What is the app you are still missing?

I have yet to find a great document scanning app that will also OCR documents well. It is not something I need to do often, but it would be cool when I need it.

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

I would say “a lot”. My wife would say “way too much”. My kids would say “what do you mean YOUR iPad, it’s ours!”

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone/iPad?

How well it all works now. iCloud is really starting to be the glue that pulls it all together. I love buying an app, a song, or a book, and having it just be there on all my devices without me thinking about it.

Thanks to your screencast, I have started using the iCloud functionality in Byword on iOS and the Mac, and that is just magical.

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

The recently-killed ability for Launch Center to directly access prefs URLs was fantastic. I wish Apple would find a way to bring something like this back. Other platforms have iOS beat on this. It should not be so hard to turn Bluetooth on and off.

Speaking of Apple killing great functionality, I really wish there was a way to export or print an e-mail to PDF on the device. That would be great for GTD-style “if it takes a minute, just do it” e-mail processing. Prior to iOS 5, apps could register themselves as an AirPrint destination for this, but that is sadly gone.

Anything else you’d like to share?*

Despite my OCR whining above, it is amazing what a great document scanner the iPhone makes. Both the camera and the apps have become so good that it is a really viable on-the-go or one-off scanner.

Thanks Brooks.

For more home screens, clicky here.