Home Screens: Jaco Muller

This week’s home screen post features Jaco Muller (Twitter). Jaco is a MacSparky reader and Mac Power Users listener. Jaco is also the guy that wrote this script to use my TextExpander script in Outlook. So Jaco, show us your home screen.

What are some of your favorite apps?

Overcast must be one of my current favorites. I subscribe to 9 podcasts, most of which have episodes longer than 80 minutes. Before Overcast I couldn’t get through all the podcasts in a week’s commute time, but now it’s a breeze. I also use Mail, OmnifocusEvernote1Password and Whatsapp many times during the day.

I also think Wunderlist is absolutely fantastic. It does one thing only – managing list(s) – but does it very well. My wife and I use it for a shared shopping list and it does the job much better than Evernote. The key is that each entry on a list is being synced as a separate item, as opposed to an entire list being synced. The result is that individual entries made from different devices are updated immediately without sync errors.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

TwitterReddit and Facebook, but they’re not on my home screen because they are distracting and time consuming. I also check into Meerkat and Periscope from time to time, because I believe they can possibly evolve into apps that can change how breaking news spreads in future.

What app makes you most productive?

I use Omnifocus mainly to view the current list of tasks and to tick them off once completed. However, the simple process of adding a task into Omnifocus means that I can ‘forget’ about it and focus on the task at hand. This simple ability to add something ‘on the go’ and trust the system behind it is probably the single item that adds most to my productivity. I rarely use it for more complex purposes like reviews, adding context or details etc. to tasks.

Drafts is a close second. The ability to open it and start typing immediately works well in real life situations where one’s focus is supposed to be on something else, i.e. during a conversation or on a phone call etc.

What app do you know you’re underutilizing?

Workflow. I know it has the potential to eliminate a lot of mundane tasks, but I haven’t sat down and spent time with it to understand it well enough. Perhaps some basic documentation or an FAQ would help – i.e. I have some unanswered questions about how variables are passed on during a workflow.

What is the app you are still missing?

Not an app, but a feature that I think may make iOS more user friendly to me, is the ability to ‘auto arrange’ apps, based on usage, time of day, etc. Of course one should be able to pin a few apps to remain static, but at the same time leave a few spaces available for dynamic auto arranging of apps. I’d just like apps that are being used more, to gravitate towards the home screen by themselves.

How many times a day do you use your iPhone?

I work in an office on a mac, but whenever I get up to walk somewhere, I grab the phone and catch up on social media etc.

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

It would be great if Apple could somehow use their purchase power to loosen the grip that content owners have on the distribution and licensing of content outside of the US. For those of us living outside of the US, it makes less and less sense that a movie or series is being released in the US while we only get to see it (legally) much later. In many cases it’s not even available to purchase online at all. For example, a proper online music streaming service like Spotify wasn’t available in South Africa where I live until Apple Music became available with the release of iOS8.4. I’d like to see the same happening with movies and series.

Thanks Jaco