Home Screens – Author Brandon Callum

There are a group of authors out there embracing the iBooks format with interactive books like we’ve never seen before. Brandon Cullum (Website) (Twitter) is one of those guys with his recent iBooks Author Children’s book, Alfred the Time Traveling Dinosaur. In addition to being a pretty smart guy, Brandon also loves his iPhone. So Brandon show us your home screen.

What are some of your favorite apps?

YNAB I’ve been with YNAB ever since getting married 2 years ago. It has been a huge help in keeping my wife and myself on the same page with our budget. They recently moved to a web-based platform and update the iPhone app to allow you adjust your budget categories on the fly. Super easy to use and a great piece of mind to know where all our money is going.

Casts There are a lot of podcast reader apps out there but Casts has stuck with me. I like its ability to create episode filters. Since I subscribe to a ton of podcasts and listen to a quite a few during the day (especially when I’m doing illustrations), it’s great to have them dropped into different lists.

Day One I have been using Day One as a productivity journal for over a year. I used to keep a journal inside of Evernote but found it getting lost with everything else I throw at the “everything bucket”. Day One is a super clean design and entries can be added from my iPad and Mac. One of my favorite things to do is to flip into the past and see the things I was working on and thinking about.

Slack I was and still am the champion for Slack at our small company. I’m also one of the admins and love introducing people to what it can do. I can waste a good bit of time trying to figure out new integrations and bots that our team can use. On the design side of things, Slack has made feedback so much faster and less formal as works are progressing. Also, Giphys are never a bad thing…..

1Password 1Password continues to improve their product and user experience. Having the ability to create a unique password for every single login I have is great. I am able to set up separate vaults for work and home and the extension ability makes logging in on iOS so easy.

Which app is your guilty pleasure?

Pinterest. I’ve created boards for potential children’s book projects and add to them several times a day. I’ve also gotten into woodworking and can lose myself looking at new shop projects and furniture I can build around the house.

What app makes you most productive?

Omnifocus does a great job keeping my projects top of mind and serving up just what I need to get done next. After using the Mac app as a standalone for a couple years, it still surprises me how much I can get done just on iOS.

What app do you know you’re underutilizing?

I know I’m underutilizing Workflow. I currently have a workflow that saves an email receipt to PDF and drops into a Hazel folder on my Mac which then gets filed automatically. It feels like magic every time I see it run and know I could tinker around and find a lot more use cases.

What is the app you are still missing?

I wish HomeKit had a mission control style app that was native to Apple. We recently purchased Netgear Arlo security cameras and Hue lights to go along with our Nest. It has been fun to think through ways to hack them all together with IFTT but I wish the process was easier.

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

Way too much. If I am in the process of doing illustrations for picture books I’m constantly taking pictures with my iPhone of hand drawings to digitize on my Mac. I’m also using the iPad to test features in iBooks and Kindle.

What Today View widgets are you using and why?

Dark Sky Great weather app with a quick look at the weather for the next hour.

Fantastical This is a great way to a get a quick glance of what is coming up for the day. I also like that I have fast access to a calendar view and a list of appointments for that day in just one glance.

Huemote I love creating custom scenes for our Hue Lights and Huemote makes it so easy to access them all with a quick swipe to control the lights in the entire house.

Strava Strava is my favorite running and cycling app. When I am training for my next race I can get a quick summary of my weekly training and see my progress.

Personal Capital-Holding Personal Capital is kind of like Mint if you added investments. They feature a few different widgets but I’ve added holdings. This gives me a quick glance of how my investments are performing versus the index.

What is your favorite feature of the iPhone/iPad?

The ecosystem. The ability to transition between Mac, iPhone, iPad and pick up right where I left off is pretty amazing. Since I make books that are intended to be read on multiple devices it is fun to create them on multiple devices too.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Thanks so much for the incredible work you are doing David! If anyone is interested in children’s books and wants to help me make my next one you reach me at my website or on Twitter.can.

Thanks Brandon.